Founded in 1867, the Beethoven has been a leader in San Antonio’s German community.  Its purpose is to preserve German song, music, and language. It is the one of the oldest German singing societies in Texas.

Interested in joining: please fill out the Membership Application and return to the bar.

History of the Founding of the Organization

The Beethoven Männerchor was organized in February, 1867 by August Thielepape, a former mayor of San Antonio. He was born in Wabern, Hesse, Germany on July 10, 1814 and was a practicing engineer in his home country before his 1850 move to the Indianola, Texas. In 1854, he relocated to San Antonio, where he sang tenor and worked as assistant conductor in the Männergesang-Verein. His professional work was not only limited to engineering, in addition, his career included architecture, teaching, photography, and lithography. His accomplishments include surveying Uvalde’s townsite, designing the San Antonio Casino Club and Comal County’s Courthouse, and co-founding the German English School. As a union sympathizer, his life during the Civil War was most likely spent in Mexico and Eagle Pass. On July 21, 1865, he was amongst the group who raised the Union’s flag at the Alamo. At this point, he created the Beethoven Männerchor, conducted the Casino Club chorus, and was appointed mayor of the city. His term saw the building of bridges and other city improvements and the focusing on the school system.

In 1872, he left office and moved to Chicago, handing the direction of the chorus over to Andreas Scheidemantel. He worked in the rebuilding of Chicago after the massive fire and lived in the city during his retirement. Throughout his life, he composed new work which was influenced by Mendelssohn and Spohr. His work include Lieder and six duets for soprano and tenor. He also wrote incidental music for play Der Meineidbauer by Ludwig Anzengruber and one unaccompanied male chorus, Der Wind und der Wellen Lied.

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. “THIELEPAPE, WILHELM CARL AUGUST,”