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Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Saint Louis City and County, From the Earliest Periods to the Present Day: Including Biographical Sketches of Representative Men. In Two Volumes, Illustrated. Volume II . Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts & Co., 1883. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; proceedings]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
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Chapter XXXVIII. Music and Musicians.

IN 1837 there came to St. Louis Professor Wilhelm Robyn, a young German musician, who had been educated at Emmerich, in lower Holland, his instructor having been Bolde, a most capable musician, and the contemporary and acquaintance of Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and Hummel. Robyn had expected much of St. Louis, having heard it to be a place of thirteen thousand people, with many Germans, and was greatly disappointed to find that there was but little taste for music. There was only one music-teacher here, a man named Cramer, who taught the piano, and of whom little is now known, except that he was doing a poor business, and soon

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after left the place. Pianos were very scarce in St. Louis in those days, and only a few of the rich old Creole families had them.

Professor Robyn is full of sprightly recollections of those days, and from him we have obtained a sketch of the development of music in St. Louis.

Up to 1839 the musical recreations of the people had been restricted to a concert, usually given by some stray singing-school teacher or little band of strolling musicians, with some local favorite, perhaps, as the star. The only music in the churches worthy of mention was at the Cathedral, which had for organist an Italian named Marilano, brought to this country by Bishop Rosatti, who returned to his native land. There was a very good choir at the Cathedral, and among the prominent members were Mrs. Henry Chouteau and her daughter, Mrs. Mary Vallé; Mrs. Bogy, a sister of Gen. Pratte; Judge Wilson Primm and his sister, and Britton A. Hill, the well-known lawyer, who is still living. Judge Primm was a fair violin-player, and Robyn relates that they formed an acquaintance and played together, the one his violin and the other the piano, and although Primm knew no German and Robyn no English, they conversed readily by means of music, the "universal language."

In December of 1837 Ludlow & Smith's theatre company arrived at St. Louis from New Orleans, and musicians were wanted for the orchestra. Mr. Robyn, rather than starve, as he says, engaged to play the double bass at twelve dollars a week. A complete orchestra was organized, with Herr Mueller as leader. Mueller was an accomplished musician, having been leader of a band for many years in London. There was a young Englishman named Trust, who was a fine solo trombonist and harper, and a German, Louis Schnell, who was a skillful performer on the horn. Among the others were John Brown and Henry Berg and his brother, well-known musicians, who played at balls, etc. Mr. Robyn says that the performance of this orchestra was never excelled by any similar organization subsequently.

In 1838, the theatre company having left, a small orchestra was organized under the leadership of Mr. Wells, a dancing-master and a good violinist. Réné Paul was president of the society. A few concerts were given, and resulted in the expression of a general desire for a concert hall. Subsequently the concert hall still existing on Market Street, between Second and Third Streets, was erected. During the same year Prof. Robyn was appointed teacher of music in the University of St. Louis, and soon organized the Philharmonic Society, which is still a flourishing appendage of that institution. He had thirty-five pupils, and his monthly recitals were attended by the élite of St. Louis. He was the organist in the chapel, and when the church was built he produced all the great masses of Haydn, Mozart, etc., and created quite a sensation in musical circles.

The same year (1839) Charles Balmer, still a resident and a well-known music publisher here, came to St. Louis. That year Robyn organized and led a brass band, no slight undertaking, as he was obliged to write and arrange all the music himself. Balmer was pianist at a concert given by the band for the benefit of the new hall, and among the artists who assisted were Carri&eagrave;re, a graduate of the Paris Conservatory, who was teaching the flute at the university; Farrell, an Irishman, who played the violin; and Martinez, a Spaniard, who played the guitar. Miss Theresa Weber was the soprano on these occasions. These concerts were a financial failure, but similar entertainments were given for some years afterward.

Miss Weber and her brother Henry were members of the immortal Weber family of musicians in Germany; she subsequently married Mr. Balmer, and Henry became his partner in the music trade. In 1840, Henry established a "Singakamedie."

In 1842, Nicholas Lebrun came to St. Louis, and was appointed leader of the band of the German military corps which was organized in the following July. He was a Frenchman, and arrived in St. Louis when only twenty-three years old. For several years he traveled with leading circuses, and his compositions attracted much attention. From 1848 he resided in St. Louis, and became the band-leader of most of the popular military organizations. He is now in the music trade in St. Louis.

