November Newsletter Now Available

Keep up to date with the upcoming events and news of the Teutonia Männerchor! Click here to view the November Newsletter
Read More →

Trachtenabend (Traditional German Attire Night)

Thursday, June 18th @ 7:00 pm Don your best Tracht and come to the Ratskeller for a fun evening! Various wurst sandwiches and sides will be available from the kitchen a la carte. There will be an informal
Read More →

Results of First Teutonia Survey

Results of Survey Taken In the poll questions we asked our members who are connected to the Internet how they rate the club. Most answers were very positive, on the question do you like the Club website 92
Read More →

Club News: May 2015

The Teutonia Management and Officers are constantly trying to have exciting events for our members. April had a sold out Wine Tasting Event, a first in some time and from all the comments we received from
Read More →

The Teutonia Männerchor

Karl Weiterhausen

Reverend Karl R. Weiterhausen


HE EARLY 1800’S – Around the early and the mid-1800’s through the end of the century, there was a mass immigration from all across Europe to the United States. Many of the immigrants from Germany and other German-speaking countries came to Pennsylvania to what was then “Allegheny City” (now the North Side – just across the river from the City of Pittsburgh. So many German speakers arrived, the area became known as “Deutschtown.”

IN 1851, a group was founded known as the “Liedertafel” by a group of German-American men and Reverend Karl R. Weitershausen and met at the Weitershausen Church on Canal Street.

BY 1854, the immigrants who were gathering to sing the songs of the “Heimat” and share the old experiences at the “Liedertafel” decided to form a chorus called the “Teutonia Mannerchor.” This was just nineteen years after the founding of the first German singing society in America – in Philadelphia.


Around 1882, the Mannerchor met in Dahlingers Hall at 121 Madison Avenue and the growing membership decided that they needed a larger place to meet and sing.

IN 1888, after selling 300 “Building Shares” for $25 each. Our present hall was completed. A “Damengesellschaft” was formed and the ladies held a dinner to help with the purchase of furnishings.

TO THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY – the club continued to grow and enjoy popularity and began to be (as it is now) a center of German cultural interests.


Deutschtown, a National Historic District

1904 – The 50th anniversary of the founding of the club was celebrated with dinners and special events and an imposing parade through the business district of East Ohio Street.

THE WORLD WAR 1 YEARS – The club participated in the National Sängerfest in 1914 but it was the last such event to be held until after the war. All outside events were suspended during the war, but internal functions continued. In 1918 a patriotic rally was held and a flag ceremony held to honor the members who had served in the United States Army.

POST WWI – National Sängerfest resumed, along with other club activities. The national gatherings attracted several thousand singers and were held every 3 or 4 years. The 1934 gathering was held in St. Louis. That same year, the basement was converted into an authentic German Ratskeller, looking much as it does today. The last Sängerfest before the start of the war was held in Chicago in 1938. The ladies had formed the Damenchor in 1935 and made their first appearance.

THE WWII YEARS – were difficult for the club and was a period when the club was looked upon with some suspicion, including surveillance by the FBI. The clubs tax-exempt status was not granted until after the war in 1947.

THE EARLY POST WWII YEARS – saw a new influx of German immigrants to the club. Some were “war brides” of American GI’s who had served in post WWII Germany. Others were individuals who came for the traditional reasons of immigrants to the U.S. They added a valuable resource that has helped the club continue and refresh its’ heritage.

1954 was our 100th anniversary and was again celebrated in grand style.

In 1967, Pittsburgh hosted the National Sängerfest and opened the roof of the then new Civic Arena. Over 2,000 singers attended!

The post WWII German immigrants provided many new members anxious to revive the memories of their childhood. Many had extensive family in Germany and the club enjoyed visits from these relatives and continued contacts with the many similar singing societies still functioning in Germany. This led to visits and joint programs with these societies and bands.

The first tour of Germany by our Männerchor and Damenchor in the early 1990’s resulted from these relationships and was a resounding success and led to two more such tours.

Teutonia Männerchor 150th Anniversary in 2004

Teutonia Männerchor 150th Anniversary in 2004

2004 was the club’s 150th anniversary and was celebrated in grand style. The club received significant publicity and reached out to the public. It began with a massive cocktail party – “The Jubiläum Anfang” in January. There was entertainment continually in the Ratskeller and the Hall, with regional delicacies offered throughout the club – over 400 members attended. A formal Dinner and dance was celebrated in Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at the Priory (the converted St. Mary’s German church which shared its founding date with the club – 1854). Late summer was the outdoor celebration that was the centerpiece of the year and included the public. An enormous, steel frame tent was installed, German vendor booths and food booths were set up. And, of course, a Beer booth included German and domestic beers. Several German singing, dancing and band groups attended – as well as local area clubs. There was a full program of music, singing, dancing and eating. More than 3000 people attended and enjoyed the club.

Teutonia Männerchor 150th Anniversary in 2004

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Day Break

Looking ahead to 2054 (our 200th Anniversary) and beyond, the club enjoys good membership, financial strength and growth. It’s a very bright future for the Teutonia. We preserve the old German (Deutsch) traditions, staying “current” with cutting edge communications and efforts that fit today’s modern lifestyle. As one member put it – “for our great grandparents and our great grandchildren.” We intened to be around for many years in the future.

A Historic Building for Celebrating Life Time Events

The Teutonia Männerchor is an exceptionally beautiful hall registered with the National Historical Landmarks. Located on the Northside of Pittsburgh, it is easily accessible from downtown and can accommodate up to 200 people.

A remarkable hall with 25 foot ceilings, hardwood floors, stage with ceiling to floor mural and historical wall coverings make this venue a standout. We have on staff a general manager, bartenders and servers to meet all the requirements of your event. In addition, we offer either in-house kitchen staff or select caterers to provide cuisine to meet any style and budget.

We offer an unprecedented selection of micro beers, as well as, spirits and wine. Table, chairs, linen, and glassware are included in the pricing package. We will work with you to ensure an affordable wedding reception in a unique setting. Allow us the opportunity to serve you and make your event truly memorable.

Contact Us to schedule your event.



Teutonia Radler Bike Tour!

The annual Teutonia Radler/Bike tour will be held this year on Saturday August the 15th. Registration will start at 11 AM, however, we would appreciate if you would pre-purchase tickets at the bar before t
Read More →

Alpen Schuhplattler u. T. V. 51st Stiftungsfest

Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 8:00 to 12:00 a.m. Dinner will be available from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for a separate purchase of $18.95. Music by The Barons. Tickets available at the bar or call Mari
Read More →

Cooler Cleanout

Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Starts at 7:00 p.m. We will have our first “Cooler Cleanout!” Come to the Ratskeller and enjoy a wide selection of bottled beers – many of which are NOT part of our normal se
Read More →

November Newsletter Now Available

Keep up to date with the upcoming events and news of the Teutonia Männerchor! Click here to view the November Newsletter
Read More →

Trachtenabend (Traditional German Attire Night)

Thursday, June 18th @ 7:00 pm Don your best Tracht and come to the Ratskeller for a fun evening! Various wurst sandwiches and sides will be available from the kitchen a la carte. There will be an informal
Read More →

Results of First Teutonia Survey

Results of Survey Taken In the poll questions we asked our members who are connected to the Internet how they rate the club. Most answers were very positive, on the question do you like the Club website 92
Read More →


Buffet Luncheon

November 5 @ 11:00 am2:00 pm


Club Closed

November 9


Lunch from the Menu

November 11 @ 11:00 am2:00 pm

November Newsletter Now Available

Keep up to date with the upcoming events and news of the Teutonia Männerchor!

Click here to view the November Newsletter

Lunch Menu

Lunch is served every Friday from 11 AM to 2 PM


Soup du Jour
Bowl…..$3.75 | Cup…..$2.50

Caesar Salat
Full…..$7.95 | Side…..$3.95

Haus Salat
Full…..$5.95 | Side…..$2.50

Featured Entrees – All features come with Soup, Salat or Side


  • Wiener Schnitzel – breaded pork cutlet with lemon
  • Schnitzel à la Holstein – breaded pork cutlet with a fried egg and anchovies
  • Jäger Schnitzel – breaded pork cutlet with a mushroom sauce

Braunschweiger Club Sandwich…..$7.95
Thick Braunschweiger Cuts Served with Sliced Onions and Rye Bread

German Pork Sausage Loaf Served with Caramelized Onions

Wurst Duet Platter…..$8.95
Choice of 2 wursts: Bratwurst, Knockwurst, or Weisswurst

Duet of Schnitzel and Wurst…..$15.95
A Choice of 2 of Our Tasty Wurst Served with Our House Schnitzel

North Sea Cod…..$8.95
2 to 3 pieces – served to your liking either broiled, fried or seared


Hot Sandwiches

Jäger Schnitzel Meld…..$8.95
Our own Pork Schnitzel dipped in Mushroom gravy, served with melted Swiss cheese on a hard roll

Grilled Reuben…..$7.95
6 ounces of Corned Beef atop Hearty Marble Rye

Teutonia Cod…..$8.95
Our 6 ounce beer battered Fish served on a Kaiser Roll

Teutonia Hamburg…..$7.95
8 Seasoned grilled to your desired doneness. Topped with American, Swiss or Muenster Cheese

Pork und Kraut Melt…..$7.95
Oven Roasted Pork with Sauerkraut and Swiss cheese on a Kaiser Roll

Wurst Sandwich…..$7.95
Choice of Bratwurst, Knockwurst or Weisswurst, served over sauerkraut on a Warm Roll

Haus Sandwiches accompanied by Haus-made Chips & Dill Spear – Lettuce, Tomato & Onion on request


À la carte…..$2.50

  • Potato Pancakes
  • Mashed Potatoes  
  • Cole Slaw  
  • French Fries  
  • Red Cabbage  
  • Sauerkraut  
  • Spätzle (dumpling noodles)
  • Vegetable de Jour  


Special Features

Every Friday we have a list of seasonal specials and dessert items. Kids menu items available. Please inquire our servers for details.

Are you having a special event? Contact us for all of your catering needs at (412) 231-9141.

Executive Chef Mike Twigg & The Teutonia Kitchen Staff

 Eating raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness

Choir Activities

Club Sponsored Activities


ooking to get more involved? The Teutonia Mannerchor of Pittsburgh sponsors a variety of clubs and groups, giving its members the opportunity to meet, and become more involved within the club. Please review the list below. Get in touch with us, using the information at the bottom of the page.


A group of approximately sixty male singers. They perform at the club and in the tri-state area. Songs include classical and traditional choral music performed in the German language and dialects. They have performed in German tours three times in the past decade. Practice is each Wednesday at 8pm.


A group of approximately 35 ladies, who perform separately and in conjunction with the Männerchor as a mixed chorus. Practice is each Wednesday at 7pm.


The combined choirs when singing together. Link to chor activities.


This dancing group is known for their traditional dances. Practice is each Tuesday at 7PM. More about Alpen Schuhplattler.

Teutonia Radler Bike Tour!

The annual Teutonia Radler/Bike tour will be held this year on Saturday August the 15th. Registration will start at 11 AM, however, we would appreciate if you would pre-purchase tickets at the bar before the event. The bike tour will begin 12 noon and occur until 5 pm. Our bike tour will take us through the city, meet at the Hofbrauhaus and then return to the club. Participants will receive a Radler tee shirt as part of their registration. Please consider volunteering as we are in need of 3 group leaders to lead the tours. Please contact Tom Gruber @ 412-508-0651 if interested.

This year we are going to try something a little different. The cost for this event will only be $15. Upon our return, our kitchen will have available starting at 5 pm, al la carte from our special menu. There will be an assortment of smaller menu items for those who may choose light fare or a selection of larger items for those wishing something more substantial. This will also provide an opportunity to meet and taste the culinary delights of our new Chef !

We appreciate all of those last year who made the Radler a success and again extend a warm welcome to participate in this enjoyable event.


Trachtenabend (Traditional German Attire Night)

Thursday, June 18th @ 7:00 pm

Don your best Tracht and come to the Ratskeller for a fun evening!

Various wurst sandwiches and sides will be available from the kitchen a la carte. There will be an informal competition including: most colorful, most inventive, most traditional, etc…

Just a night to dig out the Lederhosen and Dirndls and enjoy the Gemuetlichkeit of the Ratskeller! Music will be on hand as well!

Please make reservations by calling (412) 231-9141 or online @

Weissbier Probe (Tasting)

May 28 @ 7:30 pm11:00 pm

We will be holding a Weissbier Probe (tasting) of several types of bottled Weissbier: light, dark, unfiltered, etc. Price for the evening is $14.95, includes samples of approx. 8 different wheat beers and a bratwurst sandwich w/sauerkraut for the kitchen.

Reservations limited to the first 50 people – make your reservations now! It will be held in the Ratskeller.

Alliance of Germanic Societies of Pittsburgh News

Celebrate the start of German Week with the Alliance of Germanic Societies!


FOR GLADE RUN LUTHERAN SERVICES June 10th (6pm to 9pm) – Join the Alliance at Penn Brewery to raise funds for Glade Run Lutheran Services ( and enjoy the fellowship of your fellow Western PA Germans! 20% of receipts for the night will go to the benefit of this great charity that helps children on a daily basis. Just print out and bring the flyer and hand it to the wait staff, it is just that easy!

Flyers are available at the Teutonia Mannerchor info counter or the Alliance Facebook page@


June 12th (7pm to midnight) – Whether you like to hunt Deer or Bear have we got a night planned for you! (And by hunt, we mean drink) The Alliance proudly presents Jager Night, to celebrate the summer and to welcome the singers of the Nord-Amerikanischer Sängerbund Pittsburgh District in advance of their concert on June 13th! A $25 ticket gets you a great German buffet of Wursts and Spatzle and more, including Jagermeister Wings and a Barenjager infused dessert! Also included are two beverage tickets and live entertainment by Karl Lukitsch and Autobahn! Reservations can be made via Teutonia Männerchor and tickets will be available at the door! Also, leave your suit coat at home, the Sangerhalle dress code will not be in effect for this event! Message the Alliance via the Facebook page with any questions. We hope to see you there!!!

Questions, comments, concerns about the Alliance of Germanic Societies? Contact the president, Brandon Myers, at or (412) 389-5338.

Results of First Teutonia Survey

Results of Survey Taken

In the poll questions we asked our members who are connected to the Internet how they rate the club. Most answers were very positive, on the question do you like the Club website 92% said Yes and 8% answered with No.

On the question would you prefer to get the Club news via the Teutonia Newsletter 40% said yes and 60% preferred it by e-mail.

This question might be a little skewed as only members with Internet connection responded. It would be interesting to know how our readers would answer this question. Please let us know the answer to this and either send us your answer by snail mail or call 724 523-6311. This in part could decide the future of the Teutonia News in its present form.

  • Would you prefer to get the Teutonia News(paper)
  • Or by E-Mail
  • Both E-Mail and Newsletter

Thank you for giving us your choice of being informed of the Teutonia News and Activities.

We appreciate the Internet participants in the survey, we are sure the answers are very helpful to Management and the Board for planning for the future.

Club News: May 2015

The Teutonia Management and Officers are constantly trying to have exciting events for our members. April had a sold out Wine Tasting Event, a first in some time and from all the comments we received from members who attended they all had very favorable comments and suggestions. VP Rich Hahn had planned and organized this successful first Wine Tasting and was pleased with the outcome and hopes to have another in the coming months. If you were unable to attend we promise an even better one in the future. Rich is already planning a special dinner including your favorite bottle of wine. The Lunches in the club are becoming more popular and are well attended, especially the Friday Lunches with Connie Ostertag are a favorite of many old timers. They meet to reminisce about years past and the enjoyment they had in a club with old time traditions good food and beverages. Please call the club if you are bringing a group of people for lunch. A special feature is the Sunday Brunch every 3rd Sunday of the month. So bring a friend or the whole family while attending the monthly membership meeting.

As we have reported and we are sure you are aware of the re-development of the area from the Teutonia to the former Bank Building and much of the plans are still being worked on. The Teutonia will have an opportunity to improve our Parking lot and possibly purchase additional space. A sliver of land in our present lower lot needs to be purchased that the lot can be developed in one parcel. Also additional parking is considered in lots we own across Phineas Street and a possible purchase on Chestnut Street.

Our members need to support the Board Members in these efforts but especially we need to ask you to give us financial support by donating to the Teutonia Building Fund. There are times when we have to step up and take the opportunities as they are presented. Now is the time to make sure that the Teutonia can be the pride of the German Community in Pittsburgh and preserve the Teutonia Historic Landmark for generations to come.

The month of May will be very busy for the Teutonia starting with the Life Membership Dinner on Sunday, May 3 and we hope you have made your reservation for dinner. The Singers will salute the Life Members with a few songs. Twenty-five and 50 year members will receive their Urkunde and special Life Member Pins.

On Saturday, May 9 we celebrate our Annual Spring Concert and on Sunday, May 10 we are honoring our Mothers with a special Dinner from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. Please call for reservations since we are sure it will be a sellout. Get Mom out of the kitchen and treat her to a delicious Brunch.

A first for the Teutonia will be the “Burger Night” on Tuesday, May 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

On Saturday, May 16 will be the D’Lustigen Isartaler Wallfahrt to Saint Anthony Chapel followed by a special Buffet Dinner at the Teutonia, please see Flyer in this Issue.

Aus Sängerkreisen

Just a few weeks are left for getting ready for our Fruehjahrs Konzert (Spring Concert). The choruses are adding the final touches to our songs for this annual free concert. We hope that many of our members will join the singers for what the Teutonia Maenner- und Damenchor have done since 1854 when a few men decided to express their emotions and feelings in songs of their former homeland. It was a time when few ever had the opportunity to see their beloved hometown ever again. It was a way to make their lives in a new country easier and also share their feelings with other immigrants and families. Generations have come and became strong supporters of their adopted country contributing in many ways to the fortune of a growing country. Today few are immigrating and so we are depending on the grandchildren and great grandchildren of those early pioneers. The Teutonia choruses have been fortunate to always attracting men and women continuing in upholding German Song and traditions. The singers have held their memberships steady at a time when other singing societies have folded. No doubt much can be attributed to the interest of our members to support the chorus and we hope that many will attend our Spring Concert on Saturday, May 9. The concert will begin at 7:30 pm, table reservations are recommended to make sure you will have a seat. The New Castle Maennerchor Eintracht will be one of the features as well as the Bloomfield Liedertafel, Schweizer Maennerchor Helvetia and our Pittsburgh Jugend / Kinderchor will round out an evening of song. After the concert the Karl Lukitch Band will entertain for dancing and listening pleasure.

