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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Eintracht Society Hall, Newcastle, PA
Eintracht Society Hall, Newcastle, Pennsylvania Photo: Albert Burick

Eintracht Singing Society

A New Castle, Pennsylvania, male choir that performs traditional German music and practices Gemütlichkeit, a special form of Saxon hospitality. Organized in 1894 along the lines of clubs and societies in their homeland, the original choir was made up of immigrants from Saxony and Transylvania. The Eintracht Singing Society, formally "Branch 25 of The Alliance of Transylvanian Saxons," is one of the oldest such societies in the United States. The German American National Congress (DANK) meets in the Eintracht Hall and sponsors an instructional program to teach the German language.

Today, the Eintracht Singing Society, serving as a meeting place where cherished Saxon and German traditions survive, sponsors the Eintracht Maennerchor, or "Men's Chorus." Having a bilingual repertoire, the Eintracht Maennerchor sings German songs in the German language, and American songs in English. Each Tuesday evening throughout the year, the Maennerchor assembles in the Hall of the Eintracht Singing Society. The chorus sits in a semi-circle with wooden chairs facing them, on which they place their music and drinks. Traditionally, they open each practice with "Sangergruss," a Bavarian greeting song, and then, after two hours of intensive practice, they end their session by locking arms and singing, "R&uumldeschein Wein." The music is varied. Some songs are of recent vintage and bear familiar names such as Robert Shaw and Norman Luboff; some bear the names of German composers and lyricists such as Lassel, Werner, and Becker. Some songs have no known composer but are merely "Volkslied" or folksongs. The Maennerchor repertoire consists of about 50 songs which the group performs for club, alliance, and community events.

Project documentation consists of a 2-page report on the Eintracht Singing Society; six color snapshots; 11 pages of text with bibliography entitled "A Brief History of the Transylvanian Saxons," a CD of Maennerchor performances in October and November 1999 with a play list, a videotape, a newspaper article.

Originally submitted by: Ron Klink, Representative (4th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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