In 1845 occurred a marked event, the founding of the Polyhymnia by Dr. Johann Georg Wesselhoeft, one of the most remarkable Germans who had yet come to America. In 1834 he was one of the founders of the Alten und Neuen Welt, of Philadelphia, certainly the best German paper up to that time published in America, and while a resident of that city actively assisted in organizing the German settlement at Hermann, Mo. After a varied career in the East, he came to St. Louis in 1844-45, and bestirred himself actively among the Germans of the place. The "Polyhymnia" was organized for the practice of vocal and instrumental music, but chiefly the latter was undertaken, for singers were scarce, and it was next to impossible to collect a chorus. Among the vocalists still remembered is a German lady named Hoeffel, who occasionally appeared as a soloist; Christian Kribben,

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a German lawyer, who subsequently was a prominent politician, and Mr. Romeyn, also a lawyer. For lack of a chorus, the vocal performances of the society were mostly limited to solos, duets, and quartettes; but under the leadership of Professor Robyn it brought out many overtures, symphonies, and other orchestral works, and its concerts were well attended. It lasted some ten years and then broke down. Among those living who still recall their membership in the "Old Polyhymnia" with pleasure are Drs. Engelmann and Wislizenus, Dr. S. Gratz Moses, and Mr. Karst, the French consul. The "Polyhymnia" gave choice programmes, and afforded the people of St. Louis the first classical music they had ever heard to any considerable extent. One of its customs was to extend courtesies and assistance to visiting artists. It often rendered them invaluable orchestral assistance, and frequently "went shares" with them in the proceeds of the entertainment. Among those who visited St. Louis during this period were Ole Bull and Max Bohrer, the violinists, Thalberg, Leopold de Meyer, Madame Anna Bishop, and Jenny Lind. For several years Heinrich Kayser, a German politician, prominent in city affairs, was president of the "Polyhymnia." Among the other members W. A. Bode, Charles Balmer, and E. Nennstiel.

In 1845, Henry Robyn (brother to Wilhelm) came to St. Louis. Although never prominent like his brother as a leader, he took high rank among the musicians of the city, and was for many years organist at the Cathedral, and St. Patrick's Church. For a long time he was musical instructor at the Institution for the Blind, and invented and published a method (still in use) by which music for the blind could be printed. This gifted man was lost in the sinking of the "Pomerania," some four or five years ago.

During the early years of the Polyhymnia, Mr. Balmer established an "Oratorio Society," composed of singers from all the choirs, and gave several performances. At one of them he brought out the whole of the "Creation," and although his chorus was not large, and his orchestral aids were meagre, he produced an effect which has never since been equaled in St. Louis, even with the most elaborate accompaniments. Between the years 1840 and 1850 the musical societies were represented by "The Cecelian" and "The Oratorio." R. Fuchs was the director of the former, and C. Balmer of the latter. Later the French musicians of noteworthy ability were connected with local musical interests; these were Miguier, Fallen, and Carriere.

The next important musical venture was the establishment of the "Philharmonic Society" in 1859. The chorus numbered about one hundred from the various choirs, and there were fifty or sixty pieces in the orchestra. It brought out some very important works, — "Creation," "Seasons," "St. Paul," "Elijah," Schumann's "Die Rose," etc. It was first under the leadership of Sobolewski, an eccentric but profound musician. The "Amphions," a glee-club of society young men, and the "Orpheus," a male quartette, often assisted at the Philharmonic concerts.

Sobolewski deserves an additional word. He was the author of several works, including a classic opera, which Liszt highly praised. It was named "Courola," after his daughter, who is still a resident of St. Louis, and is a well-known teacher of vocal music. Most of his family of ten children still live here.

To Mr. Sobolewski is due the credit of first gathering into close and really harmonious relationship whatever was of real worth in our musical circles. His selections of musical compositions were guided by sound judgment and refined taste, while the performances themselves became genuine artistic unities through the inspiration of rare directive power.

