Germania’s spring festival put the youth at the forefront

Visitors to the Gesangverein Germania‘s spring festival at the sports hall in Weißkirchen last weekend, may have noticed some chances to how things have been in previous years.  The festival had undergone a regeneration, starting with the decorations int he hall.  Instead of flowers on the stage, there were colourful luftballons displaying emojis.

The musical programme consisted mainly of the younger groups, with the male and female choirs not singing invidually, but only as the mixed choir.  Outside there were hotdogs instead of Bratwursts, there was a table for the children to draw at, a treasure hunt and hook-a-duck.

It was the “Rotkehlchen” group that started the day’s music, conducted by Eike O. Müller.  Both of their songs were about food.  First they sang “Das ist der Gummibär”, and followed it with an audience-participation song: “Obstsalat” (fruit salad).  The audience were asked to join in with the actions, cutting up apples, oranges and bananas.

Then it was the turn of the “Nachtigallen”, again with Eike O. Müller.  They sang six songs, including a jazz piece and a song about a lama who cannot spit.  The song “Immer ich” (always me) posed questions, such as “wo has to go to bed early”, of which the answer was usually “me, of course”.  They finished by looking forward to the summer holidays: “Ich will ans Meer, mehr will ich nicht” (I want to go to the sea, nothing more).

This part of the concert was watched by the new Fountain Queen, Ann-Kathrin I. with her Brunnenmeister Rainer.  She joined the children on stage afterwards for photos.

After a short break it was time for the mixed choir’s performance.  Their usual conductor, Peer-Martin Sturm, was unable to attend, so Stefan Hofmann took over the job.  The choir began with a theological piece, a version of the Lord’s Prayer set to music.  They then sang “Mensch ärgere Dich doch nicht” (don’t worry), telling people not to lose their good mood.

There was another break, and then Eike O. Müller returned with the youth choir “Sound Up!”, of which he worked out that only one member, Sophia, hat been with the choir since it started in 2006.  The first song that the choir had sung then was “Lean on Me”, and that was the song with which they began on Saturday.  The members of the choir often suggest which songs they want to sing in future, although, as Eike O. Müller observed, rather than saying their had heard something on the radio, these days they are more like to say they heard something on YouTube.

Sound Up! also like to sing in English, including songs from musicals.  And so they continued their performane with “I know him so well” from Chess, “Private Emotion”, “Brighter than the sun” and the rock song “Shadow of the Day” from Linkin Park.

Then it was time for another new item on the programme.  The group, previously known as the Tontauben, performed for the first time using their new name: “Pop- und Jazzchor Oberursel”.  Their conductor, Mark Opsekin, was also unable to attend and so once again Stefan Hofmann stepped in.  The children had sung previously about food, and now the adults were singing about drinks.  They started with the 1966 Herman’s Hermits hit “No Milk Today”, and after “Komm, bald!” they finished their performance with the traditional Irish song “Whiskey in the Jar”.

The last group to perform were the “Zaunkönige”.  “Es ist Sommer” (it is summer) was very fitting considering the blue sky outside.  But the next song was one that the children had suggested, to the surprise of Eike O. Müller.  “Ich war noch niemals in New York” (I was never in New York).  Udo Jürgen’s Song from 1982 is at least 20 years older than the eldest member of the group.

Finally, “Sound Up!” returned to the stage to sing three songs together with the “Zaunkönige”.  “Just the way you are” (Bruno Mars), “Love yourself” (Justin Bieber) and “Happy Ending”.  A large number of proud parents recorded the join performance on their mobile phones.

This article appeared in German in the Oberurseler Woche on Thurday, 18th May, 2017.


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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