Category Archives: Traditions, Heritage and History

Polka Documentary

Wisconsin Public Television’s new documentary on the polka traditions of Wisconsin was shown this month. It is really well done and a pleasure to watch. If you missed it, you can watch it online. Here is the link: Polka!

Most of the documentary was filmed in 2016, and there is some footage of the Essen Haus Oktoberfest, including some music from the Madison Maennerchor!


First Lutheran Church in Middleton

On Sunday September 11, 2016 we took part in the Annual Service at First Lutheran Church in Middleton. The church is no longer used for regular church services, it’s used mostly for weddings in the summer, but every fall there is an annual service. This year it was a special anniversary: the current church building was constructed in 1866 so this is the 150th anniversary! An addition was built in 1884 with the steeple and a new church bell. The church was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1988.

The congregation was founded in 1852, which coincidentally is the same year that the Madison Maennerchor was founded.

It was a beautiful day for the service and it was great to be there and to sing during the service. Below are a few photos; as always click on the thumbnail to see the larger image.


Wisconsin Magazine of History

The Madison Männerchor was mentioned in two places in the Winter 2015-2016 edition of the the “Wisconsin Magazine of History”.

In the article, “Green Turtle Soup, Lobster Newburg and Roman Punch”, the MMC is referred to as “Suitable entertainment…” on page 19 and listed on the reproduced menu from 1901 on page 21.

Wisconsin Magazine of History – Winter 2015-2016

Austrian Wine Festival

Hello friends–please spread the word and invite your friends! Here’s a chance to enjoy a great afternoon of entertainment this Sunday, October 13 at the annual Wine Fest. It’s a friendly mix of Austrian Volksmusik, Viennese songs and operetta, humor and skits, and you get to dance and sing along!

You’re invited!
33rd Annual Wine Fest
Klub Österreich
Austrian American Society of Milwaukee

Sunday, October 13, 2013
at the Schwabenhof in Menomonee Falls
N56 W14750 Silver Spring Drive

Doors open at 1:00 p.m.
Program begins at 2:00 p.m.

Enjoy Authentic Austrian Volksmusik, Elegant Viennese Song, Skits, Good Humor, Old-World Culture and a chance to sing and dance along! Featuring the exquisite zither music of Kurt von Eckroth and the graceful singing of soprano Rachel Renee.

Tickets $8.00 at the door on the day of the event—no pre-sales.
Additionally, fine food and beverages will be available from the Austrian Club and from the Schwabenhof bar and restaurant staff.

For more information contact:
Doug Scott, (414) 614-2235

Taste Traditions of Wisconsin Dinner: Prost! The Story of Germans in Wisconsin

Taste Traditions of Wisconsin: Prost! The Story of Germans in Wisconsin

Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 6:30-9:00 pm

Register by Wednesday, August 14

From beer and bratwurst to farming and educational advances, the influence of Germans in Wisconsin is everywhere. Join Cora Lee Kluge, UW Professor of German and Co-Director of the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, as she discusses how and why Wisconsin became the most German state in the U.S., as well as the lasting impact of German traditions and customs on our lives today. Savor the flavors of Germany with a meal catered by Blue Plate Catering that highlights the best of German cuisine.

Buffet dinner menu includes:

Green salad

Sauerbraten with gravy

Swabian Noodles (Spaetzle)

Potato Pancakes

Rye Bread and Butter

Black Forest Cherry Cake

Drinks: Beer, Apple Juice, Coffee

Cost to attend is $25 and WHS Members receive a 10% discount.


Hurry! These events fill fast!

To reserve your space, call 608-264-6555, or click here 



Celebrate German Master Brewing

Celebrate the Joys of German Master Brewing and support the Madison Early Music Festival. The Madison Early Music Festival (MEMF) is partnering with the Capital Brewery for a wonderful afternoon in the Biergarten. Saturday, June 8, 2013 from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at the Capital Brewery Beer Garden, 7734 Terrace Ave, Middleton WI. Click on the following link for the flyer.

MEMF_German 0001

All proceeds benefit MEMF. RSVP: Mary Ellen Bell or (608) 347-6260 (e-mail preferred).

Other important links:
Madison Early Music
Capital Brewery

Visiting Fermenting Tanks at the Capital Brewery

Visiting Fermenting Tanks at the Capital Brewery

Brewing Vats at Capital Brewery

Brewing Vats at Capital Brewery

German Interest Group Annual Conference July 13 2013

The German Interest Group of Wisconsin is holding their Annual Conference on Saturday, July 13 at the UW-Whitewater Campus Conner Center (Hamilton Auditorium)!

The featured speaker is Roger P. Minert, who is a well-known author and genealogist as well as a professor at Brigham University in Provo, Utah

GIG – WI Annual Conference Please feel free to print copies for your groups. Early Registration is due before June 15th.

For more information, contact:
Kristina Freund
(262) 332-9225

German Interest Group Meeting June 3 2013

Event Date: Monday June 3, 2013
Sponsor: German Interest Group – Wisconsin
When: 7 p.m. Monday, June 3
Where: St. Mark Lutheran, 2921 Mount Zion, Janesville, WI
Topic: FROM THE FEUDAL TO THE FEDERAL STATE, 19TH CENTURY GERMAN IMMIGRATION TO WISCONSIN, by Johann Stroschänk, Professor of German language, culture and literature and Bill Thiel, Instructor of German immigration, both of UW Eau Claire.
Contact: Kristina – Ph (262) 332-9225 or E: