The Fort Wayne Mannerchor/Damenchor is one of the oldest German singing societies in Indiana. It traces its history back 134 continuous years to the founding of the Fort Wayne Sangerbund on October 4, 1869. By 1898 there were 8 singing societies in the city, which eventually consolidated under the name Concordia Gesang Verein, which became the Fort Wayne Mannerchor in 1927. The chorus is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of German heritage as expressed in choral music. Women became full members of the chorus in 1997. Of the several societies in the tri-state district, the Mannerchor/Damenchor is one of the few remaining that still performs all its music in German. For 22 years Tom Remenschneider was the director with the group but has decided to retire this year. Taking his place will be a new director, Jeff Manns.
Rehearsals are held from September through June every Thursday evening at their home, "Park Edelweiss", 3355 Elmhurst Drive in Waynedale. This lovely renovated barn is located on 14 acres of wooded land. While many members are German natives, newer singers are second and third generation Americans, with an interest in knowing more about and participating in German cultural activities through the club. Singing in the chorus does not require an audition, but it does require a love for singing, and a love for things "German", including fun
One does not have to be German to be a part of the chorus' activities. They try to keep the German language alive in conversation around the bar and various educational activities. They also enjoy celebrating traditional German events, such as Fasching (Mardi Gras), Oktoberfest and Schlachtfest.
The Fort Wayne Mannerchor/Damenchor will sponsor their annual Oktoberfest on October 4, 2003 at Park Edelweiss, 3355 Elmhurst Drive. Doors will open at 6pm with a genuine German dinner, consisting of bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad, and cake served at 7pm. Imported German and American drinks will be available at the bar. A German band, made up of the Mannerchor/Damenchor, will provide entertainment for your pleasure and dancing from 8pm until 11pm. Dress is casual, and, in the spirit of the strong cultural heritage of Fort Wayne, German dirndls and lederhosen are welcome.