Interested in joining? Please submit a Membership Application to the clubhouse bar. Annual dues are $30 (application fee is $5), which includes benefits like free admission to Gartenfests. The Damenchor sponsors an annual Kristkindlmarkt, a holiday market with German flair.
History of the Organization
Beethoven Damenchor was founded on March 22, 1932 as an outgrowth of the activities of San Antonio’s venerable pioneer male choir, Beethoven Maennerchor, which was founded in 1867.
A small number of wives of the younger Beethoven singers felt the desire to also combine their musical abilities to perpetuate the songs that they brought from Germany, their former homeland. The wives began to congregate in homes where a piano was available. The guiding light was Lottie Herrmann, in whose home plans were finalized to attain the status of a recognized ladies’ choir. Thus, the foundation for the new ladies’ choir was laid; its charter members consisted of Gisela Bauer, Liddy Dyrrlich, Hedwig Garms, Wilhelmine Bauer, Gertrude Garms, Lottie Herrmann, Gretchen Heinig, Marie Heinig, Freda Koch, Gretchen Heinig Schaefer, Mary Schaefer, and Agnes Weyrich. Gisela Bauer served as the director for 50 years.
The time came when everyone concerned felt that they were “ready to face the music.” They wanted to be a part of the Beethoven Maennerchor organization and contacted its president, Mr. Fritz Schilo, Sr., who in turn, obtained from his Board of Directors, permission for this ladies’ choir to henceforth operate as auxiliary of the Beethoven Maennerchor. A permanent set of by-laws was to be adopted and the name of the chorus was determined to be Beethoven Damenchor. The requirement was established that the membership of the Beethoven Damenchor be obligated to support the aims and principles of the Beethoven Maennerchor, that is, to do the utmost to perpetuate the German song and word here in Texas.
In 1951, the Beethoven Maennerchor sponsored the Beethoven Damenchor’s membership in the Deutsch-Texanischen Saengerbund, better known as the Staats-Saengerbund, which was founded in the pioneer days of 1854 to bring the German men choirs of the larger cities in the State of Texas closer together and which, as of August 1951, was opening its folds to ladies’ choirs.
Ever since its establishment, the Beethoven Damenchor has been able to attract good voices into its ranks. Its functioning became well known all over the state, resulting in the forming of the Houston Saengerbund Damenchor on June 3, 1938, and Austin Saengerrunde Damenchor on February 9, 1959.
The Beethoven Damenchor is committed to do its share to support worthwhile projects in our community. It supported the San Antonio Fiesta Association, the River Parade, and the Fiesta Garden Concerts. The choir sang at Saengerfests in Dallas, Houston, Austin, New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg. It sang at Maifests, Oktoberfests, and at summer gartenkonzerts held at the Beethoven Halle und Garten. The choir sang at nursing homes, hospitals, and many other functions when invited.
The Beethoven Damenchor is still in existence today, only because of the untiring effort and unflagging loyalty of its members. Its members are always ready to “lend” their voices or a helping hand. Because of that devotion and loyalty, the organization has retained its strength and purpose for 80 years.