Sunday, October 18, 2015

1867 Concert by the Sandusky Mannerchor

On Friday, October 18, 1867, the Sandusky Männerchor gave a vocal and instrumental concert at Norman Hall, on Water Street in downtown Sandusky. Norman Hall was eventually incorporated into property owned by the Hinde and Dauch Paper Company, and today no longer stands.

Many towns in the U.S. had a männerchor in the nineteenth century. It was a male chorus made up primarily of those of German descent. Members could socialize, enjoy music, and preserve elements of the German culture. The group was assisted by J.L. and E. Bonn, Miss B. Silva, and Cornelius Schnaitter. J.L. and E. Bonn had been born in Bavaria, and moved to Sandusky with their family, where they ran a grocery store not far from the Sandusky Library.

Cornelius Schnaitter was also a native of Bavaria. He moved to Sandusky in 1849, and ran a successful tailoring business.

It appears that many local businessmen could work at their jobs in the day, but still enjoy participating in singing societies during their time off at night and on weekends. An article in the October 19, 1873 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that a full house attended the männerchor concert. A song which brought the house down was a comic song called “Frog” in which several men wore costumes of green and ashen hues, and leaped around the stage like frogs. The performers were accompanied by a grand piano, and their numbers were well received by the audience. To read more about the musical societies of Sandusky’s early German-American citizens, see pages 160 to 173 of Sandusky Then and Now.

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