Sobolewski was a man of rare genius as well as of the most refined artistic taste, and with him in the lead there was the greatest promise for the society, a promise which, however, was not to be realized. Sobolewski, notwithstanding his enthusiasm for the interest of the highest art elements in music, and his unremitting and intelligent labors, still failed of the hearty appreciation to which his excellences would seem to| have entitled him.

Dissatisfaction led to Sobolewski's resignation, and to the transfer to other hands of the management. After a period of decline, another conductor was sought in Germany, and Egmont Froehlich's services having been secured, the society, under his management, showed signs of revival. The musical elements of the city, however, proved to he not yet ready for fusion, and the society was dissolved about 1870.

After the dissolution of the Philharmonic Society the Germans and the Americans became mutually exclusive in matters of music. Among the Germans there was found the Arion Society, of which Soblewski was for a time the director. The Arion constituted a male chorus of large membership, with Von Deutsch as conductor. During the period of its real activity many fine choruses, as well as compositions for mixed voices, were admirably rendered. After a time many members withdrew from the Arion and organized the Liederkranz Society, with Egmont Froehlich as director; subsequently the Arion bed merged in the Liederkranz. The Liederkranz, after

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several years of more strictly musical effort, has become an association in whose social enjoyment music is a pronounced feature rather than the chief end. The society possesses a large and commodious hall, situated at Thirteenth Street and Chouteau Avenue. There have been also a number of other male chorus organizations, notably the Saengerbund and the Orpheus, but these have specially embodied the individual character of the German element. The Musical Union, organized by Dabney Carr, has for two years represented American musical effort. In addition to this there have been given this season Memorial Hall Concerts, which have afforded special opportunities for listening to talent not local. Simultaneously with these larger organizations a number of trios and quartettes were formed by some of the best musicians. These in their weekly reunions have rendered acceptably much "chamber music," selected with taste and judgment from the great masters. Of such organizations the Philharmonic and the Mendelssohn Quintette Clubs are specially worthy of mention.

The Philharmonic has given a series of concerts, whose programmes for the most part consisted of very choice classical music, and these were rendered in a highly acceptable manner. The members of the Philharmonic are Messrs. Spiering, Anton, Boehmen, Meyer, and Hammerstein.

The Mendelssohn is still young as a society, having given but two public performances. On the other hand, the ability and enthusiasm of its members gives the organization a well-defined standing. Messrs. Heerich, Schopp, Schoen, C. Froehlich, and Alfred Robyn constitute the membership.

As a matter of course, the usual song concerts have occurred, and have found special patronage among the Americans. In these concerts in St. Louis, as elsewhere, the musical element has too frequently been subordinated to the idea of securing the largest possible amount of applause.

Regarding this as a period of mere transition, we may assert that it is passing away. While the lighter operas are still popular, and the night of the great singers rather than the night of great musical compositions is still provocative of the most strenuous struggle for seats, yet such musical dramas as "Lohengrin" are with each repetition more generally and heartily appreciated. There is, therefore, unmistakable evidence that a taste for genuine music in its truly artistic significance is rapidly growing.

The reaction of this developing taste of the public upon local musicians could not long be delayed, and, indeed, is already manifest. The impossibility of bringing musicians together into permanent and efficient organizations is giving way before a truer professional spirit, and there is every reason to look with confidence to the early organization of societies capable of rendering in a worthy manner great works requiring large choruses. On the other hand, church music both vocal and instrumental is rapidly improving.

It is to be noted that among out local musicians a number have found time and vindicated their ability to compose original works of much merit. Sobolewski undoubtedly stands at the head of local composers, although his greatest works belong to his pre-American period. Wm. H. Pommer, a young man of marked ability, both as a pianist and as a composer, is the author of many songs and of several comic operas. Goldbeck's vocal music, especially his quartettes, is widely known and highly appreciated. J. M. North, C. Balmer, A. G. Robyn, and E. R. Kroeger have also been noticeable as composers of songs. Waldemar Malm&eagrave;ne is a composer of oratorios and ballads, and E. M. Bowman of pleasing church quartettes. H. Strachauer is a composer of classical music; he was a pupil of Bode's, and his fine abilities caused his removal to Boston to be regretted. Wayman McCreery has also composed some songs and a light opera. The Kunkel brothers have had some local reputation from their compositions.

Among interpreters (of instrumental music) specially worthy of mention are W. A. Bode, Mrs. Dr. Strotholte (a specialist in Beethoven's sonatas), Lawitzky, Miss von Hoya, Spiering, Waldauer, Schoen, Meyer, Anton, and Heerich (violinists); Bowman, A. G. Robyn, Hammerstein, Miss Lina Anton, Miss Nellie Strong, B. Froehlich, and A. Grauer (pianists).

Among those who have been prominent as directors are, in addition to those previously named, Waldauer, C. Froehlich, Poppen, Hans Balatka, and Otten.

A very strong influence has been exerted by several non-professional musical organizations. The Quartette Club, which meets at the residence of Mrs. Charles Nagel, has attained rare excellence, and is to be counted as a decided factor in the development of local musical taste.

Another private organization has included many of our best students of vocal and instrumental music, and while seeking nothing but the improvement of the ladies who compose it, has had a marked effect upon the intelligence of the audiences which assemble to listen to the efforts of professional musicians.

The Meysenberg Quartette Club has for years met regularly and worked industriously, and has had a manifest influence in elevating the musical taste of the community.

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The work done first by Henry Robyn and later by Egmont Froehlich in the High School is also worthy of mention, inasmuch as many singers have found their first strong impulse while pupils; the number of pupils and the fact that the school furnishes a mixed chorus have much bearing upon the character of the work, and consequently upon the nature of its influence in our musical history.

In addition to individuals already mentioned, there are teachers of music whose services entitle them to special notice. Such are Henry Robyn, Mrs. Brainerd, H. M. Butler, Charles Green, M. Epstein, A. Epstein, Mrs. Ralston, Carl Richter, Madame Petipas, Madame Caramano.

The Polyhymnia Society was organized in the summer of 1845, and for several years was, as we have already stated, well and favorably known in art and musical circles. Many gentlemen, musicians, artists, and others favorable to the encouragement of the arts, were engaged in its organization. Among the most active of these were Alexander Kayser, Dr. Pollak, William and Henry Robyn, and Messrs. Beneke, Obert, Ringling, Burke, Schnell, and Kribben. The obstacles of comparatively empty coffers, of occasional dissensions among the members, and of inexperience were surmounted by the strenuous exertions on the part of those who had the objects of the association most at heart. In the early part of the society's existence, some serious misunderstanding among a portion of its members on one or two occasions nearly brought it to a sudden close. The first president of the Polyhymnia was Mr. Wesselhoeft, who retained the office during a period of two and a half years. The society gave its first concert at Concert Hall on the 27th of November, 1845. Its success induced renewed energy, and a year after that time the society numbered nearly two hundred members. The orchestra consisted of twenty or twenty-five performers. As heretofore stated, the society went out of existence in 1870.

The Socialer Saengerchor. — After the failure of the revolution in Germany in 1848 a large number of those who had taken part in it fled to the United States and many settled in St. Louis. These emigrants at once proceeded to organize societies for intellectual and bodily culture and social recreation. The very earliest of these associations was doubtless the St. Louis Saengerbund, organized in 1849, which after an honorable career of some twenty-five years was merged in the Orpheus Saengerbund and ceased to exist. The next was established Sept. 13, 1850, as the "Saengerchor des Arbeiterbildungsverein," or the song section of a union for the improvement of workingmen. The next January it took the name of "Socialer Saengerchor," by which it is yet known and is recognized as the oldest singing society in St. Louis. It also enjoys the honor of being about the only surviving Saengerbund of the hundreds which were established during that period throughout the country, and is certainly the only one that remains of those in the West.

The first meeting of the infant society was held in Kossuth Hall, on South Second Street, and Herr Holzmann was the first president. The first concert was given Nov. 30, 1850. In the winter of 1851 a library was established; on the Fourth of July, 1852, the society took part in the usual celebration, and in October, 1852, a debating club was formed. In January, 1855, the society gave a masked ball, the firJ ever given, by a German society in St. Louis, which was the event of the season in German circles.

