Max Kade Institute Free Lecture

Virtual Lecture

“Wo man singt”
German-American Singing Festivals, 1849–1914


Heike Bungert

Wednesday, April 5, at 12:00 pm Central Time

Free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Email Antje Petty to receive a Zoom link:

​Links will be emailed the day before the event.

Between 1849 and 1914, German-American singing festivals with thousands of participants and visitors were a constant yet changing element in the cultural landscape of the United States. They brought German and European music to America, helped immigrants construct a German-American (musical) identity, and contributed to asserting their status in society. This presentation will focus on the beginnings and the expansion of German-American choirs, especially Männerchöre (choirs for male voices), singing federations and their festivals, and the musical repertoire that was performed from the mid-nineteenth century to the beginning of World War I.

Heike Bungert is Professor for North American History at the University of Münster in Germany and has published extensively on the festivals of German Americans.

Click here for further information about this presentation

or contact Antje Petty (


**The Max Kade Institute Virtual Lectures Series is made possible with the support of the Friends of the Max Kade Institute. ​To learn more about the Friends of the Max Kade Institute, including how to become a member, click HERE.

Christmas Concert & Dinner 2022

A visit from Sankt Nikolaus

A visit from Sankt Nikolaus

Our annual Christmas Concert & Dinner will be held on Sunday December 11, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. This year the event will be at a new venue: St Bernard Catholic Church, 2438 Atwood Ave in Madison. After the concert, there will be a visit from Sankt Nikolaus followed by dinner at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Tickets for the concert and dinner are $25 per person. Tickets for the concert only are $10. There will be a cash bar. Tickets can be purchased at the door but we would appreciate it if you made a reservation in advance. For the full details, including how to make a reservation, please click on the link below:

2022 Christmas Concert flyer

Please make your reservations by December 4th if possible. Questions? Email us at

Note: if the concert is canceled due to bad weather (as has happened in the past) we will post the news here on our web site and on our Facebook page. We will also attempt to contact everyone on the reservation list if we have a phone number or email address.

June Gatherings

We typically don’t rehearse over the summer months – we stop sometime after Memorial Day and resume rehearsals after Labor Day. But we do try to get together over the summer, if only to have a beer (or perhaps two) and catch up on things. And sometimes we’re asked to sing the national anthem(s) at a sporting event. As always, click on the gallery thumbnails to see the larger photo.

On June 16th we sang both the German and US national anthems at a friendly match between Forward Madison FC and Paderborn. It was a beautiful evening at Breese Stevens field, and we sang both anthems and then enjoyed the match.

We were invited to sing the national anthem (US only) at the WTC track meet at Middleton High School. After the singing was over we decided to stop at the Capital Brewery Biergarten to replenish fluids.

At Capital Brewery after singing the national anthem at the WTC track meet

On June 30th we decided to meet for a beer or two at the Biergarten at Olbrich Park. It was a bit windy but we had a good time.


CANCELLED Spring Concert 2022 – June 5

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has still not left the building. Several of our singers, and our director, tested positive for the virus, so in the interest of safety of our concert attendees and our singers, we have decided to cancel the June 5 concert.

Join us on Sunday, June 5 at 3:00 p.m. for our first concert in two years! The Concert will be held at Madison Turners, 3001 S. Stoughton Road in Madison. Tickets are $10 at the door; children are free.

We’ll be singing a mix of old German favorites and a few new English songs in our repertoire. We hope you can join us as we re-start this annual tradition after the pandemic.

Kommers 2022

The WSB Kommers competition was held in Kenosha on April 23, 2022; this was the first Kommers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The event was hosted by MGV Harmonia and was held at the Holy Rosary Parish in the school gym.

It was a beautiful day and it was great to see all of the choirs together again! MGV Harmonia, who had won the last competition in 2019, came in first again this year. Gesangverein Concordia was second and Madison Maennerchor was third.

Here are some photos of the Madison Maennerchor performing at Kommers. Thanks to Geoff for sending the photos! As always, click on the thumbnail to see the larger photo.


Here are some more photos from Kommers:

UW Volleyball Match – National Anthem

The UW Athletic Department invited us to sing the national anthem at the volleyball match against Penn State on Saturday October 23rd. We were happy to accept and about fifteen of us were able to be at the UW Field House for the event. We had a sound check around 4:15 and then we just hung out until we we sang at 6:00. Everything went pretty well, and most of us stayed for at least part of the match, which Wisconsin won in 5 sets – it was a close one!

There are a few photos below; as always click on the thumbnail to see a larger image. Thanks again to Ryan and all the folks at UW for inviting us and making us feel welcome – we had a great time!

Essen Haus Oktoberfest 2021

The Essen Haus held its Oktoberfest on September 18th this year and we were invited to sing a few songs during the break between the two bands in the afternoon. It was good to be back at the Essen Haus after Oktoberfest was canceled last year due to the pandemic. This was our first performance since February 2020, so it was good to singing together again in the friendly confines of the Essen Haus parking lot. It was a beautiful day, and I think we all had a good time.

Here are a few photos of the choir in action. As always, click on the thumbnail to see the larger image.


At the Biergarten in Olbrich Park

On Thursday September 2, we met at the Biergarten in Olbrich Park. We had a brief meeting to discuss our fall schedule and resuming rehearsals, and then we had some time to talk and relax and have a beer or two.

We are planning on resuming rehearsals on Thursday September 9th, but we will be singing outside in the Turner Hall parking lot. We’ll begin at 6:30 to make the best use of the available daylight. We also decided that all choir members should be vaccinated to take part in rehearsals.

Here are some photos from Olbrich Park:


Middleton Good Neighbor Fest 2021

After the Middleton GNF 5K 2021

Replenishing fluids after running the Middleton GNF 5 K, August 28, 2021

It’s been quite a while since we last sang at the Middleton Good Neighbor Festival, but pretty much every year a few of us take part in the Middleton GNF 5 K race. As always, we’re just a second tenor away from having a quartet, but somehow it always turns out ok.

It was a hot and humid morning this year, but we did the best we could, and then of course had to replenish fluids after the race!