Dinner will be served in the Ratskeller from 4:30 to 7:30 pm, please call the club and make reservations.

Both choruses will have a selection of songs for the Life Member Dinner on Sunday, May 3 starting at 4:00 pm. Reservations required.

The men will be singing for a group of financial executives meeting at the Priory on Wednesday, May 13, 6:00 pm, try to be there by 5:45. We will present a 25 minute program. Rehearsal will be 8:00 pm for mixed Rehearsal, men and ladies.

Everyone who will be on our German Chorreise will meet on Friday, May 1, 7:30 pm in the Saengerhalle for final payment of the Berlin – Hamburg trip. We also asked the Travel Agent to be at the club for payment of the flights. We are hoping to give you a final Itinerary of our Tour and answer questions you might have, and the selection of songs will be available to the participants. Three concerts are being planned and also a few hymns for churches we are visiting during our guided tours.

If you cannot attend the meeting please send check made out to “Teutonia Singers” and mail to:

Wilhelm Banzhaf
6565 State Route 30
Jeannette, PA 15644

The Damenchor is holding their End of Year Dinner on Saturday, May 30, to which the Ladies also invite the Men. We encourage all singers to take part in this annual dinner. It is a time when we get a chance to socially interact and also show our newer singers “Saenger Gemuetlichkeit”. Reservations are a must by giving Alice your choice of dinner.

Alpen Schuhplattler u. T. V. 51st Stiftungsfest

Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 8:00 to 12:00 a.m.

Dinner will be available from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for a separate purchase of $18.95. Music by The Barons. Tickets available at the bar or call Marina at (412) 491-0577. Please make reservations for Dinner.

Steakabend — Teutonia’s First Steak Night!

Thursday, April 30, 2015. Starting at 6:30 pm.

Teutonia’s First Steak Night!

Come celebrate the new Teutonia Flame Grill by enjoying a great cut of beef – done properly to order! Depending on the reservation, steaks may be available for purchase to take away (uncooked) at an unbelievable price! Steak prices for the evening will depend on the cut chosen. A meat lover’s adventure! We expect a crowd and space will be limited – so please make reservations VERY EARLY and avoid disappointment!

Cooler Cleanout

Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Starts at 7:00 p.m.

We will have our first “Cooler Cleanout!”

Come to the Ratskeller and enjoy a wide selection of bottled beers – many of which are NOT part of our normal selection and ALL of them discounted prices! The cleanout will end when there are no more “special” bottles to sell… So come early and enjoy an eclectic selection of brews!

Best of the Wurst

Saturday, April 11, 2015. “Best of the Wurst” starts at 6:00 pm and will be served until 9:00 pm.

Come help us celebrate the coming of spring (and the eventual “setting up” of the outdoor grill) with our “Best of the Wurst” night! We will be featuring a selection of 4 different wursts, served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. A typical German evening meal – simple and tasty! The cost per person is only $11.95 per person.

Entertainment by Connie Ostertag.

Please make reservations as soon as possible and we will see you there!

Teutonia Wine Fest


Friday, April 10, 2015. From 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Experience 40+ different wines from Deutschland (Germany) and the United States with many wine booths to visit and talk with winery representatives and sample many wines.

A centerpiece gourmet cheese and cold cut table will be our snacks for the evening all the while being entertained on the accordion by Bill Dorfner III. Promises to be a fantastic evening.

Radish Season Kick-Off

Tuesday, April 7, 2015. From 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

An informative evening of the history and lore of the Bavarian Radi (radish).

Beer and Pretzels will be available.

Participants will be given original Bavarian Radish seeds to plant for consumption at Radish Night in June. Come learn about an important piece of Bavarian beer culture and participate in the fun! (and maybe become a “Radi” Cal!)

Hühnerflügel und Bier / Chicken Wings and Beer

Friday April 24, 2015, from 7 PM to 12 AM

The best attended Chicken Wings and Beer on January 24 was held in the Saengerhalle with over 230 members attending. This event is becoming very popular with our members. We especially note the many younger members joining in the fun.

blues-orphansNow we are planning an even more exciting Huehnerfluegel und Bier for Friday, April 24 starting at 7 pm. Again this will be held in the Saengerhalle but will be limited to 185 people which will give us enough room for dancing and fun as we are having the Blues / Rock / Jazz Band “Blues Orphans” a six piece band. No need to emphasize the need for early reservations as we are sure the Hall will be sold out for this event.

The price for Wing Night will be $19.95 which includes beer from 7 to 8 pm. The Blues Orphans will play from 8:30 to 11:30 pm. We will have limited seating available.

To see the band only at $5.00, the doors will be open at 8:15 pm. If you want to have a guaranteed seat in the Saengerhalle call the club to make your reservations. To reserve a table call the club at (412) 231-9141 or go to

Fourth and Last Schlachtfest of the Season

Hard to believe that we are already at the end of the Schlachtfest Season. This traditional Butcher’s Feast as it would be called in English has had a long history in the Annals of Teutonia. We can find the mention in old records and in Issues of the Teutonia News since it was published starting in the late 1930’s.

Schlachtfest over the years hasn’t changed much, but in years past it attracted at times up to 400 diners. So far were unable to match this number, yert the premise is still the same. Our Kitchen Staff certainly has been preparing all the good eating the Schlachtfest offers, and it is a labor to please our hungry Teutonians and friends. Let’s close the season with a bang and at the same time enjoy the ambiance and Gemuetlichkeit the Teutonia offers.

Make sure you call the club to make reservations for your time slot to eat.

Guten Appetit, Enjoy the Last Schlachtfest of the season.

The Bierkameraden First Tasting

The first meeting and Bier Tasting on Thursday, February 19 turned out to be another well attended evening with close to 150 members and friends learning about the very special German affinity to their much appreciated art of brewing the best Lager, Pilsner, Bockbier and Salvator and many more regional Biere including the Bavarian Weisse or known also as Weizenbier.

Bier has been brewed since the beginning of time, but the Germans made it an Art. The oldest depiction of a Beer brewer from the Mendelschen Bruderhaus in Nuernberg, is from 1430.

The next event the Bierkameraden are sponsoring is the Pints, Pots and Potcheen on Thursday, March 12.


Aus Sängerkreisen

Wow, what a few months it was with the temperature in the cellar, ice and snow and we only were able to have two rehearsals in January and the first two weeks of February. It has been years since we have experienced such cold and we all hope that March will bring us milder weather maybe even some spring temperatures. On Old German Song we learned in Kindergarten goes:

Im Maerzen der Bauer die Roesslein einspannt

Er setzt seine Felder und Wiesen in Stand

Er pflueget den Boden. Er egget und saet

Und ruehrt seine Haende frueh morgens und spaet

In March, the farmer harnesses the horses, he prepares his fields and meadows’ he plows the soil, he rakes and sows, and his hands are busy from morning to night.

Not much we can do about the weather, we were worried about our Schnitzel Dinner on Sunday, February 22 since the weather man again was predicting snow and ice rain etc. but luckily the Schnitzel Dinner was well attended. We thank all our members who came to support our Annual Fund Raiser. We thank our Ladies and their kitchen staff, headed by Kay Schachner and Rita Mueller and all who came to the club early on Sunday morning to prepare the Schnitzel and Zutaten. “Thank You” to Phil DeGregorio and Fred Ruf who worked the kitchen from 8 in the morning to closing. Everyone pitched in and we are indeed fortunate to have so many volunteers to have a successful outcome. We served 280 dinners, the Kuchen was already gone by 4 o’clock and we could have sold more.

Several families came to enjoy dinner and at the same time celebrate a Birthday. Beverly Hall celebrated her 60th birthday with family, she is the sister in law of Keith Hall. Our own Thekla Fall together with daughter and son in law celebrated her birthday. Ed Prem Jr. brought the whole family and some guests to enjoy dinner and also reminisce about Ed Prem Sr. who entertained at many events with his accordion and his side kick Irmgard Ryan. So it was up to Irmgard to do a solo performance with her accordion by playing the old favorites and having some ladies join in a sing-a-long. The singers appreciate all the support they received from our members, it sure was a nice boost to our fundraising.

Now the choruses hopes to be back at regular Wednesday Rehearsals as we are preparing for our Fruehjahrs Konzert (Spring Concert) on Saturday, May 9. The concert will begin at 7:30 pm and we will have the Karl Lukitch Band play for dancing and listening after the concert. We are planning on inviting some of our neighboring choruses to help us welcoming Spring at last.

The singers would like to welcome to the Damenchor Marilyn Ecoff and Sherry Grossi and the Maennerchor added Lynn Haselhoff and Jason Getter. We also would like to mention that the newly elected Director Dennis Riggs has been singing with the chorus since last fall and Director Bob Stimmler sang with the Maennerchor for a number of years. We neglected to mention it in the last Issue.

In Memoriam (Ruhe in Frieden)

Margaret (Metzger) Hamm died February 3, 2015 at age 88. Margaret was born in Mainz, Germany and immigrated to the US in 1951. For years Margaret sang with the Damenchor and was a regular at Teutonia functions. Margaret is survived by her children Julie, Malek and Rosalie and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is the sister of our member Georg Metzger.

Club News: March 2015

[lightbox link=”” thumb=”×300.jpg” width=”288″ align=”right” title=”Prinz Josef and Prinzesin Tricia together with their two little Prinzessinen Ruthie and Theresa” frame=”true” icon=”image”]With the Kappenabend on January 31 we had a good turn-out with many of the revelers wearing some very funny hats. We also had the Jeffrey McGeary Family celebrate a birthday, and sang happy birthday to Marina Mueller Ruggiero. Bill Dorfner and your editor had everyone joining in some of the well known Faschingslieder for a sing-a-long. Then it was time to select the most ornate hats, it was a job for our newly elected President John Erskine and VP Rich Hahn. The winners were: Kim and little daughter Amber, Amanda and Jenny both of the Damenchor, Tom from the Schuhplattler and Chris son of Jim and Nancy Viel/Ott. Everyone agreed that the newly elected Prinz Josef and his Prinzessin Tricia would be the perfect couple to lead the masquraders at the Annual Faschingsball (Joe and Theresa Flock).

February 14 was the coldest and snowiest day this winter and really put a damper on all the Faschings activities and this scribe was unable to leave the house that very miserable winter day. But we can report that the party went on with a diminished but tough group of Karneval enthusiasts. The Peter Karsti Trio made it from Youngstown and the party, so reduced, went on with some very fine costumes. We also had a surprise Birthday Cake for Rita Mueller celebrating her 80. Birthday with family and friends.

The prizes for the best costumes went to Tanya Dorfner dressed as a Pinata. The best couple went to Jennifer Palmer and Amanda Parrotte dressed as Anne Boleyn and the Executioner. The funniest went to Samantha and Anna Curcio. Most original costume went to Maureen  Uhler wearing a Pirate costume. The Alpen Schuhplattler again won the best group with their depiction of Dominos. Prinz Josef and Prinzesin Tricia together with their two little Prinzessinen Ruthie and Theresa led the parade and the very appropriate judges Andy Costigan, Jim Viel and Nancy Ott dressed in their finest Tuxedos and Top Hats did their very difficult job in awarding the prizes.

As the weekend went on the weatherman predicted even colder weather the next day, with temperatures below -10, and therefore the President reluctantly cancelled the monthly membership meeting for the 15th of February. The meeting was rescheduled for Sunday, Feb. 22.

Annual Father & Daughter Dinner

Saturday March 21, 2015 at 5:30 PM

[lightbox link=”” thumb=”×300.jpg” width=”191″ align=”right” title=”father daughter 2015″ frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]The relationship between a Father and Daughter is a special one. This dinner honors that relationship and allows you to celebrate it with your daughter in the historic surroundings of Teutonia. The evening will start at 5:30 PM with a flower for the daughter and the free use of the photo booth for all. Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and snacks can be purchased. There will be light musical entertainment (songs, dance performance) appropriate to honoring our daughters. Dancing to Bill Dorfner and friends will follow.

It is a celebration of the wonder of daughters and we invite Fathers and Grandfathers, to bring their daughters and granddaughters of any age, older brothers to bring their sister (in honor of their father) and Fathers to bring their Daughter in Law. Guest fathers and daughters are invited, with a member.

The adult menu is schnitzel for $24.95 or a 4 oz filet and a crab cake for $28.95.

Kids can order either chicken fingers and french fries or a hot dog and macaroni and cheese. This includes tax and tip, a photo and entertainment. This event was a great success last year and we urge you to save the date and make reservations early!

Reservations are required and you can make them at the bar, call 412.231.9141 or make them @

Pints, Pots, Potcheen and St. Patrick


Thursday March 12th, 2015 @ 7 PM in the Sängerhalle

The TIES BETWEEN Germany and Ireland are strong – and they both certainly like a good drink and song!

Germans and the Irish do have a lot in common. We enjoy good food, good beer and now and then something stronger. It was St. Killian who brought Christianity to Germany and the continent in the 6th century. St. Killian’s Abbey in Wuerzburg is named after the monk and there are many more churches in Europe who trace their roots to St. Killian.

So let’s honor the the coming “High Holy Day” for St. Patrick with a tasting of a few Irish beers, a few fine distilled Irish spirits and a taste of “Potcheen” – the legendary white lightning from the “moors of the old sod.” We will be singing a few of the old Irish songs.

More to follow on price, time and cost.

Come learn about the connection between the Irish and German cultures through the experience of their drink! We will be sampling several Irish ‘pints’, a few pots (liquor) and Potcheen (Irish white lightening) while enjoying some traditional pre-St. Patricks Day fare. $18.95 per person includes a bowl of pub-style Irish Stew. Reservations Requested.

Aus Sängerkreisen

January is always a little unpredictable with the cold and inclement weather and so the singers had to cancel their first Wednesday, but luckily we are back to our Wednesday Rehearsals and making plans for our Winter and Spring activities.

Rehearsals are for the upcoming “Heimatabend” as well as our Annual “Fruehjahrs Konzert” Spring Concert scheduled for Saturday, May 9. Both events will show off the many talented singers and we hope that you put these dates on your calendar.

The Spring Concert will also feature the Peter Karsti Trio and is free admission to the Saengerhalle. The Heimat Abend also with the Peter Karsti Trio will be our featured musicians. Tickets are available at the bar, $10.00 per person.

The singers are also preparing for their 5th Chorreise to Germany from September 16 to 28, 2015. We will begin our trip in Berlin and end it in Hamburg. We are traveling with a double decker, 75 passenger bus which will take us from Germany’s Capital to Potsdam, to the Spreewald and on to the Warder See. The Holsteinische Schweiz will be another stop and then we will visit the city of Luebeck, the coast of Timmersdorf and the Island of Sylt. From there we travel to Husum and ending our trip in Hamburg where we visit the famous fish market and spend some time at the Reeperbahn including an evening dinner at the Fischerhaus in St. Pauli. We will be singing in several places including the Berlin Dom, a Liederabend in Potsdam, a possible concert on Sylt and a Liederabend in Hamburg. This promises to be the highlight for the singers in 2015.

The Nordoestliche Saengerbund will be in Pittsburgh for the 52th Triennial Saengerfest from June 12 to 14, 2015. We hope to take part in the Saengerfest. Also in June the Delegates will travel to Dayton, Ohio for the NASB Saengertag.

Special congratulations to our singers John Erskine, Ed Graf and Phil Mueller for being elected to the Board of Directors and a very special “Dankeschoen” to Ralph Wagner who served the club as Director, Vice President and President while also holding the position as Saenger VP and Saenger President. We also thank Dr. Tom Schmitt, the longest serving Recording Secretary in the Teutonia history and also a 25 year singer in the Maennerchor. We are truly fortunate to have singers taking an active part in the affairs of the Teutonia.

Thanks to all and to the new incoming Board Members, may you guide the Teutonia to new heights.

Singers Annual Schnitzel Dinner

The Singers will be serving their special Schnitzel Dinner on Sunday, February 22, 2015 from 1 to 6 pm. The ladies of the Damenchor, headed by Kay Schachner, are making the best Schnitzel you can get anywhere. The men will of course do their part in serving and taking care of kitchen chores. We will have some dinner music by our own Irmgard Ryan and to top it off “ein Stueck homemade Kuchen.”

The Annual Schnitzel Dinner is served with a vegetable, Salad Rolls and Coffee. Bring the whole family and all your friends to enjoy an afternoon with good food and the ambiance of the Ratskeller. Dinner is $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for children under 12. “Guten Appetit.”

Club News: February 2015

The Bi-Annual Election on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 attracted a record number of members to cast their vote for the 2015-16 Board. Over 330 came to vote and it lasted past 1 am to have all the votes counted. Thanks to the Election Committee for handling the large attendance in a timely fashion and a special appreciation for all the members who came to vote. At times the members lined up all the way to the entrance of the club. Your participation in the election proofs that our members are deeply committed to the preservation of the Teutonia Maennerchor for the future.

new-board-2015The Membership Meeting and Installation of Officers on Jan. 18 also had a good attendance and many enjoyed the monthly Brunch with families and guests and welcomed 22 new members who were installed at the meeting. Our newly elected VP, Rich Hahn is an excellent Omelet cook and the rest of our kitchen staff and waitresses deserve our gratitude for their service.

President Ralph Wagner opened the Membership Meeting at 2 pm and expressed his gratitude for having the opportunity to serve the club since 1996. After regular club business it was time to install the newly elected Officers. This scribe was honored to administer the Oath of Office and with that the newly elected President John Erskine took charge of the meeting. He installed 22 new members and admonished them of the opportunities the Teutonia offers its members, and especially the goal to preserve our German Heritage in Western Pennsylvania.

The Teutonia men singers welcomed the new members with several songs beginning with our singer’s motto “In Freud und Leid zum Lied Bereit,” in happiness and sorrow always ready for a song. It was a time to welcome the new members and get to know them and also hope that they will enjoy the many avenues of service the club has to offer. We ask that they at all times support our aims in being the best German-American Club in Western Pennsylvania.

In Memoriam (Ruhe in Frieden)

Dr. Josef Rösmer passed away on December 14, 2014 at the age of 86. He was a Life Member and a nuclear chemist for Westinghouse for 27 years. He was an avid Stamp Collector with stamps from around the world. We extend our condolences to the bereaved family.

Charles H. Martin (93) passed away on January 3, 2015. Charles was a Life Member of the Teutonia and a World War II Army and Air Force veteran. He was a lifetime member of the Boy Scouts of America where he received many awards and recognition. Charlie retired from Bell Telephone after 40 years of service and he enjoyed amateur radio. (Ham Radio) To his large family we extend our deepest sympathy.

From the Manager




Tom Morgan

Teutonia President’s Message

President’s Message

Ein Glückliches Neues Jahr and thank you for your support in the election – on behalf of the board and with my personal good wishes!

We are looking forward to an exciting year at Teutonia and we are interested in your advice and help. You will be hearing from us for your input in what you would like to attend and enjoy at our club. Our board members have also been working on new events and to improve some of our old favorites.

There are some exciting developments in the neighborhood of Deutschtown which welcomed so many of our forebears on their immigration to America. We will be proud to be a significant landmark and a part of this resurgence.

Your input will be requested soon in the format of a survey and we will also ask if you would like to be involved on a committee or with an event. Our goals remain as established at our founding over 160 years ago … “to further choral singing, our German cultural tradition and good fellowship.”

We personally pledge, as all Board members have done in the past …”to have Teutonia honor our Grandparents and be there for our Grandchildren.”

On Behalf of our Board and myself,

John Erskine

Schützenkameraden Preisabendessen (Awards Dinner) Gallery

Meine Schützenkameraden,

We had a great evening this past Saturday and it was good to see everyone! Thank you for supporting Teutonia and I hope everyone had a fun time.

The dates of our events this year at the Millvale Sportsman’s Club in Wexford are:

  • June 20th – Frühlingschießen (Spring Practice Shoot)
  • July 18th – Schützenfest

We will have an informal evening at the club before the Frühlingschießen to have a beer, catch up and introduce any shooters new to our group. I will contact you in April to set that date.

Some have asked about purchasing the ceremonial Schützenkameraden outfit from Germany. The jacket with gold epaulets, marksman’s dress shirt and tie runs with shipping (depending how the Euro is trading) around $250.00. Contact me if it’s something you want to pursue.

Gut Schuß,
Keith Knecht

The winter Preisabendessen (Awards Dinner) image gallery.

New Teutonia Board

Teutonia Mannerchor Voting (2014)A highly attended, over 330 votes, and spirited election saw the following results:

President: John Erskine
Vice President: Rich Hahn
Recording Secretary: Edward Graf
Financial Secretary: Howard Elbert
Treasurer: Chris Jordheim
Hausmeister: Regis Stephens
Sergeant-at-Arms: Bob Gerthoffer
Directors: Phil Mueller, Robert Stimmler, Dennis Riggs

If you are interested in joining, please call our Manager, Tom Morgan. Membership requires a sponsor, initiation fee and annual dues.

857 Phineas Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212
Phone: (412) 231-9141

Established in 1854 | Incorporated in 1887

Gedenkgottesdienst and 130. Anniversary Update

Bloomfield Liedertafel

The members of the G.T.E.V. D’ Lustigen Isartaler sponsored the Annual Gedenkgottesdienst at the Holy Spirit Church in Millvale on Saturday, November 8 and performed by Father Warren Murrman, O.S.B., St. Viincent Archabbey, Latrobe. Also part of the service were the Teutonia Maenner- und

Damenchor, Schweizer Maennerchor and Bloomfield Liedertafel. The service commemorates all members of the German clubs of Greater Pittsburgh. This Annual Event was started in 1972 by the then Deutsche Lieder und Tanz Gruppe headed by Jim Falcioni. It was again a very special recognition of our members and families who have passed and were recognized for their contributions to the German Community.

Right after the service many of the attendees left for the Bloomfield Liedertafel for a wonderful dinner prepared by the Liedertafel Singers. The 130. Anniversary concert began at 7:30 pm with the Liedertafel presenting a selection of songs. Also participating in the concert were the Schweizer Maennerchor Helvetia and the Kinder/Jugendchor besides the Teutonia choruses. The evening was a total success and the Liedertafel singers were awarded with much appreciation by all who attended.

Old Heidelberg and The Student Dueling Fraternities Night / Pauken-Amerika

We had a full house (over 200 people) on November 1 with the group “Pauken Amerika.” “Hoch Bitte” for a first at the club. They demonstrated the old tradition of “Fechten” in German Fraternities in years past. It was a special honor for students to show off their “Schmiss” or scar on their face demonstrating their manhood. Today the tradition is done with face and body protection but still is a difficult and precise procedure. Some of the choruses participated by singing the old student songs. It was a wonderful first such event at the Teutonia and we thank Alex Lau and Ed Graf for arranging it. Also, John Sliwa did the honor of introducing the group and to MC the evening.

In Memoriam

Member Charles J. Gibson Jr. died October 25, 2014 at age 69. He is survived by his wife Rose Marie, children and ten Grandchildren.

Harry J. Heinl (79) past away November 2, 2014. He is survived by his wife Rachelle, children and grandchildren.

We just received word from our Singer Rev. Mike Robinson that his father died after two strokes in Nashville. Mike lost both parents in the span of 10 months. Funeral services will be in Gastonia NC.

Our deepest sympathy to the families, may they rest in peace.

German Christmas Service / Weihnachtsfeier

First Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh, PA

Sunday December 21, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

First English Evangelical Lutheran Church
615 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: (412) 471-8125

The service is conducted entirely in German (Deutsch).

The Singers will participate in the Annual German Christmas Service at the First Lutheran Church on Grant Street. The service will be held in German and is always a wonderful way of celebrating Weihnachten as we remember from years past.

Club News: December 2014

As we are ending our 160. Anniversary Year we can look back on a very special year. Starting in May with our 160. Jubilaeums Ball and Konzert to which we had some very special guests, the Honorary German Council  Paul Overby, City Council Woman Darlene Harris and Gary Luther, President of the North American Saengerbund.  We celebrated this milestone with a gourmet dinner and special cocktail hour. We also revealed the newly restored Murals in the Ratskeller, so not quite finished it is hoped that the work can be completed very soon. With the Anniversary concert on November 15 we ended the year in song.

We want to say “Dankeschoen” to all our volunteers throughout the year who give their time and talents to make Teutonia the most Family friendly club in Pittsburgh, We thank our Manager Tom Morgan and his staff for all the fine service they provide. Also our advertisers for making the Teutonia News possible. But most of all we are indebted to our Teutonia Officers who keep the club running throughout the year. The Teutonia has grown over the past years and we now are approaching close to 3000 members. We often ask throughout the year and plead with our members to support our Building Fund. This year was no exception and much was improved because of the contributions by you the members. We have added a new compressor in the cooler, many improvements have been made in our kitchen and yet there is still more work to be done inside and on our outside properties. In order to keep the Teutonia prospering and growing your help is needed. Please consider giving of yourself by making a donation to the Building Fund.  Your dues alone will not ensure the upkeep of a Building that was erected in 1888 and now over 125 years old and on the list of Historic sites in Pittsburgh.

Aus Sängerkreisen

As we approach the end of our 160. Anniversary year we are pleased to have celebrated this milestone with our friends in the Pittsburgh District on Saturday, November 15. The Saengerhalle was beautifully decorated with flowers on every table donated by our singer Bill Benzer. After Saengergruss by both Choruses, followed by the Schweizer Maennerchor Helvetia leading us in the Swiss National Anthems followed by the German National Anthem and the Star Spangled Banner we welcomed our guests and members with the Maennerchor singing several songs. Singer Peter Schurig who wrote a poem for this special Anniversary year recited it in German and the audience was able to follow it in translation in our program. The Damenchor President Alice Weinbrenner welcomed all with special remarks while the Damenchor added to the musical part of the program with several songs which earned them rousing applause by the audience.

The Kinderchor/Jugendchor presented a much improved performance under the direction of Janet showcasting the talents  of the children and their teachers. The Kinder / Jugendchor is always a wonderful addition to our concerts and very much appreciated. Aus Kindern werden Leute, or children will grow into adults and hopefully the songs they learn will stay with them and maybe inspire them to join one of the choruses.

Elisabeth Jaskot who joined the Damenchor in 1989 was to be honored for 25 years of singing, but had a short stay in the hospital and was unable to attend. Wir wuenschen Ihr schnelle Genesung. The award will be presented at a later date.

The Teutonia choruses presented a very special “Urkunde” to Damenchor Presidentin Alice and husband Herbert Weinbrenner. Both have been most loyal members of the chorus for 62 and 65 years. They both held office not only in the chorus but also in the Teutonia. Alice having served as Secretary to the 100th, 125th and 150th Anniversary, and held the office as Damenchor President  in the past and serves the chorus at present. She tells us that she is most proud of having been the driving force in fund raising to acquiring the Damenchor Flag during her tenure in 1985. Herb and Alice married in 1954 and celebrated their Wedding reception at the Teutonia and so it was a very special 60th Wedding Anniversary with family and friends to celebrate again at the Teutonia. For their dedication to Family and the Teutonia we are most proud and wish them good health and years of happiness in the coming years.

Brigitte Schmidt and her husband Nicholas Schulz accompanied by John Moyer on the Piano gave a special presentation of songs by Franz Lehar, ending with a Duet  “Lippen schweigen” from the Opera  “Lustigen Witwe”.  A wonderful addition to the special Anniversary concert.

The Schweizer Maennerchor “Helvetia” under the direction of Stephen Lipnichan presented a nice selection of songs with Conny Ostertag introducing the songs as well as congratulating the Teutonia on the big event. The Bloomfield Liedertafel under the direction of our Director Ed Helgerman performed  with a reduced chorus and still gave a great performance.

The Teutonia Ladies and men ended the concert with a selection of songs from the Heimat and ending with “Kling, Kling”, a spirited song enthralling the virtues of wine. The choruses could not resist an encore “Im Zigeuner Lager” In the Gypsy Camp which was received with a rousing round of applause. After the concert the Peter Karsti Trio entertained for listening and dancing. This ended a year of celebrating Teutonia’s founding in 1854 and we are certain the Teutonia will be a beacon in the German community for another century and beyond.

‘My story of Dad’, by Marcy Prem


Ed in the Teutonia Ratskeller

We lost a member of the Greatest Generation today.  The son of Austrian immigrants, Ed Prem grew up in Pittsburgh’s North Side.  A depression-era child, he later would recall some tough times during those years, living in small quarters.  He shared a bed with his older brother and had boarders in upstairs rooms.  At Christmas, he received an orange in his stocking.  Times may have been tough, but he also remembered his loving mother bringing joy and music to the household.  In his teens, Ed had to quit school and work to help support his family.  At age 19, he was drafted into World War II and sent to Italy.  Showing an aptitude for electronics, he ran communication lines to the front lines between command posts.  A musician, he was also the bugler for his battalion.  The war was rough.  He had to sleep in the ground on the hillside for many months.   On his few times of war leave, interested in photography, he had a camera and would take photos in Italy.  Because he could not send film home to be developed, he figured out how to develop it in the back of an army van and still has the photos to this day.  When the Allies won the war in Europe, Ed was expected to continue his service in the Pacific theater of the war, but Truman’s bombs changed that and Ed returned home.

Returning to Pittsburgh, Ed found work at Braunlich-Roessle in motor repair.  He met and married a daughter of Austrian immigrants, Ann Boelky. Together they scrimped and saved and built a family together.  They had three children, Suzie, Eddie, and Jeffrey, and bought a house in the suburbs.  Ed worked hard and provided for his family.  He got a job at Pittsburgh’s Nabisco Factory, where he was able to show his amazing aptitude for electrical work and machinery and rose to Head Electrician.   Ed provided a stable home and modeled the value of working hard and getting a good education. He sent all three of his children to college.  He and his wife were able to visit the Old Country and reconnect with relatives there.  He remained in touch with some of his wife’s relatives in Jennersdorf, Austria all of his life.   Ed lost his dear wife Ann in 1989.

In retirement, Ed remained active.  He was always fixing things.  He could fix or make anything.  He could fix electrical, plumbing, housing, and automotive problems.  He could make stained glass and furniture.  He even made the tools he needed to use!  If Ed made it or fixed it, you knew it would last and work.  In his 70’s Ed took up golfing.  In the summer of his 90th birthday, he was still playing 9 holes occasionally.  But more than anything, Ed loved music.  “Nice German music.”  He had many accordions and played them whenever he could.  A lifelong member of Pittsburgh’s Teutonia Männerchor German club, he would play music for some Friday lunch crowds.  He had a following!  People loved to hear Ed play.  He loved to dance too.  He often danced at the Austrian Ball or German and Slovenian picnics with his dear friend, Dolores Rak, who was a very sweet companion to him in his later years.

Ed had 7 grandchildren, Jennifer, Alex, Jonathan, Remy, Evan, Eli, and Owen.  He loved them all dearly and would talk about them to his friends.  Six of his grandchildren were present at this summer’s big celebration of Ed’s 90th birthday.  Over 60 friends and family, including his older brother Al, came to celebrate Ed’s 90th birthday, with accordion music and dancing.  Everyone was happy to celebrate him and his 90 years of life in July.

Ed was an amazing person.  They don’t make them like him anymore.  We lost a member of the Greatest Generation today.  We lost our Dad and Grandpap and he will be greatly missed.

Marcy Prem

Dankeschön – Thank You

With the end of October we also end our Annual Oktoberfeste in the Teutonia. These celebrations starting the last Saturday in September and every Saturday following in October were again a boost to our Annual Budget. We had a good attendance at our special Oktoberfest Buffets and our Kitchen Staff did an enormous job feeding all our revelers.

The support by our members throughout the year is very important as we always try to schedule the most authentic events at the Teutonia, and your suggestions are always welcome.

We do have the finest German Club in Western Pennsylvania and it is our members’ responsibility to support the club in every possible way.

Bi-Annual Nomination and Election of Officers

The Teutonia Maennerchor will nominate prospective members to the Board of Directors on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 1 pm. To be nominated for office the member has to be in good standing and have attended at least 3 meetings in the past year.

  • They have to be a citizen of the US and a member of the Teutonia for not less than five years to be considered a candidate for President.
  • For Recording Secretary, Financial Secretary and Treasurer they have to be a member for not less than 4 years and all others no less than 3 years.

The Constitution and By-Laws of the Teutonia Maennerchor have no provision to allow the presentation of a slate of Officers by a nominating committee and all nominations have to be made from the floor. For this reason we urge our members to make every effort to attend this very important meeting. Exercise your right and your privilege to nominate your choice of candidates who will be able to provide a capable leadership for the continued progress and growth of our Club.

First Schlachtfest of the Season

With Fall and cooler weather it is the time of year when we again as in years past celebrate “Schlachtfest” starting on Sunday, November 9. Dinner will be served from 2 to 6 pm. with a selection of Pork, Blut und Leberwurst, or Knockwurst including Pigs Knuckles, freshly made Sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and Kuchen to round this feast. If you have enjoyed this traditional dinner in the past you will want to make sure to be back again as it is only served in the Teutonia. In case this is the first time you will partake you certainly will be pleasantly surprised and come back time and again during fall and winter. The Schlachtschuessel is celebrated in rural areas of Germany to this day, and harks back to a time when families had brought in the annual harvest, filled the wine and cider barrels. When the pigs were fat, farm folks and small town residents butchered them to have plenty of meat for the winter. It was always a special day when the first morsels of pork and Wurst were served and neighbors would stop in for a taste of Pork and Sausages as well as the first helping of Sauerkraut. All this washed down with a glass of beer and for digestion a special home made Schnapps called an “Obstler, Kirschwasser or Zwetschgenwasser”.

Guten Appetit and Prosit, see you at the Schlachtfest.

In Memoriam


Ed Prem in the Teutonia Ratskeller

The Teutonia lost one of its most dedicated singer / musician and all around person in Ed Prem on Thursday, October 16, 2014. Ed was active in the Teutonia to the very end and attended his last Oktoberfest just a few weeks ago. The singers bade Ed farewell and eulogized him for his loyal support to the Teutonia and especially to the chorus. He was known for years for his musical talents, playing his accordion on many occasions and many attendants will always remember Ed for entertaining on the Friday Lunches.

Ed was a member of the chorus for over 25 years and also served the Teutonia as handyman, whatever was broken Ed would fix it. Being an electrician by trade he solved many electrical problems in the club. He also built the stage raisers for the chorus and was always there when needed.

Ed served his country in WWII in Italy and after returning became Head Electrician for the former Nabisco Co. He was married for 39 years to his wife Ann who died in 1989.

We will honor his memory and the Teutonia will miss this dedicated member and friend.

May you rest in peace, Ruhe in Frieden.

Bloomfield Liedertafel 130. Anniversary and D’Lustigen Isartaler Gedenkgottesdienst

The Singers are invited to take part in the Gedenkgottesdienst at the Holy Ghost Church in Millvale at 4 pm and followed by the 130. Anniversary of the Bloomfield Liedertafel on Saturday, November 8. The Bloomfield Singers will provide Dinner and the concert will begin at 7:30.

The Teutonia Singers will also present a short Christmas Program on Wednesday, December 3 at 11:30 a.m. and again on Tuesday, December 9 at 12:30 at the Teutonia for visitors to Pittsburgh.

Aus Sängerkreisen

The Singers are getting ready for the 160. Anniversary Concert on Saturday, November 15. The choruses are preparing a special program with several local choruses including the Kinderchor/Jugendchor featuring soloists Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt. The popular Peter Karsti Band will round out the evening for dancing and just enjoying their special brand of music.

The Teutonia Maennerchor has a most proud history and we are celebrating this Anniversary to commemorate our proud history. The Teutonia is the oldest singing society and still keeps their commitment to the original charter of preserving the German love of singing, culture and traditions. Founded in 1854 as the Teutonia Maennerchor it was preceded by the “Liederkranz” founded in 1851 by the Rev. Carl Weitershausen, later became the “Freier Maennerchor” and then in 1854 was named “Teutonia Maennerchor”. The following decades, as Pittsburgh expanded and developed into a large metropolis, many new singing societies sprang up and at one time some 70 different German speaking organizations were active in the Greater Pittsburgh area and Allegheny County.

The Maennerchor is still after 160 years a vibrant chorus with over 60 singers in the Maennerchor and the Ladies chorus which was founded in 1935 boasts 40 plus singers. We are looking forward to have our members join us for this Annual Free Concert.

To make seating reservations please call Alice Weinbrenner at 412 821-6063. For Dinner Reservation please call the club at 412 231-9141. A Buffet Dinner will be served at $16.95 per person from 5 to 7:30 pm.

Please Make Reservations!

From the Manager:

We would like to stress the importance of making reservations for lunches and special events in our Ratskeller as soon as practical. We have been experiencing a large number of guests without reservations which makes it very difficult to plan for and properly accommodate. Also, please note that ALL GROUPS OF 8 OR MORE PERSONS MUST HAVE A PRIOR RESERVATION.

The only exceptions to this are the Oktoberfest Buffets and the Schlachtfeste. These events require no prior reservations as they are first-come first-serve.

We are striving to serve you better and reservations will help us control costs as well as make your experience much more pleasant. We sincerely appreciate your help!

Cost Increases:

Due to constantly rising costs, we will be increasing some of our pricing over the next two months. We will strive to make these increases as modest as possible. This increase will affect food costs as well as alcohol. We thank you for your understanding.

Visit Old Heidelberg and The Student Dueling Fraternities

In the Teutonia Männerchor Sängerhalle on Saturday, November 1st, 2014

German Fraternal Sword Fighting (Hoch Bitte Mensur)These fraternities were active in the German Universities and elsewhere in Europe, for several centuries, up until this day. Gradually, the tradition evolved into what is known as “Mensur dueling” with fairly strict protective gear and matchings. Still, however, many of the participants exhibited the “mensur scars” frequently seen in movie depictions, as a “mark of honor”.

At this event, we will recreate the atmosphere of old Heidelberg and the Mensur fraternities. With a presentation and demonstration duel, presented by the first and only fencing guild in the U.S. to train exclusively in Akademisches Fechten – Pauken Amerika from York, PA and Germany with Dr. Mik Ludwig.

Our sängerhalle will be set up as a Heidelberg student Bierhalle and we will be serving a good selection of German beers, schnapps and other beverages. Typical beer hall fare of the 1800’s will be available throughout the evening – Wursts, potato pancakes, roasted half chickens etc.

The Bierhalle opens upstairs at 6:00 PM with music, spontaneous student songs and the performance around 7:30 PMNO ADMISSION CHARGE – reservations preferred.

Gute Besserung (Get Well Soon)

Member Dr. Donald Warde was hospitalized and is recuperating at home. Dr. Tom Schmidt, our Recording Secretary, had a little scare and had to make a visit to the hospital, he is back with us and did not miss a meeting.

Wir Gratulieren / Congratulations


Our Sergeant- at- Arms, Robert Gerthoffer, is celebrating his 80. birthday this month. Norbert and Charlotte Pilewski are taking a River cruise on the Danube and Main Rivers celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Peter and Heidi Schurig are celebrating “Goldene Hochzeit” with visiting family and friends in Germany. Den Jubelpaaren alles Gute und noch viele Jahre bei guter Gesundheit wünschen all Eure Freunde in der Teutonia.

News from the Kinder / Jugendchor

As the new season starts on September 6th, we are looking to recruit new members for our children’s choir  or Kinderchor (ages 5-12) and youth choir (ages 12-18).

Our work with the children in the last couple of years has been very successful. We are now at a period when we need new members to continue our success story. Some of the members of our Jugendchor will soon ‘‘leave the nest’’ to go off to college. Fewer families send their young children to our organization due to scheduling conflicts with other activities.

Singing is a great activity that benefits the children on multiple levels. It is great for the body, the mind, for social and language skills.

Please pass on this information if you know of any families with kids in that age that might be interested in singing.

We get together throughout the school year (September – May) once a week on Saturday at the Teutonia Männerchor for rehearsals.

We work on German repertoire with our German conductors and coaches. Knowledge in German is not required to become a member. We are happy to teach the kids the language as well as singing skills.

Please contact me for further information by e-mail or phone: (412) 983-5679.

We rely on you, the members of Teutonia, to spread the word to attract new members,

Brigitte F. Schmidt
President of the Pittsburgh District Kinder / Jugendchor

Aus Sängerkreisen

The Singers are busy getting ready learning new songs and brushing up on old favorites. We are pleased to have some of our singers returning to the chorus after a short absence due to work scheduling or health reasons. The Maennerchor is back to having over 60 singers and the Ladies are also  increasing their numbers. The Damenchor again will provide cakes and dessert during Oktoberfest Season and the men are manning the Schnapps Bar  “Alte Ecke” in the Saengerhalle. This will be a fundraising effort for the choruses. Our director, Ed Helgerman, who has been our leader for over 20 years is working hard to get us ready for our own 160. Jubiläums Konzert and also Bloomfield Liedertafel’s 130. Anniversary Concert. The singers are also entertaining guests for a luncheon at the Teutonia on December 3 and 9.

Our 2015 Chorreise to northern Germany  is at this time filled and only will have room on the 75 passenger double decker bus if we receive some cancellation. We will be visiting Berlin, enjoying a boat tour and sing at the Berlin Dom. Further visits include Potsdam, the Spreewald area and the Holsteinische Schweiz. We will tour the Island of Sylt with stops in Bremerhaven and ending our journey in Hamburg from where we will return home.

Much planning needs to be done before we can embark on our concert tour. At present we are looking forward to our 160. Jubiläums Konzert on Saturday, November 15. We have invited our local choruses and also hope to have an out of town special guest choir celebrate with us.

Club News: October 2014

We are again in the Fall Season and celebrating Oktoberfeste. The Ticket Sales in August were very successful and all Saturday Oktoberfest celebrations are sold out. Anyone still wanting to come to the Oktoberfest should call the club to find out if tickets are again available. There are always some being returned so the chances you might be able to get a few are “ziemlich gut” (pretty good). You also just can come on a Saturday for dinner and enjoy the atmosphere of our Ratskeller and celebrate Oktoberfest with your friends. In any case it is always great to meet and celebrate with your fellow Teutonians.

Tom Morgan, our Club Manager, reports that August and September were busy months and things are looking good for the club in the month to come. The Kitchen Staff has been preparing for the Oktoberfest season as well as the many special events being held at the club. We also have a new head cook in the kitchen, J. R. Schonbeck. JR comes well qualified as he is a graduate of the Culinary Institute and has worked in several fine Restaurants before coming to Teutonia. Not only is JR a fine cook he also sings with the Maennerchor and is a member of the GTEV D’Lustigen Isartaler.

Starting in September the club has been open on Sundays. If you are a Steeler Fan you might want to watch the game on our big screen, or come to the club after the game to enjoy a beer and sandwich. Rich Hahn has volunteered to serve as bartender with donating his tips to the Building Fund.

Speaking of volunteering, anytime you can give some assistance to the club call or speak to our Manager Tom, he might just have some special job for you. If you are a computer expert we can use your skills for our website.

We were happy to have the German-American Business Council and World Affairs Council holding their special meeting at the Teutonia on September 25. Our Honorary German Council Paul Overby arranged this for us. We also welcome Paul as one of the new members installed in September. Herzlich Willkommen.

The Teutonia and its staff are looking forward to serve our members and guests. If you have a special event planned the Manager is ready to arrange your very private function, either in our Ratskeller for up to 100 guests or in our Sängerhalle for up to 225 guests. It is important that we constantly search for ways to keep our Teutonia in the black.

The Last Meal on the Hindenburg (Tribute Dinner)

Hindenburg Tribute Dinner

The very special dinner that was served on the Airship Hindenburg was a well-attended and most elegantly narrated by the Hindenburg Kapitän Ed Graf. While the dinner was served and between short breaks Ed with the assistance of his grandson Max, told the story of Graf Zeppelin on the big screen and the development of lighter than air flight.

The dinner was especially deliciously prepared by our kitchen staff and headed by Manager Tom Morgan. Lamm Braten and Kalbskotelett, or Heilbuttschnitte was served by the Singing Waiters and they even serenaded the guests on the Hindenburg with a few songs. The Ratskeller was the perfect setting and all enjoyed this special event. The singing waiters are especially grateful for the many tips they received from the diners and will  use the money for their upcoming German Konzert Tour.

A special thanks to Alexander Lau, who created the concept behind the event and help plan the night.

The Alliance of Germanic Societies of Pittsburgh Parade and Recognition Luncheon (2014)

On September 13th, 2014, the Alliance held their Annual Parade and Recognition Luncheon. The parade started at Allegheny commons and ended at the Teutonia with a stop on East Ohio Street where the Alpen Schuhplattler performed a plattler. The parade was well attended with many Antique Cars as well as some fine German cars and even a float and Boy Scout Troop along with the Teutonia Maenner und Damenchor marching proudly along the parade route.  Arriving at the Teutonia the Choirs rendered a few songs which were enthusiastically applauded by the audience. John Erskine welcomed everyone and introduced our special guests. The choir then rendered “Der Lindenbaum” the Linden Tree as a mixed song and the men sang “Aus der Traube in die Tonne” directed by District Director Steve Lipnichan. The Rev. Dan Merry of the Southminster Presbyterian Church gave the Invocation followed by a wonderful Buffet Lunch as provided by our Kitchen Staff.

Darlene Harris, Pittsburgh City Council Woman read the Proclamation honoring the 2014 Nominees of the Alliance of Germanic Societies and also remarked that she is proud to be a citizen of “Deutschtown” and having the opportunity to share this special Recognition Luncheon with everyone.


Falcioni, Erskine and Banzhaf

James J. Falcioni, this year’s honoree, has been associated with German traditions, music and culture throughout his life and was introduced by Willi Banzhaf as a very special friend. He has contributed in so many ways to numerous events and through his efforts all have been most successful. As the founder of the Deutsche Lieder und Tanz Gruppe, later to be known as the G.T.E.V. D’Lustigen Isartaler, and honorary member of the Alpen Schuhplattler Jim has always been ready to take up the banner in all events. He especially was successful in staging several musical productions, the “Puppen Fee” and just recently presented the musical “Im Weissen Roessl” or the “White Horse Inn”, donating all proceeds to the Teutonia Building Fund. Again celebrating the 50. Anniversary of the Alpen Schuhplattler he personally made all the decoration for the Festabend as well as the Mass which was celebrated in the Saengerhalle. There are so many more credits to his generosity to mention here, but he is truly deserving the honor of being named German-American for 2014.


Erskine and Smith

Dr. Peter Safar (1924-2003) was the very special honoree for his year. He was introduced by Robert Tate, President of the Austrian Society of Pittsburgh who lauded this Viennese born and educated Doctor for his life’s achievements in medicine. Dr. Safar has been honored world-wide for improvements in medical practice and advances in medical science. His achievements were wide ranging from the development of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and as a founder of the nation’s first medical/surgical intensive care unit. Dr. Safar was chairman of the Anesthesiology Department, where he held the title of Distinguished Professor. In 1999, he was awarded the “Cross of Honor”, Austria’s highest civilian honor for his services in the field of medicine.

Accepting his Honorary Award was Dr. Smith of UPMC, a longtime friend and colleague of Dr. Safar.

A great time was had by all and another successful Germanic  Societies of Pittsburgh Parade and Recognition Luncheon was had.

Two Framed Pictures added to our Archives

Archive Additions


50th Anniversary of the Teutonia

We recently received two pictures from the past. Mary Weise of Bridgeville sent a picture taken in 1904 at the 50th Anniversary of the Teutonia. The Photo was taken by the T. C. Sonnenberg, Photographer at 908 Cedar Ave., Allegheny, Pa. and must have been discarded for some reason. The picture in our Entrance Hall must have been the final picture and the one which we received was then used for a family portrait on the other side. This original photograph was therefore behind the family portrait and only came to light after the photo was removed from its frame. We do believe that the portrait is that of the Teutonia Präsident Sigismund Paulat and his Family.

The picture of the visit to Pittsburgh in 1931 by Boxing Legend Max Schmeling shows the German Banat Sports Club vs German Sports of Pittsburgh Soccer Club. The game was played at Conneaut Lake Park on May 31, 1931. This picture was prominently displayed for years in the Ratskeller and was removed during clean up years ago. It was stored by the Bill Franz Family and returned to the club by Susan Franz. There are two men in the picture that we still can identify, one being a young John Krampf, uncle of Alice Krampf Weinbrenner, and the other is the Grandfather of Susan Franz in the background of the large group of people attending the game.

We also received a donation of old books written in German and dating back over a 100 years from the collection of Henry Weber and some from the George Lindner family, both members of the Teutonia. We have one book and the printing date is in the 1700’s. The Teutonia is grateful for the donation of the books to our archives and thank Ms. Janet Lindner and Ms. Gerralyn Catanese for donating them.

If you have documents or photos from the past we certainly would be happy if you can provide them for safe keeping and to remind future generations of our past history.

From the Teutonia (Archives)

In the last issue of the Teutonia we had a picture of the restoration of the front of Teutonia in the early 1990’s. The caption read that the restoration project was done under the administration of the late Bill Franz. We should have reported that it was accomplished during the presidency of Howard Pfeifer with Bill Franz serving as Vice President. We always want to report historical facts correctly and apologize for our error. Howard send us many facts of this undertaking and the enormous cost of the restoration project at the time amounted to $28.000 with all of it paid through our Building Fund donations from our loyal members.

Which brings us to today’s requirements to keep our Teutonia Männerchor in constant repair and we depend on our membership to continue to support our efforts in maintaining the exterior as well as the interior in good repair. This year alone we had to invest in re-conditioning our Cooling System at a cost of over $10.000. New stainless steel shelving and drawers in the kitchen were installed, the Bar area needed extensive work and the restoration of the Murals in the Ratskeller took the largest investment of close to $40.000. Dues alone can’t pay for all these improvements and we depend on the generosity of our members to support our effort to replenish our Building Fund which has dwindled down to less than $20.000. We do appreciate your continued support to keep the Teutonia the jewel of old Deutschtown and home of our German-American community.

In Memorium

We had a call from Mrs. Joan Lally that her husband of 56 years, James F. Lally, and member of the Teutonia passed away on April 14, 2014. Jimmy, as he was known, had a distinguished career in the Building Trades and for a time served on Pittsburgh City council. Besides his wife he is survived by his daughter Michelle and many godchildren.

Life Member John Paul Cammarata age 74 of Glenshaw died Saturday, August 17, 2014. He is survived by his wife Trudy (Schmiedecke) and daughter Natalie Kosydar, and extended family.

Dorothy Suchma died August 24, 2014. Dorothea was a long time member of the Isartaler Schuhplattler and also sang with the Damenchor for many years. She was a dedicated dancer and singer and the Teutonia Choruses sang for her “Zum letzten Geleit”.

Robert Miller, died April 12, 2014. This is all the information we have at this time.

To all the families we extend our deepest condolences. May they rest in peace.

Special Oktoberfest with the Blaskapelle Lüchtringen

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 @ 7 pm

If you have not been able to get tickets to our Oktoberfeste starting Saturday, September 27 and following every Saturday through Oktober you have an opportunity to attend this very special authentic Oktoberfest. The Blaskapelle Lüchtringen will be in Pittsburgh for two days, Monday and Tuesday Oktober 6 and 7. The Band is on their America tour and will make a stop in Pittsburgh before continuing on to Buffalo, Syracuse, Toronto and New York City. Lüchtringen is a small town on the Weser River in North Rhein Westfalia and dates back to 894 when it was founded by Italian workers, who were building the monastery Corvey. Today Lüchtringen has about 4,500 inhabitants. The Blaskapelle Lüchtringen was founded in 1958 by 8 musicians. Today there are 38 active members and their repertoire consists of marches, polkas and waltzes, modern pieces and dance music. They have a busy schedule and perform throughout the year at different events, the Annual Schützenfeste, play for weddings and many other community celebrations. In 1977 the band made their first US tour with 22 active musicians and performed in New Ulm, Minnesota, Omaha, and St. Louis. In 1999, a group of 40 performed at the Navy Pier in Chicago, La Crosse, New Ulm and Arnolds Park Iowa. In 2004 they performed in St. Paul, Deadwood, SD., Cheyenne and Denver. This will be their first tour to the Great Lakes and end in New York City. The Teutonia is looking forward to their performance on Tuesday, October 7 in our Saengerhalle. Tickets can be purchase at the bar for $10.00 per person, and we also will have our Special Oktoberfest Menu for those wishing to have dinner at the club. Dinner is being served from 5 to 8 pm. The Oktoberfest celebration will start at 7 pm and we are certain that this will be the highlight of this year’s Oktoberfest celebrations.

We are hoping for a sold-out evening. Please make your dinner reservations on line or by calling the club.

For those still hoping to get a few Tickets for the Saturday Oktoberfeste please call and ask if any Tickets are available. Of course the Ratskeller is always a place where friends can enjoy an evening if the Saengerhalle Tickets are not available.

Looking forward to see everyone on one or more Saturdays during Oktoberfest season.

Sundays Are Back!

The Ratskeller is now open on Sundays from 11a.m. until 6p.m. throughout the end of the year.

Come join your friends for the games on the big screen and a cold beer!

Lüchtringen Musikanten are Back!

We need hosts families for the Lüchtringen Musikanten.

Please contact Willi Banzhaf if you can take a couple. Contact: or phone (724) 523-6311.

They will be arriving on Monday, October 6 around 5 pm at the Teutonia and will be with us two nights leaving again on Wednesday morning. Dinner will be served for them at the Teutonia on Tuesday. See poster below.

Lüchtringen Musikanten

Alliance of Germanic Societies of Pittsburgh Parade


Deutschtown (Northside)
September 13, 2014

Schedule of Events

9:30 to 10:30

Antique German and classic auto display – Allegheny Commons East – Union Ave and East Ohio Street will be the locations of antique Volkswagens, Porsches, Mercedes and other special interest autos. They will be parked around the historic commons, once the grazing land open to the public during the early 1800’s and now being restored to its Victorian elegance as Pittsburgh’s first park. The autos will be on the park side of the length of Union Avenue. The autos and loving owners will allow their prize possessions to be viewed as they wait for the beginning of the annual German parade through Deutschtown. It is free and open to the public.

alliance-parade-east-ohio-streetThe Parade – 11AM to 11:30

From Allegheny commons East along East Ohio Street, crossing the 279 overpass , turning left at Madison Avenue and then right on Phineas Street and ending at the Teutonia Mannerchor at corner of Phineas and Chestnut Street. The parade will include the antique autos and dignitaries including the Presidents of the various German, Austrian and Swiss organizations, German Folk Dance groups and Singing Societies. Our own Council member Darlene Harris, will celebrate her German heritage. Mayor Peduto and others are invited. Reviewing area seating will be around the 520 block of East Ohio by the Deutschtown Blumengarten and Priory Fine Pastries. Many groups will provide a short performance.