The society prospered, and was a representative German institution until the war, when, in common with its sister societies, it lost largely through the enlistment of many of its members in both armies but chiefly under the Union flag. Since the war its career has been without special incident. It has been subjected to the friendly rivalry of younger organizations, but has maintained its place as one of the leading German singing organizations of the city. In April, 1868, it was incorporated, the incorporators being Clemens A. Schnake, Conrad Kellerman, Henry Thon, Philip A. Nolting, Wilhelm Polting, Jacob Eckhardt, Wilhelm Dentz, Henry Meyer, Charles Roock, and Anton Helle. Since 1875 it has been under the efficient leadership of Professor Al Willhartitz. It has taken the following prizes:

First prize at the Westliche Saengerbund of North America in June, 1854.

A silk banner at the fest at Highland, Ill., May, 1855.

First prize at the St. Louis Agricultural and Mechanical Association, 1856.

First prize at the Saengerfest at Highland, Ill., May, 1880.

The membership numbers about five hundred and fifty, of whom eighty are active. The library, started in 1851, has been well cared for, and numbers nearly four thousand books. The society owns a piano, etc., and has a reserve fund of several thousand dollars. The present officers are as follows: President, August Blittersdorf; Vice-President, Charles J. Bremer; Secretary, William Oyentrop; Corresponding Secretary, William Vogel; Financial Secretary, John Tighman; Treasurer, Henry Trieselmann; Musical Director, Max Ballmann.

Germania Saengerbund. — This excellent German

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singing society was organized March 19, 1859, by the two brothers, William and Adolph Reisse, under the name of "Berg Saengerbund," or "Mountain Saengerbund." The society was formed at Yaeger's Garden, now Anthony & Kuhn's, in South St. Louis. The first president was William Reisse; the first leader, F. Glaser, who was succeeded by F. Bochmann, Egmont Froehlich, Charles Gottschalk, Herr Sabatzky, and Theodore Abbath. The society has been prominent at several fests, and always won a prize. It has brought out the following operas: "Die Weinprobe;" "Die Gerichtsitzung;" "Die Vier Glalzkoepfe;" "Der Vetter aus Amerika;" "Incognito; oder, Der Fuerst wider Willen."

The society numbers thirty-two active members, one hundred and forty-five passive members, and five honorary members, embracing many of the best German citizens of South St. Louis.

For ten years past the society's hall has been in the building of the Lafayette Bank, corner Carondelet Avenue and Second Street. On the 19th of March, 1882, it celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in the same garden where it was organized.

The Saengerbund has property representing a capital of two thousand five hundred dollars. It has also a select library for the benefit of its members. The present officers are: President, Frederick Schroeder; Vice-President, A. Loux; Recording Secretary, Wilhelm Meyer; Financial Secretary, F. Vischwitz; Manager, F. Themeyer; Leader, Theodore Abbath.

St. Louis Philharmonic Society. — In pursuance of a notice previously given, a meeting was held in the rooms of the Missouri State Mutual Insurance Company, June 21, 1860, at which the constitution of the "St. Louis Philharmonic Society" was read and adopted, and the following officers and board of directors were chosen: James E. Yeatman, president; Charles Balmer, vice-president; John J. Anderson, treasurer; George W. Parker, recording secretary; Thomas Marston, Jr., corresponding secretary; Board of Directors, L. A. Benoist, William Robyn, William H. Benton, E. C. Catherwood, Henry T. Blow, Dabney Carr, James B. Eads, B. A. Bode. The object of the society was to encourage the study and elevate the taste of music among the citizens. The civil war came on soon after the organization of the society, and put an end to its existence.

Musiker Unterstuetzungs Verein. — This society reorganized in 1863, and was incorporated in 1864. The first officers were: President, J. H. Keller; Secretary, Louis Schnell; Treasurer, Charles Gebhardt. It was originally designed as a protective union, to enable the musicians of the city to obtain better prices for furnishing music at concerts, balls, etc., but eventually was changed into a beneficiary society. It pays six dollars per week sick benefits and thirty-five dollars for funeral expenses. There are about sixty members, and the officers are: President, Nicholas Lebrun; Vice-President, Michael Ensinger; Secretary, George Zaenglein; Treasurer, Charles Gebhardt. Herr Gebhardt has been treasurer continuously since the organization.

Orpheus. — The Orpheus Singing Society was organized July 16, 1867. The first president was William Homann. In 1875 it was enlarged by the accession of the Saengerbund. It has been one of the most efficient of the numerous German singing societies of St. Louis, and in the various musical contests has taken its fair share of prizes. It has sixty active members and one hundred and ninety passive members. The present officers are as follows: President, Nicholas Christman; Vice-President, John Schorr; Recording Secretary, Louis Stockstrom; Corresponding Secretary, William H. Lahrmann; Financial Secretary, George R. Kramer; Treasurer, Charles Schweikardt.

The Liederkranz. — In 1870 a disagreement among the members of the Arion des Westens, a German singing society of some note, resulted in the secession of sixteen members, among whom were Eugene Haas, Ferdinand Diehm, and Rudolph Schulenburg, who immediately issued a call for a new singing society, and on the 27th of November, 1870, thirty-six united in forming the Liederkranz. The first directors of the new society were Eugene Haas, Edmund Wuerpel, Theodore Kalb, Dr. Nagel, A. Link, Ferdinand Diehm, and A. Laeffler, and the first officers were: President, Eugene Hass; Secretary, A. Link; Treasurer, Ferdinand Diehm; Musical Director, Egmont Froehlich. The latter was also director of the Arion des Westens, but during the year he resigned, and has continued uninterruptedly as the director of the Liederkranz.

For some years the society met in the building of the People's Savings Institution, Park and Carondelet Avenues; then it went to Freemasons' Hall. From 1877 to 1880 it met at the Annunciation school-house, at Chouteau Avenue and Sixth Street, and Dec. 22, 1880, it occupied its present elegant quarters.

From its inception the Liederkranz was conspicuously prosperous, and rapidly drew to itself the finest musical talent among the Germans. It has always enjoyed a high degree of popular favor. In 1879 the Arion des Westens, which had two hundred and fifty members, joined the Liederkranz, and added one hundred voices to it. This accession emphasized the need of more commodious quarters, the want of which had

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long been felt, and at last it was decided that the society might safely undertake the erection of a hall of its own. In August, 1879, therefore, the Liederkranz Building Association was organized. The capital was placed at fifty thousand dollars, and the Liederkranz Society took three thousand five hundred dollars of stock, and every member of the society became also a member of the building association, which was managed by the following officers: President, F. W. Sennewald; Vice-President, Charles Wezler; Secretary, A. Link; Treasurer, Ferdinand Diehm; Directors, Louis Gottschalk, Lorenz Lampel, W. J. Lemp, Eugene Haas, Statius Kehrmaun, Ferdinand Herold, Joseph Emanuel, Emil Donk, and Egmont Froehlich.

The building association bought an eligibly situated lot at Chouteau Avenue and Thirteenth Street, and on the 31st of July, 1880, laid the corner-stone of the new hall. On the 22d of December, 1880, the building was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. The hall was erected by Messrs. Wilhelm & Janssen, after plans procured from abroad. It has a frontage of ninety-four feet on Chouteau Avenue and one hundred and forty feet on Thirteenth Street, and is two stories high. The style of architecture is the renaissance. A handsome entrance at the intersection of these streets conducts to the interior. The completeness of the appointments and the entire absence of any glaring or "loud" details are the conspicuous features which first strike the eye. The special characteristics of the structure are solidity and safety, combined with beauty and a complete adaptability to the objects for which the building was erected. The grand hall is sixty-five by eighty-one feet, and there is a refreshment-room one hundred and five by twenty-four feet, besides a number of toilet-rooms and apartments for billiards and other games. The stage is thirty by twenty-five feet, and is shaped like a shell in order to secure the best musical effect. The acoustic properties of the hall are very fine. The lot cost eight thousand dollars, the building thirty-six thousand dollars, and the furniture six thousand dollars. The building, in spite of its simplicity and modesty of style, is one of the most imposing and beautiful in the city, besides serving as a cheerful home for the society and its friends.

The Liederkranz has six hundred members, of whom one hundred and thirty are active. It is the largest singing society in the city, and its success is due chiefly to the high standard which it has applied to its own performances, and to its aim to introduce and familiarize the best work of the most eminent composers. Under the direction of Herr Froehlich, it has gained recognition as one of the best and most proficient singing societies in the West. Among the great works which it has brought out with distinguished success are Verdi's "Requiem," Schumann's "Pilgrimage of the Rose," Mendelssohn's "Walpurgis Night," Gade's "Erl King's Daughter," Vierling's "Rape of the Sabines," Becker's "Die Zigeu nerin," Gade's "Zion," Bruch's "Odysseus," Hoffman's "Die Schoene Melusine," Haydn's "Season's," Moehring's "Auff Offner See," Erdmannsdoerfer's "Princessin Use," etc.

The officers for 1882 were: President, F. W. Sennewald; Vice-President, O. J. Wilhelmie; Secretary, M. Klaus; Treasurer, Fred. Aberold; Corresponding Secretary, F. W. Meyer; Cashier, E. P. Olshausen; Musical Director, Egmont Froehlich.

Schweitzer Maennerchor. — This was originally the Gruelti Singing Society, a song section of the Gruelti Verein, the Swiss Benevolent Society; but in February, 1874, it was chartered as the "Schweitzer Maennerchor," with the following incorporators: Ulrich Schwendener, Francis Romer, John Jacklin, Henry Hotz, August Wildberger, J. J. Kiburz, Samuel Putscher, F. X. Siedler, Adolph Walser, John Boerdin, and others. It has about forty members. The present officers are: President, Albert Bugg; Vice-President, Rudolf Bollinger; Treasurer, J. J. Martin; Musical Director, J. B. Trumbi.

West St. Louis Liederkranz. — In 1871, Anton Huber, Frank Wieser, August Gruenewald, Louis Schaefer, A. Meyer, Henry Pohlmann, and Louis Wiesler organized the West St. Louis Liederkranz, with headquarters near Spring and Easton Avenues. Henry Pohlmann was the first president, A. Meyer the first secretary, and John Oberreiter the first treasurer. Herr Haar was musical director. The society prospered, and gained an enviable reputation for good music, and in 1880 took the second prize at Highland, Ill., competing with fifteen clubs from St. Louis and Southern Illinois. It has a membership of two hundred and twenty, of whom twenty are active. Quite a number of ladies belong to the society, and are its most energetic members. Frederick Partenheimer has been director for five years. The present officers are: President, Otto Keil; Secretary, Carl Golschen; Treasurer, William Schroeder; Musical Director, Frederick Partenheimer; Trustees, Schaefer, August Gruenewald, George Kramer, Theo. Hoell, William Koehler.

There are many other German song unions of somewhat what lesser note. Many of them are simply song sections of German clubs, turnvereins, etc. Among them may be mentioned the Rock Springs Saengerbund,

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Camp Spring Leidertafel, Apollo Gesangverein, Teutonia Gesangverein, Rheinischer Frohsinn, Maennerchor der Hermann Soehne, etc.

The St. Louis Choral Society was organized Sept. 1, 1880, by Professor Joseph Otten. The first officers were: President, L. L. Tebbetts; Vice-President, R. Chauvenet; Secretary, Thaddeus Smith; Librarian, A. A. Schnuck; Conductor, Professor Joseph Otten. During the first year four subscription concerts were given, and the works rendered were "The Messiah," "The Fair Melusine," by Hoffman; "Dettingen Te Deum," by Handel; and fragments of "Tannhaüser," Beethoven's Mass in C, etc. The society has a chorus of one hundred and thirty voices, and is regarded as a promising young organization. The present officers are: President, Nathaniel P. Hazard; Vice-President, S. S. Leach; Secretary, Richard Fenby; Conductor, Professor Joseph Otten.

Musical Union. — In November, 1881, Professor A. A. Waldauer and Dabney Carr organized the St. Louis Musical Union, an orchestra of nearly sixty pieces, which for two seasons past has given concerts of a very high order of merit, having performed with great acceptability the most difficult works of most of the great composers.

Henry Shaw Musical Society. — In the fall of 1882 was organized a society with this name, under the lead of Professor R. S. Poppen. Its first season's performances were highly creditable.

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Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Saint Louis City and County, From the Earliest Periods to the Present Day: Including Biographical Sketches of Representative Men. In Two Volumes, Illustrated. Volume II . Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts & Co., 1883. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; proceedings]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=scharf2.html
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