Luncheon at Teutonia Mannerchor, 857 Phineas Street – a luncheon and celebration from 12 to 1:30 will include the recognition of a living person of German speaking heritage, who is James Falcioni and a Historic citizen of that heritage, who is the late Dr. Peter Safar. The public is invited and tickets are available in advance for $15 at Priory Fine Pastries, 528 East Ohio Street and Teutonia Männerchor, 857 Phineas Street , –they will be sold at the door for $18 (if available).


For information call John Erskine @

Learn to Dance with Bill and Jackie Dorfner

Here is an opportunity to learn a few of the dances most Teutonia Members enjoy. Young and old are welcome to either learn for the first time or have a refresher course. This should be lots of fun and who knows you might win the next dance contest.

Lessons by Bill and Jackie Dorfner will be on the following Thursday nights upstairs in the Teutonia Saengerhalle from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00/9:30 p.m. for 5 weeks.

  • September 11 and 18
  • October 9, 16, and 30

Cost will be $50.00 per couple for 5 weeks ($10.00/week). Lessons include polka, waltz, Rheinlander/Schottische, easy Czardas. We’ll have a party on the last day with live music.

Class limited to 25 couples.

For more information call the Dorfners @ 412-257-7574.

Make checks out to Jacqueline Dorfner and send to:

24 Muirfield Court
Bridgeville, PA 15017

Club News – September 2014

With the summer months almost over we look back on some exceptional events during August. The Alpen Schuhplattler held their Annual Alpen Bavarian Fest on August 9, with a nice attendance and a first with the Alex Meixner Band. Besides the Schuhplattler performing some of their favorite Plattlers and Laendlers Alex Meixner played some spirited Volksmusik and had the dance floor busy throughout the evening.

The following week, Saturday, August 16 almost 100 Radlers saddled their (Drahtesel) for the Annual City Bike Tour. A perfect day with the weather being beautiful and the sights of our city as always “wunderbar” for a bike ride. Of course the stop at the Hofbrauhaus was great for a small lunch and refreshment. Returning to the Teutonia at around 4:30 and a well-deserved dinner of Wurst and Schnitzel. Everyone agreed that it was another successful event and for sure will be repeated next year. The organizers and leaders of the ride deserve a special “Danke” for having a save and fun filled city ride. Alexander Lau and this writer planned the bike ride and Joanne and Tom Gruber and their son Brian as well as Nancy Ott and Jim Viel lead the Radler through the city and everyone returned safely to the Teutonia without any accidents.

Saturday, August 23, another first at the club was the Hindenburg Air Ship Dinner which at this writing is still to come and we will report on the event in our next T-News.

Back by popular request will be the special “Jaegerabend” the Hunters Evening on Thursday, August 28. A special dinner of Wild Game selections to be served, featuring “Rehbraten” ( venison), Baked Forelle, (Trout) and other morsels. Special Entertainment will round out the evening.

The club will be closed for the Labor Day weekend. We hope everyone will be able to have a last picnic or outing before we get ready for our fall season with the Annual Recognition Parade and Luncheon on Saturday, September 13. Tickets for the Luncheon can be purchased at the club. The parade will start at 11:00 am and lunch will be served at noon.

At the August Board Meeting a new Financial Secretary was appointed. Howard Elbert comes to us with a background in Accounting and Finance. Welcome Howard and Thank you for taking on this important Job. Bill Benzer who held this position for many years and at present serves as a Trustee has done an exceptional service for the Teutonia. We thank him for the years of commitment, not only as Financial Secretary, but also for being a dedicated and committed member. We are certain that Bill will continue supporting the Teutonia in many ways.

In Memoriam

Lawrence R. Werner (80) passed away June 2, 2014 at his home in Franklin Park. Larry was a Member of Teutonia, a veteran of the Korean War, a graduate of Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon. He had a distinguished career with United Press and several large corporations. We extend our condolences to his family.

Da Waren Deutsche auch Dabei (The War of 1812)

The War of 1812

September 14, is remembered in American History when Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the time when the British were on a roll: its army marched with impunity along our coast, attacking Washington and burning the White House and the Capitol. The city which built the famous Baltimore Clippers which captured so much British shipping was a thorn in Britain’s side and was its next target. When their navy attacked Fort McHenry and 8,000 troops were carried in ships to land at North Point, the British officers were planning to eat their dinners in Baltimore that fatal day. They did not count on the tenacity and bravery of the Baltimore citizenry, led by German Americans. Two generals of German ancestry held them off and sent them packing: General Armistead (originally Arnstadt) commanded Fort McHenry and General John Stricker fought a delaying action at North Point while fortifications were set up to defend the city on the east, at Patterson Park.

Among the supervisors of the building of the fortifications to repel the British were the following Germans: Philip Cromiller, Ludwig Hering, Frederick Leybold, Henry Schroeder, Peter Gold and George Decker. In the ward committees were Balthasar Schaefer, Christian Keller and Jacob Milleraz. Other members were Peter and Daniel Diffenderfer and William Braun.

We also saw in a recent Post-Gazette article the story about a Fund Raising effort held in old Allegheny for the wounded and fallen in the Union Army 150 years ago on June 1, 1864 where the Teutonia Maennerchor took part in a performance with several songs, one of them being “Am Meeres Strande” or “On the Seashore”. The event was supported by many of Pittsburgh’s leading organizations and raised in one week over $300,000 a very impressive amount of money for the time. When Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865 about $200,000 remained unspent from the profits of the Fair. This money became the nucleus of the endowment fund for Western Pennsylvania Hospital.

We know that many Teutonia Singers fought in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. Our records of that time were lost and are very sketchy. If any of our members have some information on those who served we would like to hear from you.

Singstunde Begins!

Singstunde Begins Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The Singers will begin their Fall Season on Wednesday, September 3. The choruses will meet at 7:30 p.m. to plan our fall schedule. Foremost will be our 160. Jubilaeums Konzert on Saturday, November 15 and Sunday, November 16. We intend to have some out of town Singers join us on Saturday evening, and on Sunday afternoon we will present a concert inviting our local clubs. Details will have to be worked out and invitations mailed ASAP. The chorus will also take part in the Annual Alliance Recognition Luncheon and Parade on Saturday, September 13. A group of visitors to Pittsburgh and the Teutonia will be having lunch at the club on Wednesday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 9 from 11:30. The singers will entertain them with some songs of the season.

On Sunday, August 10 a bus from the Erie Maennerchor visited Pittsburgh and the Teutonia for a beer and some finger food. They all were impressed with our club and enjoyed the ambiance. We also sang some songs accompanied by Irmgard on her Accordion. Mike Daugherty, President of the Erie Maennerchor was especially impressed and would like to see a closer relationship between the clubs. We invited them to join us at our 160. Jubilaeums Konzert in November. They are even thinking about a renewed effort to revive singing at their club.

Oktoberfest at the Teutonia

With Labor Day around the corner and a brisk Oktoberfest Ticket Sale on August 13, we are ready to celebrate Oktoberfest at the Teutonia. What started in Munich with the marriage of Crownprinz Ludwig (later to become King Ludwig I) to Theresa of Saxe-Hildburghausen on Oktober 12, 1810 to which the citizens of Munich were invited on the fields in front of the city gates. These fields were named Theresien Wiese (Theresa’s Meadow) in honor of the Princess, and they’ve been called this ever since. Today it is simply abbreviated and known as the Wies’n by the locals.

The horse races that took place on the fields that day were so popular that it was decided to do it again the following year, and in 1819 they made it an annual event. That means it was horse racing and not the world famous Munich beer that started Oktoberfest.

There is hardly a large city in the world today where the custom of Oktoberfest has not been celebrated. At the Teutonia the Annual Festival started out with one Saturday Oktoberfest. In years past we celebrated in other rented venues. For the past decade or more we celebrate starting the last Saturday in September and every following Saturday throughout October.

Schuhplattln and good Oompa Music is always part of the celebration. On Saturday, September 27 we start with the Kickoff Oktoberfest. After the celebrants have entered the Saengerhalle with banners waving the spirit of the Original Munich Oktoberfest President Ralph Wagner will tap the first Keg of Oktoberfest Beer.

The very popular band the “Barons” will get you in the spirit of Oktoberfest. The children’s group of the Alpen Schuhplattler is the special feature and will give it that very special flavor. So get out your Lederhosen and Dirndls and come celebrate with us. Tickets at $13.00 are still available but we urge you to call the club and also make dinner reservations early for our special Oktoberfest Menus. If you bring friends to the Teutonia make sure that they know about our dress code, no denim or collarless shirts in the Saengerhalle.

Aus Sängerkreisen

This certainly has been one of the wettest summers in memory. The Singers and Schuhplattler Picnic on August 2 almost made it through the afternoon without rain but the around 5:00 o’clock the sky darkened and we had a strong downpoor, which didn’t dampen the Gemuetlichkeit. Everyone just found shelter in the picnic pavilion and the singing and fun continued without a hitch. As in years past, this year’s picnic had plenty of good food and Kuchen with everyone contributing to the many different homemade dishes and desserts.

A special thank you goes to all the volunteers who worked the grill and also made sure all the refreshments and food was transported from the club to the picnic grounds at the Millvale Sportsmen’s Club. It takes some dedicated people to have an enjoyable picnic. Irmgard Ryan played Happy Birthday to all the birthdays in June/July/August and everyone sang “Hoch soll’n sie leben” and “zum Geburtstag viel Glueck.”

Alpen Schuhplattler 50. Anniversary CD Available

If you attended the 50. Stiftungsfest and Bauernmesse of the Alpen Schuhplattler you may be interested in a set of two CD’s made by Tom Uhler. These CD’s are professionally done by Tom and are available for $12.00 a set. Certainly this would be a wonderful way to preserve and keep this memorable celebration for future viewing. To reserve your copies call Tom at 412 841-2959 or e-mail

The Teutonia will be Open Sundays

At the Board meeting in August, it was decided that the club will be open on Sundays starting in September to the end of the year from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. For the monthly membership meeting the third Sunday of the month a special Brunch is served from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The monthly membership meeting starts at 2:00 pm. In order to attend the meeting you must present your valid membership card.

Also we would remind our members that if anyone wishes to run for office at the December Election you must have attended at least three meetings to be eligible for nomination.

Renewed Fund Raising Effort

Since our Historic Teutonia Building now reaching 134 years since construction started in 1888, we are asking our members to again consider making a donation to our Building Fund. After needed renovations of the outside as well as renovations and restoring the Saengerhalle combined with the recent restoration of the Ratskeller Murals, the Building Fund needs new funds. As with any old building there is constant need for improvements. At this time the entry to the club is in the planning stages of floor improvements and the steps to the Saengerhalle. Bathrooms in the Saengerhalle and Ratskeller need some work. We are constantly making improvements and appreciate all the members who have contributed to our Building Fund. The fund has been depleted to the point where we need to make a renewed effort to replenish it to be able to keep our Vereinsheim the jewel of Old Allegheny.

2014 Dues Collection Second Mailing

As Treasurer of the Teutonia, one of my most important duties is to collect the annual dues. Dues are what keeps our prices down, and keeps the Club operating.

I sent the first dues notice in early December and about 75% of our members responded with the appropriate payment. However, about 25% did not. There are many reasons: Mail didn’t reach them, envelope simply got misplaced, or members simply forgot.

So, I am about to send out a second notice to those for whom I show no record of payment.

Please use the postcard enclosed to respond. On the back there are several choices where you can provide an approximate date that you paid at the bar or mailed a check, or that you can request that we drop your membership. Or, that your check is enclosed and for how much. If you use the Lockbox envelope also enclosed I get a copy of your check and the postcard which I keep for my records.

Also on this postcard, I’m asking that you provide your keycard number. I’m updating our list.

I apologize in advance to anyone who has paid, but wasn’t recorded. With 2800 members, it happens. I thank everyone in advance who sends in their 2014 payment! You are what keeps our Club alive!

Chris Jordheim – Treasurer

“66” League News

Our 2013/2014 season ended on May 2. The champion for the second half of the season was Jack Burke with a 16 nights total score of 1291. Coming in in second place was Harry Imhof, with a score of 1258 points. Prize money also went to the following players finishing from 3rd to 10th place: Denise Imhof, Margaret Hussak, Don Sabo, Bill Benzer, Iris Konecny, Betsy Lankey, Lee Rosenhamer and Bill Bohr.

The year end banquet was held on May 23, and the players along with their guests enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by Teutonia’s Kitchen staff.

Our summer Pot Games began on May 9. We had one new player, Bob Stokes, joining us on that date and we hope to have a lot more joining us between now and the beginning of a new season in August. Our membership has been decreasing and we need to add more players in order to continue league play. Join us any Friday night when the club is open during the summer and learn some of the basics of the game. Or I can mail the instructions to you. Call 412 322-1587.

We will begin our new season on August 29 and will follow with a Pork Chop Dinner on September 5.

Bill Benzer

Labor Day Holiday Closing



Teutonia Jägerabend

Specialty Dinner – “Der Jägerabend

Thursday August, 28 @ 6:30 PM

The Hunter’s Evening Jägerabend is back! One of the most popular events of 2013 was the Teutonia Jägerabend, featuring a fixed menu of wild game selections.

This year’s menu will include:

  • Rehbraten (venison)
  • Baked Forelle (trout)
  • Wildtopf (wild boar stew)

A four course meal with a special Hunters Soup, salad, side dishes and a complimentary glass of wine or beer. All this, including live entertainment , for just $29.95 per person.

The event will be limited to the first 100 people so please reserve early to avoid missing out!

Special Dinner Exploring German Innovation in “Lighter Than Air Craft”

‘The Last Dinner on the Hindenburg’

Saturday August 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Many of us have heard of the Hindenburg disaster, which essentially ended lighter than air craft passenger service with the fiery wreck on Thursday, May 6, 1937.

The only vestiges of the technology are the “Blimps” we see over football games.

Come explore the “recreation” of the last flight of the Hindenberg! We will be Featuring an informative (and fun) evening exploring the last flight of the famous airship. An authentic menu will be offered, including your choice of:

  • Lammbraten (roast lamb)
  • Kalbskottlete (Veal cutlet)
  • Heilbuttschnitte Gekocht (boiled halibut)
  • Served with the authentic side dishes and a complimentary glass of wine or beer

A fixed price of $28.95, for this superb evening of fun and camaraderie “aboard” the Airship Hindenberg! This is a reservations event so please make them early as space aboard will be limited!

Along with an informative speaker and visual production on the mystery of the airship’s destruction by Historian Leo Sweeney. Despite the fiery crash, most passengers survived. The confluence of the mysterious disaster and the start of German National Socialist Party domination of Germany provide an interesting insight, into the history of the twentieth century.

The four course dinner will be served by the “Singing Airmen” (Luftschiff Besatzung Sängers) from our Männerchor and their earnings and tips will go toward the fund for the Männerchor singing tour through Europe.

Please make your reservations (REQUIRED) for this interesting and delicious dinner (a children’s dinner is also available) for Saturday, August 23 2014 at or (412) 231-9141.

2014 Teutonia Radler Gallery

On Saturday, August 16th, 2014, at the Teutonia Radler (3rd Annual), a great time was had by all. Photos taken on the streets of Deutschtown and Pittsburgh, PA.

Hühnerflügel und Bier / Chicken Wings and Beer is Back!

Saturday, August 8th  7:00 PM

Yes, Hühnerflügel und Bier means Wings and Beer!

We will offer four types of wings, each with an interesting sauce and offer a type of beer pairing sample from the Penn Brewery (along with the Penn Girls in dirndls). The Penn brewery beer expert will explain the beer and why it works with the particular wing sauce. Of course full bottles of the Penn beers are available for purchase, along with our regular beer and spirits selections.

Penn brewery is our neighbor in Deutschtown and follows the traditional brewing mandates of “Reinheitsgebot” as spelled out in Bavarian law since 1516.

We will also have music, singing, prizes and our usual “Gemütlichkeit” (friendship and comfortable good spirit). All for a cost of just $18.95 per person (includes the wings, sample taste) starting at 7:00 pm. Guest are welcome – to reserve a table call the club at (412) 231-9141 or go to

Remember this date and join us for an evening of fun, good beer and wings. This is also an opportunity to bring a friend and show off our very historic and unique club.

Reservations a must! Fills fast and limited to the first 130 people…!

3rd Annual Teutonia “Radler” Bike Tour

The Teutonia Radler Bike Tour – August 16th at 11:00 AM

Register for the 3rd Annual Radler

There will be lots of things happening in August, starting with the Teutonia Radler Bike tour on August 16th, from the Teutonia to the Hofbrauhaus for lunch and sights along the Three Rivers. After Radling through Pittsburgh we will return to the Teutonia for Buffet Dinner and to relax for some genuine Teutonia Gemuetlichkeit.

The dinner, 2014 T-Shirt will be included in the price of $25.00 per person.

You can register at or by calling 724-523-6311. Tickets can be purchased at the club in advance or on the day of the event. Make sure you sign up early as we expect this to be another special event after last year’s ride.

Club News: July 2014

Can you believe it we are already half way through the year, after a cold and rainy spring we are now planning our Summer Vacations. Our Annual Teutonia Picnic a highlight of the summer has always drawn some 500 members to the Croatian Center. We had a perfect day of good beer from the beer wagon as well as soft drinks and delicious food prepared by singer Volunteers. It is always appreciated when members volunteer their time when needed. Many members also manned the booth at the entrance, sold souvenir mugs and shirts, which came in handy, since even so it was a sunny day, still the temperatures did not go much above the 70’s. But with Hank Haller and his Orchestra the Pavilion was filled with dancers all day. The Kinder had their fun with playing games and a scavenger hunt, many of our members also made sure that they enjoyed the fun and games. We recognize all the volunteers who year after year give their time and talents to make the picnic a very special day for everyone.

The Teutonia Männerchor celebrated its 160th Anniversary (Jubiläum) with Elegance and Flare

The 160. Jubilaeum will certainly be remembered as the highlight of 2014. The 160 members and guests were dressed in their finest. The Maenner- und Damenchor dressed especially for the occasion in black Tuxedo and the Damenchor in black skirt and white blouse. This was to remind us of a time before the singers wore a singer’s uniform. It gave the celebration of our founding in 1854 that very special ambiance. The festivities started by special invitation to a cocktail hour in the Ratskeller where Conservator Chantel Bernicky explained by video on the big screen the progress on the Mural Restoration and the delicate work that was performed to bring the Murals back to their original bright colors. A process that took tedious work and is almost finished at this time. The special invited guests were impressed with what has been accomplished in preserving the Ratskeller Murals and it certainly will be part of the ongoing Restoration Fund of our historic building in the heart of Deutschtown.

The celebration continued in our beautiful decorated Saengerhalle with a cocktail hour attended by many members who have been part of the Teutonia for many years. We welcomed Howard and Nancy Pfeifer, past President, also the daughter of club Stewart Jake and Klara Wuerstlein, Louise Nene, and her family. Over 150 members and friends came to celebrate Teutonia for the years of continued celebration of our heritage. President Wagner welcomed everyone and including our special guests for honoring us with their presence. Singer Bela Pater gave the Invocation in German and English before partaking of a wonderfully prepared dinner of Filet/ Lobster Tail and Rack of Lamb with Flounder plus for dessert a Black Forest Cake. Our kitchen staff and waitresses, headed by our Manager Tom Morgan, had outdone themselves by preparing and serving a first class dinner. In our memory it must have been a first for the Teutonia, remembering that our kitchen is not totally equipped to serve such a fine dinner. We are indeed fortunate to have a loyal and experienced staff to serve us, they deserve a special “Dankeschoen”.

The Damenchor opened the musical part of the evening with songs of the season and Damenchor Presidentin Alice Weinbrenner followed with special Remarks. The ladies sang “Fruehlingszeit” (Springtime) and “Tief im Boehmerwald”, Deep in the (Bohemian Forest). The Maennerchor sang “Ein Koenig ist der Wein” (Wine is King), the mixed Chorus presented a song by Franz Schubert “Der Lindenbaum” (The Lindentree) and Music accompany our Lives. Our Dirigent, Ed Helgerman, for over 20 years led the choirs accompanied by our Pianist Charlotte Pilewski. This program was very befitting and rewarded the singers with much applause.

Soon after dinner and the musical program acting as MC, I introduced our special guests of the evening. Council woman Darlene Harris honored us by reading a special Proclamation by Pittsburgh

Mayor Bill Peduto and City Council citing Teutonia’s long history as well as the many cultural events Teutonia has contributed to the City. Ed Graf introduced Darlene Harris and welcomed her to the Teutonia. Ed Graf also read a very special Proclamation by the city honoring our Past President Cor Van Maurik for his many years of leading the Teutonia Maennerchor. During his tenure the Teutonia Hall was named a Historical Landmark, many renovations were completed during the 14 years he served including acquiring property around the club and completing our Parking lot. Cor also headed our 150th Anniversary celebration in 2004 and the club almost doubled the membership during this period. Together with his late wife Christel and her welcoming and warm demeanor they had an enormous impact on the Teutonia. Together with the Proclamation Cor received a plate of the Pittsburgh Skyline as a memento of the 160. Anniversary.

The new Honorary German Council to Pittsburgh, Paul Overby, was introduced by John Erskine. Mr. Overby is new to Pittsburgh, but speaks fluent German, French plus Arabic. He is a graduate of Yale University and was appointed to the US Foreign Service at age 23. Mr. Overby held many positions in well-known Corporations. In his remarks he congratulated the Maennerchor for 160 years of preserving the Heritage of German Speaking peoples. He especially recognized the poem by Singer Peter Schurig, which he wrote in German and was printed on the back of the Program. Paul Overby also became a member of the Teutonia, we welcome him and hope he will visit with us often.

We also welcomed Gary Luther, President of the Nordamerikanischer Saengerbund and his wife Marianne from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gary lauded the long history of Teutonia and also presented a plaque for the Maennerchor to Ralph Wagner together with a special Photo from the 61. Saengerfest in Milwaukee. We were indeed very much honored by having these distinguished guests for this very special celebration.

To round out the evening the popular Bill Dorfner Family gave everyone a chance to dance the night away or just sit back and enjoy the music while also having a chance to meet many of our guests and members of years gone by. The program will certainly be remembered as one of the finest in recent history. May we continue in our mission to have Teutonia be the leading Ethnic Club in south western Pennsylvania.

Keycard Project Underway

Next to collecting dues, the second most important duty of the Treasurer is to keep our membership lists and manage the keycards that control access to our private club. Over the years, keycards have been lost, broken or worn out and have been replaced and sometimes the new numbers were not input into the system.

The Liquor Control Board requires that we keep control of our access and have a way of keeping non-members from using our Club without a current member present. Therefore, I am “shutting off” every Keycard for which I have no name attached.

If you try your card and it doesn’t work, this does NOT mean that you haven’t paid your dues! Nor should you be embarrassed. Simply ring the bell and tell the Manager or Bartender that your card didn’t work. They will write your name and card number down and get it to me. If you are a paid-up member, I will then update the system and turn your card back on.

Please be patient with this process. It is necessary and will take time, but the Club will be better off for the effort.


Chris Jordheim – Treasurer

2014 Dues Collection: Second Mailing

As Treasurer of the Teutonia, one of my most important duties is to collect the annual dues. Dues are what keeps our prices down, and keeps the Club operating.

I sent the first dues notice in early December and about 75% of our members responded with the appropriate payment. However, about 25% did not.

There are many reasons:

  • Mail didn’t reach them
  • Envelope simply got misplaced
  • Members simply forgot

So, I am about to send out a second notice to those for whom I show no record of payment.

Please use the postcard enclosed to respond. On the back there are several choices where you can provide an approximate date that you paid at the bar or mailed a check, or that you can request that we drop your membership. Or, that your check is enclosed and for how much. If you use the Lockbox envelope, also enclosed I get a copy of your check and the postcard which I keep for my records.

Also on this postcard, I’m asking that you provide your keycard number. I’m updating our list.

I apologize in advance to anyone who has paid, but wasn’t recorded. With 2800 members, it happens. I thank everyone in advance who sends in their 2014 payment!

You are what keeps our Club alive!


Chris Jordheim – Treasurer

“66” League News

Our 2013 / 2014 season ended on May 2.The champion for the second half of the season was Jack Burke with a 16 nights total score of 1291. Coming in in second place was Harry Imhof, with a score of 1258 points. Prize money also went to the following players finishing from 3rd to 10th place: Denise Imhof, Margaret Hussak, Don Sabo, Bill Benzer, Iris Konecny, Betsy Lankey, Lee Rosenhamer and Bill Bohr.

The year end banquet was held on May 23, and the players along with their guests enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by Teutonia’s Kitchen staff.

Our summer Pot Games began on May 9. We had one new player, Bob Stokes, joining us on that date and we hope to have a lot more joining us between now and the beginning of a new season in August. Our membership has been decreasing and we need to add more players in order to continue league play. Join us any Friday night when the club is open during the summer and learn some of the basics of the game. Or I can mail the instructions to you. Call (412) 322-1587.

We will begin our new season on August 29 and will follow with a Pork Chop Dinner on September 5.

Bill Benzer

Aus Sängerkreisen

The singers are busy at this writing preparing for the 160. Jubilaum and Konzert, on May 17.

We will have a report in the next T-News. The men also will elect a new slate of officers on Wednesday, May 21. Some of our delegates will be attending a meeting of the Pittsburgh Bezirk at the New Castle Eintracht Maennerchor. We received a note from Elmer Menhart who has been President of the Pittsburgh District that he will step back from the office as of May 18th. Elmer has been battling some health problems and feels he can no longer serve. Having been a long-time friend of Elmer and his late wife Anneliese and having introduced him to the former East Pittsburgh Saengerbund, we are truly grateful knowing Elmer and still enjoying our years of friendship. Elmer became one of Pittsburgh’s most prominent advocates of German Choral Singing and traditions. He served in so many ways, being President of the District, President of the Alliance, President of the German Room Committee and served the Nord Amerikanische Saengerbund as Secretary and President. He deserves our gratitude and admiration for so many years of serving the Pittsburgh German Community and especially his accomplishments as NASA President. We wish him the best and hope he will be with us for years to come. Wir wuenschen ihm einen gesegneten Lebensabend.

We also will be taking part in the 140. Anniversary of the Schweizer Maennerchor Helvetia on Saturday, June 7, 2014 held in the Teutonia Saengerhalle. With summer just around the corner the singers will be off for vacation and then have a summer picnic on Saturday, August 4 at the Millvale Sportsmen’s Club in Warrendale. As in past years the Alpen Schuhplattler will join us for an afternoon of fun, good food and refreshments. Please bring your favorite covered dish.

Some of our delegates will also attend a Leadership Meeting of the NASB in Dayton, Ohio on Friday and Saturday July 11 and 12.

We will resume weekly rehearsal after Labor Day, Wednesday, September 3, 2014 to prepare for the two day 160. Jubilaeum Concert celebration on Saturday and Sunday, November 15 and 16, 2014. Lots to plan and organize to end the 160. Anniversary Year in style.

Wishing everyone a wonderful summer, this writer will spend a couple weeks in Germany and Austria, but we will see everyone at the Teutonia Picnic.

Schweizer Männerchor (Helvetia) of Allegheny City Celebrates 140. Anniversary Dinner and Concert

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Deutschtown in the 1800’s had a significant Swiss population, along with the dominant German immigrant citizenry.  For many years the Swiss had their own Sängerhalle in old Allegheny City and when it closed, many of their members joined Teutonia.  The Swiss Singers will enjoy their 140. Anniversary with this dinner and concert.  The Dinner is offered in the Ratskeller from 5 pm to 7 pm. See event listing.

The Concert starts at 7:30 and is free and open to our Teutonia members and guests.  The Swiss performance will include our Swiss Alphorn, traditional Swiss Songs and Yodels, some accompanied by the Jagdhorn.  Our local German singing societies will also perform the songs of our ancestors.

Your favorite Beer, Schnapps and other beverages are available for purchase during the performance.
In the Teutonia Saengerhalle, dinner will be available from 5:30-7:00 PM.

Swiss-Style Wurst Platter and traditional Swiss Roesti  – $15.95 or Zuercher Geschnetzeltes – $14.95.

both come with sauerkraut or red cabbage and vegetables, breads and butter.

Please make reservations by calling the club at 412-231-9141!

Concert will start at 7:30 PM.


Schweizer Maennerchor Helvetia of Allegheny City 140th Anniversary Dinner and Concert at Teutonia Maennerchor

The Deutschtown neighborhood in the 1800’s had a significant Swiss population.  For many years the Swiss had their own Sängerhalle and chorus in old Allegheny City, and when the clubhouse closed, many of their members joined Teutonia.  Schweizer Maennerchor Helvetia (the Swiss Singers) will be celebrating their 140th anniversary with a dinner and concert at Teutonia on Saturday, June 7.

The Concert is at 7:30 and is free and open to members of the Swiss-American Society of Pittsburgh and guests.  The Swiss Singers’ performance will include Alphorn and traditional Swiss Songs and Yodels, and other surprises.  We will be joined by our other local German singing societies, who will also perform.

Members of the Swiss-American Society of Pittsburgh will receive preferred seating for the Concert, provided that you advise Lyndall Huggler in advance (by no later than Monday, June 2) by email at

Your favorite Beer, Schnapps and other beverages are available for purchase during the performance.  You may make dinner reservations by calling Teutonia at  412-231-9141 or use the Teutonia website reservation system at

Schweizer Maennerchor “Helvetia” of Allegheny City

The Schweizer Maennerchor “Helvetia” of Allegheny City was formed in 1874 in what is now the North Side of Pittsburgh. The club’s home was on East Ohio St. until the 1960s when it was closed. The singers have however, remained active singing at many events in the Pittsburgh area. They now meet at 918 Chestnut St on the North Side.The Maennerchor now known as the Pittsburgh Swiss Singers is a member of the North American Swiss Singers Alliance. Every three years the Alliance host a Song Festival (Saengerfest) in one of the members city, where choruses compete against one another in various categories.

The Pittsburgh club was a founding member of the Alliance in 1897 and has competed in most of the Saengerfests winning many first and second prizes. Pittsburgh hosted festivals in 1939, 1971,and 1997. Last year we went to Kitchener Canada where we won a silver medal.We perform locally at many events and can be engaged by calling:

Andy Schwarz at 412-322-3323

Radish Night

Saturday, June 28

Radish Night was completely sold out last year, so if you plan to attend this year please make your reservations early. This traditional summer event held in the Ratskeller and reined over by our Radish King Tom Franz is an old Bavarian tradition and a great way to enjoy the traditional Baierische Bier Rettiche prepared by the Radish King himself, together with a slice of Rye Bread and butter. We also have traditional dinners being served by our kitchen. Make your reservations early and join your friends in the cool air conditioned Ratskeller for a Radi und ein kuehles bier.

In Memoriam

The singers lost another loyal singer and Teutonia member since 1991. Hans Meier, age 88, died April 29, 2014. Hans was born in Schwarzenburg, Switzerland in 1926 and came to the US 1952 and soon joined the Schweizer Maennerchor Helvetia. He also became an active singer at the Teutonia and was part of the Teutonia Hauskapelle. He enjoyed playing his Bass Fiddle and together with Eberhard joined us on trips to Germany where they entertained on many after-concert events. Both Eberhard Mueller and Hans Meier have become legends in the Pittsburgh German / Swiss community and we will miss them both.

Hans enjoyed traveling and visiting every State in the Union. On his many travels to Europe he preferred riding by train and visited many countries. Hans worked in Wiesbaden, Germany as a civilian employee where he met his late wife Inez. He was an active Boy Scout Cub master for 44 years and was honored with numerous awards. He is survived by 6 children, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Both the Swiss Singers and Teutonia singers honored Hans with several songs on his last journey.

We have lost a good friend, loyal singer and Musikant, may he rest in peace.

Teutonia’s Annual Picnic at the Croatian Center

June 14, 2014

SCHUETZEN PARK ROAD, MILLVALE, PA, from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. 

Music provided by the HANK HALLER ORCHESTRA, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Grills will not be permitted in the picnic area! Please utilize our kitchen for its inexpensive

Food for purchase including homemade Potato Salad, Sauerkraut, BratwurstWeisswurst,  Hot Dogs on Bun and Cake.

Entrance fee $7.00 for adults and children12 years and under free. The beer wagon is FREE will be there with local and imported beer, plus water and soda.  Clowns and a treasure hunt for the children.

Gather with your family and friends!  Plenty of parking!

Stein Night = Huge Success

Stein Night was a huge success and the revenues also back that up, as well. 

The evening featured the youthful Madel Jäger and we should book these young gentlemen more often ! There were a few sing along and many Ein Prosits! Approx. 70 people enjoyed a Wurst platter, beer, pretzels and side dishes! It was delicious!!! There were approximately 50 steins entered in the stein contest and almost everyone was drinking bier out of steins!!! There were 4 prizes given out for different categories of largest, smallest, humorous, and historical.

In particular was one very small stein at about 1 inch tall, owned by Rhett Cherkin that was of great interest. All 4 winners won a stein and a t-shirt. A special thanks to Member Bill Boss for supplying the steins as a prize!

The St. Pauli girl bier carrying contest was a tie with 7 women carrying 8 – one liter steins. There was one attempt at 10 steins resulting in a major spill, but that is all part of the fun!!! All 7 girls received t-shirts as prizes thanks to Southern Wine and Spirits.

The men’s Masskrugstemmen had 8 contestants and was won by Bob Portogallo with a very respectable time of 3 minutes and 35 seconds!!! The prize was a Jägermeister football jersey. We will be hosting this event again in spring of 2015 and hope to see lots of familiar faces again!

Master of Ceremonies – Rich Hahn

Club News: June 2014

Alpen Schuhplattler und Trachtenverein — 50. Stiftungsfest – Memorable Event

We had some very special events in late April and May, starting with the Alpen Schuhplattler und Trachtenverein 50. Stiftungsfest on April 26 and 27. They had close to 400 Trachtler and Friends come to help them celebrate 50 years in Pittsburgh on Saturday at the IBEW Center on the South Side. The celebration began with an “Einmarsch” by the visiting Schuhplattler Vereine headed by our longtime friends and Patenverein, the “Bavaria” Cleveland, who came by Bus and attended with 60 members. We welcomed a delegation from the “Alt Washingtonia” DC, the “Almrausch” Schuhplattler from Altoona and our sister Verein D’Lustigen Isartaler. Also present was Cindy Hartz from Milwaukee, Gau Vortaenzerin, and Karin Dean Kraft together with husband Roger from Detroit “Edelweiss”, Editor of the Gauzeitung, a publication of the Gauverband Nord Amerika. Other guests arrived from New York City, Toledo,and former members of the Schuhplattler, the Krischke and Probsdorfer families from Florida. Rainer Jezek, also a former Schuhplattler traveled from Hamburg/Buffalo area together with his wife to take part in the festivities. It was this writer’s honor to act as emcee for the evening and also recognize some of our founding members:  Rita Mueller, Dan Biehler, Martin and Ursela Gerhard and Alfred Froeschl . The evening was beautifully arranged by 1. Vorplattler and Vortaenzerin Alex and Renee Ruggerio, Mike Hoffman, 2. Vorplattler,  Nancy Ott, Chairperson and 2. Vorstand, Lisa Kreutzer Curcio, 1. Vorstand, Rose Lechmanick, Schatzmeisterin,   Marina Ruggerio and all the Dancers. It was planned and executed to perfection. Lisa welcomed all to the 50. Stiftungsfest and her brother, Gerhard Kreutzer, gave the opening prayer in both German and English. Dinner was served on time and the wait staff did a great service in feeding the hungry and thirsty.

The dancers presented a program of dances from the past and a few new creations, choreographed by Renee. Much work went into planning the entire weekend event and all can be proud of their accomplishment. Our Patenverein Bavaria Cleveland delighted the audience with songs and dances. 1. Vorstand of Bavaria and 2. Vorstand of Gauverband Nordamerika, Ken Ott, congratulated the ASuTV for almost 50 years of friendship between the Vereine and also conveyed greetings from 1. Gauvorstand Tom Vogt. Ken presented a gift and in return received a Commemorative Stein. For the Schuhplattler the evening was a complete success and we hope that the Verein will have a bright future.

The traditional “Bauern Messe”, peasant mass, on Sunday at the Teutonia was one of the most beautiful events in recent memory. The mass was celebrated in German by Fr. Warren Murrman of St. Vincent. He honored the Verein already at our Fahnenweihe in 1982 and we were pleased to have him celebrate mass with us. Rose Lechmanick arranged the Service and the Dorfner Family, headed by Jackie and Bill, Jr. directed the service. They also performed on the Zither, Violin, Accordion and bass accompanied by the Schuhlattler Chorus with singers from our Patenverein Bavaria and the Teutonia Maenner- und Damenchor. During Toten Ehrung, honoring the deceased members, Adam Thimons played the Trompet  Solo,  “Ich hat einen Kameraden” from the balcony, indeed a very emotional moment. Adam is the grandson of Founding members Martin and Ursela Gerhard. The Alphorn Blaeser from Alt Washingtonia concluded the service with an Alphorn Trio also played from the balcony. Much credit for this beautiful Mass must be given to our Ehrenmitglied and special friend, Jim Falcioni who spent many hours and his own funds to decorate the Saengerhalle to resemble a mass in Bavaria. Jim also donated the Spanferkel Pig roast for the brunch after the service. All the former and present Alpen Schuhplattler, too many to mention here, deserve our admiration for honoring their commitment to our heritage in such a beautiful way. We wish them years of upholding their motto “Sitt und Tracht der Alten, wollen wir erhalten.”  The customs and ways of our forefathers we will honor and keep.

Straub Beer Night

Over 100 members showed up Thursday for the Straub Beer Night, and the club added two new members, the owner of the Brewery and Braumeister becoming members. Everyone enjoyed a sampling of Straub beers from Hefe Weizen, Lager to fine Pilsner. The Braumeister, Vince Asseta, answered questions and told the story of the Straub Brewery.

Mother’s Day Dinner Sell Out

The Teutonia honored our Mothers, Grandmothers on Sunday, May 11 with a delicious Jaeger Schnitzel Dinner or Stuffed Flounder. Our Virtuoso Ed Prem entertained the Mothers with his music as only he can provide. It was a wonderful day for all our Mothers and we are pleased that so many of our members supported Mother’s Day at the Teutonia. A big “Thank You” to our Kitchen Staff, waitresses and Manager Tom for a wonderful and delicious dinner.

Kay Schachner in The PostGazette

In a recent addition of the Post-Gazette, Torsten Ove featured the Life of our singer Kay Schachner. Just in time for Mother’s Day her story was told. Go to the Post-Gazette website to read her Life Story. This is a special Immigrant story and we are proud of Kay for her endurance and positive outlook on Life, always with a smile, she is truly a survivor.

Life Member Dinner 

The Life Member Dinner on May fourth was a little disappointing. Out of 32 members becoming 25-year members only 6 attended the Dinner. It is surprising that this Free Dinner for the new Life Members is not better attended. Those being honored all enjoyed the friendship together with other Life Members and 7 new 50-year members. A special recognition was  given to honorary President Fred Meyer, being the longest Teutonia member who joined the club in 1948. The Teutonia Maenner und Damenchor gave the afternoon a special touch by serenading the Life Members and guests with a few songs. Our Kitchen Staff had prepared a wonderful Prime Rib and Flounder Dinner with all the trimmings.

Notices: June 2014

Notice: Teutonia is seeking Kitchen and Wait Staff

The Teutonia Männerchor is currently looking for part-time help:  line cooks, prep cooks, dishwashers and wait staff.  Hours are mostly mid-day (9:00am – 3:00pm) and some weekend evenings. If you enjoy cooking or meeting people, please consider joining our staff as we watch the club grow! Please contact the manager at 412-231-9141 or

Notice: Price Increases

Due to the rapidly increasing prices of meat and produce, the Teutonia Männerchor will be increasing prices gradually over the coming months. We have received notices from several of our major suppliers alerting us to substantial increases; many have come in the past months and a few are due this summer.  We appreciate your understanding in this matter and we will strive to keep our increases as modest as possible.

Notice: Reservations – Please!

As the Teutonia Männerchor heads into the summer months, we would like to ask that dining reservations be made as early as possible for our lunches and special events. Due to popularity, it has been necessary to close reservations for several events in the recent past which has disappointed some members. By making early reservations, either online (preferred) @ or by telephone, you can avoid missing out on our most popular events. Thank you!

Flower Planting (Danke Schön)

Flower Planting Thanks!

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped in making the Club beautiful for the summer. The flower planting and general clean up around the club took place on Friday, May 9. Those getting their hands in the dirt were:

  • Sue Arlott
  • John Baun
  • Eric & Dailyn Christian
  • Louis Conti
  • Pat DeGregorio
  • Phil DeGregorio
  • Dave Erdodi
  • Joe Erny
  • Bob Fafata
  • Bob Gerthoffer
  • Dave Glitsch
  • Chuck Kostors
  • Jim Makiel
  • Janet McGlean
  • Kelly McGlean
  • Fred Miller
  • Dennis Riggs
  • Karl Schweitzer
  • Jim Stein
  • Rege Stephens
  • Rich Stull
  • Frank & Yvette Weidler
  • Jim & Phyllis Will
  • Ron Woods
  • Frank Yund

Frühlingschießen (Spring Shoot)

A reminder that our Frühlingschießen or spring shoot, is Saturday June 28th starting at 10:00 am.  The Teutonia Schützenkamerden are always looking for members interested in keeping this fun tradition alive and well.  The spring shoot is a good opportunity to get your feet wet since it is mostly a practice session before the Schützenfest in August.  Following the German way, shooting is done with a .22 rim fire rifle with iron sights only, no scopes or optics.   If you would like to give it try but don’t have a rifle, it is possible to share and we usually have one or two extra rifles available.  If you would like to know more about the tradition visit our web page:

The event is held at the Millvale Sportsmen’s Club in Wexford, just off the Rt. 910 exit off Interstate 79.  There is a $5.00 fee for targets to help offset the cost of the range rental.

As a special bonus, June 28 is also Radish Night!  Where else in America can you experience a day and night of Germanic tradition other than at the Teutonia Männerchor?

Gut Schuß, (Good Shot)

Hauptleute Knecht und Banzhaf

Teutonia Summer Cleaning Closing

THE TEUTONIA WILL BE CLOSED FOR CLEANING AND RESTORATION FROM Sunday, June 29, 2014 and will re-open Wednesday, JULY 16, 2014. 

160. Jubilaeum (160th Anniversary of the Teutonia Männerchor) Gallery

On Saturday, May 17th, 2014, at the 160. Jubilaeum (160th Anniversary of the Teutonia Männerchor), a great time was had by all. Photos taken in the Saengerhalle and Ratskeller at the Teutonia Männerchor.

‘We are survivors': How a family fled Yugoslavia after World War II

Kay, then 14, with her mother Anna Wagner and her brother Matthias, 15.

An immigrant’s memoir reveals a tale of desperation and rebirth in war-ravaged Europe, with Pittsburgh as the safe haven

May 11, 2014 12:00 AM

By Torsten Ove / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette taken from

Kay Schachner, 78, of Ross was 9 when she saw her father for the last time.

It was November 1944.

The Soviets had swept into her village in Yugoslavia the month before, riding ponies, and the Red Army began exacting revenge on the ethnic Germans living in what is now Serbia.

Kay’s father, Joseph Jost, had a Yugoslav friend whom he had once mentored. But the man had since joined Marshal Tito’s communist Partisans and, in Kay’s words, “was looking to make a name for himself.”

He arrived at the Jost home with Soviet soldiers, sat down at the dinner table and told Joseph — “Sepp” — that he needed to come to the Soviet headquarters. Joseph, he said, would return in a few hours.

It was a lie. Sepp didn’t come back that night, and as Kay returned from delivering milk the next morning, she saw him hauled away in the back of a wagon with other men from the village.

“When he saw me he stood to wave goodbye and was immediately hit in the stomach with a gun butt,” Kay recalls in a recently self-published memoir. “I saw father collapse into the wagon. He was a kind man who loved his family. As sick as he was [with tuberculosis], he probably knew he would never see us again and wanted one last farewell wave.”

The family later learned the Soviets shot him after he collapsed while working on a bridge project in the mountains. He was 44.

This searing memory is one of many Kay Schachner carries with her from a childhood marked by hardship in the aftermath of World War II.

Hers is a Pittsburgh immigrant story like many others. But hers is also different because it illustrates the suffering of ordinary Germans after the collapse of the Third Reich.

▪ ▪ ▪

KAY’S PEOPLE, called Danube Swabians, were ethnic Germans in the Danube River valley who paid a terrible price at the hands of the Soviets and Partisans.

After an odyssey in which she lost her father and her grandparents, escaped from concentration camps and hiked to safety in Austria, she came to America in 1949 with her mother and brother, married, raised a family and built a life in Pittsburgh.

20140511yugoslavia-serbia401Over the years, Kay’s family often asked about her girlhood experiences. She told the story in pieces but finally decided to write it down. “I’m getting older,” she said. “I wanted to give the kids a little bit of knowledge about what I went through.”

Darlene Lucas, a friend at the Teutonia Mannerchor on the North Side where Kay has been singing since she was 18, wrote the 31-page memoir over the past two years from a series of recorded interviews.

“It’s harrowing,” said Ms. Lucas, 68, of Scott. “She’s an amazing person to have lived through that, and still she smiles.”

She said the story resonates in this region because so many people here share German heritage. “I think the world needs to know [what happened] while these things are still fresh,” said Ms. Lucas.

Born in 1935, Kay grew up in the village of Tschestelek with her parents and brother, Matt. Her father was a cabinet-maker and the family raised livestock and chickens, supplementing their food supply with fruits and vegetables from a garden and grains from family fields.

Kay’s grandmother, Oma Pape, lived nearby with her husband, Peter. She had emigrated to America in the early 1900s and settled in Pittsburgh with her siblings, cooking for a Squirrel Hill family and doing embroidery at the Downtown Kaufmann’s store.

She also met her husband, who came from the same village, here. They eventually returned to Yugoslavia and married. Oma’s siblings stayed in Pittsburgh and would one day be Kay’s ticket to America.

Kay recalls an idyllic childhood of riding bikes, swimming, sampling Oma’s baking. Her favorite memories are snuggling with her parents on winter nights and playing with her prized baby doll.

In the early years of the war, life didn’t change much. Most of the men had left to fight for Germany, but Kay’s father’s tuberculosis left him unfit to serve. Then, in October 1944, the Soviets arrived.

“They came in on their ponies,” recalled Kay. “I’d never seen ponies before.”

Many local Yugoslavs capitalized on the change in fortune. “The Partisans were only too eager to please and turn on their former friends in order to ingratiate themselves,” Kay said in her memoir.

Some Germans killed themselves rather than face rape or torture. Kay’s neighbor hung herself in her attic. “To this day I still see her hanging there,” she said.

The following month, Sepp was taken away. The Soviets also shipped her grandfather, Opa Pape, to a work camp. She later learned he and others were lined up and shot. Some were still alive when the Soviets dumped acid on the bodies to dissolve them.

In December, soldiers herded the women into the town square. Those 18 to 29 were shipped to Siberian mines. When the local priest objected, the Soviets shot him.

One night, soldiers burst into the Jost home to take Kay’s mother, Anna, because the Partisans said she was of age to be sent to Siberia. But Kay and Matt “yelled and cried and hollered so much that they eventually left without her.”

The Soviets again rounded up the remaining women and children. This time the Jost home was turned over to Bosnians. Kay, Matt and Oma Pape were jammed into a wagon to be taken to Romania, while her mother was ordered to stay behind and cook.

After three days of wandering in Romania, Kay and her family were sent back to Tschestelek while the Soviets prepared the town of Rudolfsknad, 75 miles away, as a prison camp.

In January 1945, Kay, Matt and Oma Pape were loaded into cattle cars and shipped there. Some 23,000 refugees ended up in Rudolfsgnad, crammed into houses 20 to a room.

Food was rationed and there was little of it; the refugees took to making soup out of grass.

Oma got sick within weeks, probably because she was giving some of her rations to the children. One night in February, lying between Kay and Matt, she died. She was 62.

With the help of some women in her room, the children sewed Oma into a blanket “so at least she could have some dignity in death.” A wagon that came each morning to haul off the dead took her away.

Oma was among some 13,000 Germans who died in the camp and were buried there in mass graves dug by Germans.

“Today they still lie in mounds, covered by weeds,” Kay wrote. “There are no crosses or plaques to mark their passing. No mention that those men, women and children had left a footprint on this earth.”

Alone, the children subsisted on spoonfuls of barley and “transformed into skeletons,” covered with lice. When they went begging for food one day, one woman said to the other adults: “It will be a waste of food. Look, they’re already dying.”

(Years later, Kay’s mother and the woman became friends when the woman lived in Philadelphia; Kay was a bridesmaid in her daughter’s wedding. “People say things in desperate situations that it’s best to forget,” she said in the memoir).

In winter 1946, Kay’s mother managed to locate the children and brought them food. Eventually, taking advantage of the lackadaisical guards and disorganization in the camp, she just stayed.

They endured the camp until the spring of 1947, when Anna decided it was time to escape. They waited for dark one night and then bolted, crawling under the camp fence.

They walked through the countryside, Kay carrying her baby doll, but they’d only made it as far as the next town when Serbian soldiers caught them.

“We were forced to line up and say our last prayer because we were going to be shot for escaping the camp,” Kay wrote.

But it was a sadistic game. Instead, they were forced to walk back to the camp, where the Soviets confined them in a pit with no food, light or blankets. After several days there, they returned to their normal quarters. Anna began planning a second escape.

One summer night, they again crawled under the fence and walked from dusk until dawn, slipping among the corn rows. Kay held onto her baby doll, as always. During the day, they stayed out of sight in the woods or in haylofts.

Then, along the Romanian border, Romanian soldiers caught them. A guard escorted them back to the Yugoslav border.

“He must have been a kind soul,” Kay said in the memoir. “At the border, he dropped us off, turned around and headed back to the Romanian side without handing us over to anyone.”

For a month, the trio trudged through Romania toward Budapest, walking by night, hiding by day and eating what they could find in the fields. Sometimes, people gave them food, risking their own freedom.

Eventually they reached Budapest, where they hid in a hayloft. Anna spoke with some local women who told her that the camp in Budapest was bad and that she should go to Vienna. One woman, who had lost a child about Kay’s age, offered to adopt Kay.

Anna said no. “I’ve brought you this far,” she said. “I’m taking you the rest of the way!”

They started off, Kay again clutching her baby doll, and followed the Danube River to Austria. They finally arrived in a refugee zone in the French sector of Vienna. “For the first time in years, I was able to sleep in a bed and not on straw on the floor or in a field or hiding in a hayloft,” Kay wrote.

They set up in a schoolhouse, 20 to a classroom, with bunk beds. They had ration cards and waited in line to cook on a hot plate. Kay remembers eating a lot of horse ghoulash and fish stew.

While Matt took to begging, their mother got a job in a hat factory and bought new shoes for the children. Kay and Matt started school; the family attended church for the first time in years.

▪ ▪ ▪

AFTER TWO YEARS in the city, Anne made contact with Kay’s great aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. They soon sent packages from America. “Each time we opened one, it was like Christmas,” Kay recalled, and agreed to sponsor the family’s immigration.

As the trio prepared to leave for America, refugees were still arriving at the schoolhouse. Among them was a little girl who had nothing. Kay gave the girl her battered baby doll.

“She had traveled with me and comforted me from my home, which by now was only a distant memory, through grandma’s death, the starvation camp, both escape attempts and our trek to Vienna,” Kay wrote.

The family boarded a ship in France, endured seasickness and arrived at Ellis Island, where the Red Cross put them on a train to Pittsburgh. They initially stayed with Kay’s aunt and uncle in Carrick. He owned a beauty shop and gave her a perm. Her mother and Matt got makeovers, too, and new clothes.

The children lived for a while near Conneaut Lake while their mother worked in a meat-packing plant, and the family settled on the North Side in 1949.

Kay went to Allegheny High School, played basketball and volleyball, and swam at the Sarah Heinz House. Matt worked at McCrory’s dime store on East Ohio Street. Anna dragged them both to the Teutonia Mannerchor, the German social club in East Allegheny.

When she turned 18, Kay joined the club with her mother.

She also met Konrad Schachner, a bricklayer who came to America from Bavaria in 1949. He was six years older, but the two began dating. They got engaged and Konrad began building a house.

After high school, Kay went to work at McCrory’s, taught dancing and later became a receptionist at Gulf Oil.

Konrad was drafted during the Korean War but didn’t have to serve. He and Kay married in 1956 in a double ceremony with Matt and his first wife, Esther.

Kay and Konrad moved into the house he’d built on William Street in Ross, where the couple raised their six children. One, Ricky, died in 2006 at 32; the others, all with families of their own, are still in the area. Konrad died in 1989.

Kay’s mother, who remarried in 1958, lived on the North Side until her death in 1999. Kay still reveres her for her gumption after the war. “My mom was a gutsy lady,” she said. “She said she would get us out, and she did.”

History has not forgotten the Danube Swabians. There are memorials in Cleveland, Cincinnati and other U.S. cities and also in Germany, where the scars of war remain in every town.

Kay has traveled to Germany many times with her family and with the German club, but she has never returned to her hometown. The memories of those hard times are difficult.

“You can never forget it,” she said. “We survived and we made the best of what we had.”

She remains fiercely proud of her family and her heritage. Sprinkled throughout her memoir is this exhortation: “We are survivors!”

Torsten Ove:, 412-263-1510.

160. Jubilaeum Ball und Konzert Program

Saturday May 17th, 2014

Master of Ceremonies
Wilhelm Banzhaf, Sänger President

4:30 pm

  • Special Cocktail Hour in the Ratskeller with Mural Conservator Chantel Bernicky

5:00 pm

  • Cocktail Hour (Cash Bar) in the Sängerhalle (String Ensemble will Entertain)

6:00 pm

  • Welcome by Ralph Wagner, President of the Teutonia Männerchor
  • Invocation by Belá Pater
  • Dinner

7:30 pm

  • Teutonia Männer- und Damenchor Sängergruß
  • Deutsche National Hymne
  • United States National Anthem
  • Remarks by Alice Weinbrenner, Damenchor Präsidentin
  • Musical Selections

8:30 pm

  • Special Remarks by Wilhelm Banzhaf, MC
  • Introduction of Special Guests
  • Special Proclamations by Honorable Council Woman Darlene Harris introduced by Edward Graf
  • Paul Overby, Honorary German Consul, introduced by John Erskine, Vice President Gary Luther, President Nordamerikanischer Sängerbund introduced by Wilhem Banzhaf

Music for Entertainment and Dancing by The Bill Dorfner Family



In Memorium

Bob Miller, died in April. He was a big supporter of the Teutonia and made many special contributions to the Teutonia. Bob was one of the long time Lunch attendees and always kept a friendly disposition overcoming a handicap which made his visits to the club difficult, but he tried hard to meet his many friends at the club. Bob was born in Pittsburgh of Schwaebische Parents and would always greet this writer with a few words in the swabian dialect. We will miss him and keep him in our memories.

Henry K. Sobczak, 88, of Coraopolis passed away March 27, 2014 at home with his family at his side. Henry was born in Dabrowa, Poland, and was a Life Member of the Teutonia. We extend our condolences to the bereaved families.

Our condolences to Phil and Andrea Mueller on the passing of Andrea’s mother Loretta Proch.

May they rest in peace, Ruhet in Frieden.

New Members Welcomed

At the March Membership Meeting we welcomed the following new members: Quentin Beitler, Bo Edvardsson, William Fronczek, Christopher Ortmann, Matthew Pickell, Matthew Rudzki, Neal Shipley, Christopher Tierno and John Wall.

At the membership Meeting on Thursday, April 17, 23 new members were inducted. This was the largest group of new members in recent history. President Ralph Wagner informed the new members of the aims of the society and to follow the rules of the society as stated in the By-Laws and also to support the Teutonia in every possible way. He then asked them to answer with an audible, “YES”. The President then pronounced them as regular members of the Teutonia.

The following were installed, Hans Zolet, David Wisniewski, Jeff Tapolci, Oscar Stephany, William Sweterlitsch, Warren Swartz, Brian Schimmel, Howard Schillinger, Daniel Ravenstahl, John Radvansky, David Moran, Jr., David Moran, Sr., William Moore, Fred Heidenreich, Jr., Ronald Eggert, Jonathan Dzurino, John Cravotta, Michael Columbus, Charles Colteryahn, Neal Breitenstein, Joseph Bianchin, III; George Altman and Edward Buechl.

The new members were welcomed with rousing applause and singers present saluted them with the Teutonia “In Freud und Leid” and “Ein Prosit der Gemuetlichkeit.” Hoping the group will take advantage of the many different activities in the Teutonia and also support the club by taking part in the many events offered throughout the year.

Club News: May 2014

An old German saying is “April kann machen was er will” April can do whatever it wants. We certainly are happy that we now finally are enjoying some more seasonable temperatures. The months of April started out with our Mystery Beer Night, and the following Saturday we had yours truly and Bill Dorfner III teach some old favorite songs and also speak German by inviting everyone to the old favorite “O Du schoene Schnitzelbank.” We welcomed a visitor from Los Angeles, Klaus Hornell, a former dancer with the Alpen Schuhplattler, who was in town visiting with family and also paid the Teutonia a visit. He sang a few Jodlers which was much appreciated by all in attendance. Several of the Isartaler Schuhplattler also came to enjoy the Weissbier, Weisswurst and Laugen Brezeln. The evening was lots of fun and enjoyed by all who attended. Both events were in the Ratskeller and attracted a limited amount of members.

On Sunday, April 13, the Easter Bunny came to the Teutonia and had some fun activities for the Kinder. We can say the Saengerhalle was “hopping” and all the children received gifts from the Easter Bunny.

Also in April the Alpen Schuhplattler und Trachten Verein will celebrate their 50 years of Schuhplattln in Pittsburgh. The Verein was founded in 1964 and they have been part of the Teutonia Family since 1966. The Fest will be celebrated on Saturday, April 26 and 27 with a traditional Bauernmesse in the Teutonia Saengerhalle on Sunday morning 10 am followed by Brunch of a suckling “Spanferkel” piglet with all the trimmings. We will have a report in the June issue of the T-News.

Der Mai ist gekommen die Baeume schlagen aus.” Yes, May is here and trees are blooming again, what a wonderful time of year. We are hoping that by now you have decided on helping the Teutonia celebrate 160 years since its founding in 1854. The celebration of our Teutonia Maennerchor is an opportunity to look back at our long history and show our pride in our German Heritage when we commemorate this special Anniversary on Saturday, May 17, 2014. This will be a milestone event and we are pleased to have some very special guests. We will welcome the Honorary German Council Paul Overby and also the President of the Nord Amerikanische Saengerbund, North American Singers Association, Gary Luther and his wife Marianne from Milwaukee Wisconsin. Our Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has been invited as well as City Council Woman Darlene Harris. The Teutonia Choruses will present a short concert and the evening promises to be a very special event adding to the long history of the Teutonia.

It is still time to make reservations, but please do not delay, since this special celebration of 160 years will only have 160 reserved seating. If you are unable to attend please send a generous donation to the Teutonia Building and Mural restoration fund. Your name will be listed in the Program Book for a donation of $100.00, $50.00 or $25.00. If you want attend the special Cocktail Party at 4:30 pm and hors d’oeuvres with a donation of $125.00 p.p. (includes dinner and Ball) and call the club. Meet with our special guests and have our artist Chantal Bernicky explain her work and restoration efforts of our Teutonia Murals.

Please make your reservation by May 9 and list your preference of dinner by filling out the flyer from last month News or at

The Teutonia Maennerchor with its 160 year history has been home to many immigrants over the past years, this writer included. The Teutonia is indebted to those pioneers for the dedication of preserving a heritage they held dearly. Today’s second, third and fourth generation Americans of German decent are still honoring their memory in keeping the Teutonia a place where everyone can enjoy the traditions of the old homeland. In my 50 years as a member I have known many of the pioneers of the Teutonia. These men were dedicated Teutonians, beginning with Henry Robel, who served the club as President for 23 years. Paul Wiegand served for ten years as President and Jakob Wuerstlein who was appointed club steward in 1931 served the club for 43 years. One of the most respected and devoted man was our former editor of the Teutonia News, Fred Hornberger. Fred researched the history of the Teutonia in old German Newspapers finding surviving minutes of the club, which were handwritten in the old German script and records in the Carnegie Library. Much of this research is the result of what we know today about the history of the Teutonia. Fred edited the Teutonia News for 35 years after he took over from the first editor Frank Riedel who started the Teutonia News as a very small two page Newsletter in 1951. Since then there were only two other Editors, Fred Kunz and for over 15 years Christel Van Maurik. Since her passing in 2012 it has been the present editor to continue this work. It is impossible to mention the many officers, singers, and regular members who have contributed to the development and growth of the Teutonia Maennerchor through the years. Many of them have unselfishly given their time and expanded their efforts to make the Teutonia what it is today. To this list of dedicated members we certainly would add past President Cornelius Van Maurik who has led the club for 15 years. We will be forever grateful for their dedication and hope that the Teutonia will be a home for Americans with a love and appreciation of German culture and song to continue for generations to come.

We have grown from a small group of singers in 1854 to today’s almost 3,000 members, and the struggles those early Teutonians experienced are dwarfed by today’s members. Your continued support is urgently needed, so don’t delay to make your reservations for the 160. Anniversary. If you are unable to attend consider making a donation to the constant efforts to preserve our Teutonia’s historical Building.

Aus Sängerkreisen

The singers are finally on a regular schedule for rehearsals and are looking forward to the 160. Anniversary Concert. We have been working diligently on a special program for the Anniversary on Saturday, May 17 when we celebrate the founding of the Teutonia Maennerchor in 1854.

The choruses will be presenting a few songs at the Annual Life Member Dinner on Sunday, May 4. We also received an invitation from the Schweizer Maennerchor celebrating their 140. Anniversary on Saturday, June 7, 2014 in the Teutonia Saengerhalle.

The Singers will hold their Annual Election of Officers on Wednesday, May 21 to elect the officers for the 2014 – 15 season. Plans are under way for another German Tour in 2015. This will be the 5. Deutschland Reise and takes us from Hamburg, Bremen, Luebeck to Berlin and places in between. A detailed travel schedule will be available shortly. The singers will be traveling in a 75 passenger double decker bus.

The Teutonia summer picnic will be on Saturday, June 14, and we will open the picnic with a few songs and then the singers will be in charge of the kitchen. We hope for a great day to enjoy with members and friends as well as good food and the popular Beer Wagon.

Mother’s Day Dinner

Sunday, May 11 from 2 to 6 pm

Mother’s Day is always a special day for all Mothers and Omas of Teutonia. Please make reservations and bring mom to the club for a delicious dinner. It is a way to thank our moms and grandmothers for always being there for us, giving their love and encouragement throughout the year. Mothers are the most important people in our life, honor her by taking her away from the daily chores and have a great day at the club. Dinner music will be provided by our very talented and always ready for a song, Ed Prem.

Hühnerflügel und Bier (Wings and Beer) Night

It’s Back and in the Saengerhalle!

Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 7:00 PM until Closing…

An assortment of wings paired with 4 different beers from Full Pint Brewing Company of Pittsburgh.

$18.95 per person includes food, beer samples and live music.

Since this event brought out an over capacity of members and friends the last time, we’ll move it from the Ratskeller to our Saengerhalle. If you want to introduce your friends to this popular event this should be a great evening to let them experience our Teutonia Gemuetlichkeit.

2014 Last Schlachtfest of the Season attended by over 200 Members and Guests

Our Manager Tom and the Kitchen Staff, headed by Chef Inge, were happy to have a good attendance at our last Schlachtfest. Many people enjoyed this traditional Butcher’s Feast or Schlachtfest and I also noticed quite a few younger members enjoying the always popular “Schlachtteller.” We are indeed pleased that this traditional dinner turned out so successful.

Weisswurst, Weissbier und Laugen Brezeln

Saturday, April 12, 2014

“Wir sprechen Deutsch” Today we speak German

Here is something new for all those members longing for good German Weissbier and Weisswurst with Laugen Brezeln from Deutschland. You will not want to miss this evening of fun, good friends and Gemuetlichkeit as you only can experience in the Teutonia. The language today will be German or as much German as you can muster, especially after a Weiss Bier loosens your tongue. We will be singing some of the old Wirtshaus Lieder accompanied by our German speaking musician Bill Dorfner. We have often been asked by some younger members why we don’t speak German more often, well here is your chance in words and song.

This event will be in the Ratskeller so don’t delay to get your tickets early. $12.00 will include a Weisswurst, Weissbier and Brezel, and we’ll see you for some “Spass und Gemuetlichkeit”.

Mural Support Cocktail Event before the Jubiläum Ball

For members and guests who would like to attend a special cocktail party before the Jubiläum Ball at the Sponsor level of $125 per person we offer a Ratskeller gathering with complimentary cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres at 4:30 PM, and this also includes the Dinner and Ball.

Many of you have observed the conservation work on our priceless murals in the Ratskeller. Our conservation artist Chantal Bernicky is one of a small number of individuals competent to restore this art for another hundred years. She will discuss the historic importance of the murals and her work on them. Other invited guests are Honorary German Consul Paul Overby, Mayor Bill Peduto and our Councilwoman Darlene Harris.

Please send your check to:

Teutonia Männerchor
857 Phineas Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Attention:  John Erskine – Vice President

This Year’s (2014) Faschingsball

IMG_0181Attendance at this year’s Fasching was a bit disappointing. We only had around 100 Revelers come out to celebrate the last big event before Lent. The enthusiasm of the masqueraders was exhilarating with many dressed in costumes, from the fifties punk rockers to witches, nuns and soldiers as well as groups depicting the Wizard of Oz and Toy Story. Add to that the music of our always popular Peter Karsti Band and you had the perfect combination for a fun filled celebration. Prizes were awarded – most original costume to Eric Christian dressed as a Austrian Grenadier, the funniest costume was Uncle Sam by Kelsey Dolhon, best couple was Rob and Beth Wehr dressed as Paul Bunyan and Beth was the tree stump. Prizes for best Group went to the Conley Family depicting the Wizard of Oz and best costume went to Maureen Uhler dressed as a Punk Girl.

Electronic Reservations System

The Teutonia Maennerchor has a new “Electronic Reservations System” which can be accessed directly @ This will allow our members to make reservations for lunch, dinners and events directly from their computer or smart phone. Please help us by taking advantage of this new system and make your reservations today!

Alternatively, you’re able to E-mail: in order to make a reservation.

(Please try to make all reservations at least 24 hours in advance whenever possible).

Club News: April 2014

160 Years and Still Going Strong

The Teutonia Maennerchor, the oldest German Club in Western Pennsylvania in the Tri-State area can proudly celebrate 160 years of song, music and German traditions. Our long history takes us back to the presidency of Franklin Pierce (1853-1857). Teutonia Members answered the call to serve during the Civil War (1860-1864) and stood on the side of the US during two World Wars. We have been part of the American dream and have contributed mightily to our new country never forgetting our roots and our heritage.

From our earliest times in 1854, the first President of Karl Weitershausen to Ralph Wagner today there have been men and women who have devoted time and efforts to keep the Teutonia moving forward. In 1868, the attempt was made to build their own Vereinsheim, a dream that seemed impossible. But preservation and the efforts of then President Henry Bergmann lead to an earnest search for a suitable home for the Teutonia Maennerchor. By 1888, the members celebrated the “Einweihung” of their new home. At that time very little money was available, and so a fund drive was started by selling 300 shares at $25.00 to be paid off at 25 cents a week. Members were limited to 10 shares. A donation of $50.00 relieved said member of paying dues for life. As late as 1934, coal stoves were still in use. The Sängerhalle had four stoves and two in the Ratskeller. Gas lines were installed in that year and the coal cellar is now being used for compressor and pop and beer storage. In 1954 the Teutonia choirs celebrated the 100th Anniversary with gusto with Henry Robel at the helm. Some of our older members still can recall this celebration with pride. Our Sängerpresidentin, Alice Krampf Weinbrenner served as Secretary. Many prominent members come to mind like Joe Sauer who was the father of Henry Sauer, singer with the Maennerchor. Going over some of the records from the past we see many names which still today appear on our roster. We recall many members over the past 50 years who have made a large impact on our club. Paul Wiegand who was President for 10 years and our immediate past President Cor Van Maurik who was the longest serving President merit mention. During the years in 1987-88 when Regis Knapp served as president we made our first attempts to restore our building when we celebrated the 100. Jubilaeum of the Teutonia Vereinsheim. This effort has continued to this day and we are still making improvements to the club. In recent years, the kitchen saw new equipment and stainless steel shelving. This is only possible due to our members supporting our ongoing efforts to constantly improve the Building and Saengerhalle. At our 150. Anniversary, a three day celebration, just a short, 10 years ago, we welcomed three Vereine from Germany, our local Gesangvereine as well as choruses from Washington DC, neighboring Ohio and Michigan. It was the largest celebration in recent history. The 160. Anniversary will be celebrated with much appreciation for those who came before us.

Please support our efforts to do our part in preserving what our forefather have given us. We hope you will join us for our 160. Jubilaeum and Konzert on Saturday, May 17, 2014 but also ask you to support your club with a generous donation to the Building and Mural Restoration Fund. The transformation of the downstairs hall into an authentic German Ratskeller, took place in 1934, and has added a unique touch to the German ethnic makeup and atmosphere of the Teutonia. It had a very favorable impact not just on members, but also on visitors from abroad. Members of that time were also responsible for the wonderful murals which now after 80 years have shown their wear and are now being restored to the former beauty by Chantal Bernicky who is almost finished. We hope that on your next visit to the club you will take a look at the vibrant colors after removing 80 years of grime and smoke.

See the flyer in this issue and make your reservations by May 1, 2014 to help us celebrate another milestone in the history of Teutonia. Should you not be able to attend we ask you to consider a donation to the Building Fund and we will list your name in the Program. It is hoped that we will have several prominent guests, among them Mayor Bill Peduto, the Honorary German Council Paul Overby, Councilwoman Darlene Harris and the President of the Nordamerikanische Sängerbund Gary Luther. We also will welcome special guests from the local German Organizations.

Aus Sängerkreisen

Wow what a cold and nasty few months, it has been a struggle to get enough rehearsals for our upcoming events. Then we had the sad duty to say farewell to our singers Dave, Jim and Artur. This has been very difficult for the singers and the loss of their voices is deeply felt by all of us. We are certain they are now part of the heavenly chorus. With renewed effort we now will rehearse for the 160. Jubilaeum on Saturday, May 17.

The singers also will sing for our Life Members on May 4 and taking part in the 50. Stiftungsfest / Bauernmesse on Sunday, April 27, 10:00 am to be held in the Teutonia Sängerhalle. This will be a special German Mass celebrated by Father Warren Murrman, St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe. We would encourage everyone to take part in this memorable event of the Alpen Schuhplattler. Besides the Teutonia Singers there will be guest Vereine taking part in the service beginning with Alphorn Blaeser from the Alt Washingtonia Schuhplattler Verein and the S.T.V. Bavaria from Cleveland. The Alpen Schuhplattler chorus together with instrumentalists will accompany the special mass.

After the Mass, a special Lunch will be served in the Ratskeller including Roasted Piglet (Spanferkel) with all the trimmings for $10.00 per person.

Life Member Dinner

The Annual Life Member Dinner will be on Sunday May 4, 2014 beginning at 4 o’clock. We have over 300 Life Members and it is hoped that many can attend this year’s dinner. It is always nice to see old friends and reminisce about the good times. For Life Members the dinner is only $7.00 and guests are $15.00. The kitchen will serve Prime Rib or Stuffed Flounder with all the trimmings.

New Life members will enjoy a free meal, please make reservation by calling the club and let them know your choice of dinner for you and your guest. For the first hour we also will serve free beer, so come and enjoy dinner and honor our newest 25 and 50 year members.

This year we welcome new 25 year members: Richard Bartosch, Len Brenner, Kenneth Bronder, Frank Buchman, Glynn Eckard, Chud Fuellgraf, Kenneth Gerst, Paul Grandy, John Group, George Lubiw, Robert Madia, Charles Means, Richard Melzner, Michael Mohr, David Moser, Charles Riek, Chad Rittle, Joseph Sanko, Gary Schroeder, Paul Schultz, Karl Schweisthal, Anthony Seethaler, Kenneth Sidehamer, James Snyder, James Steigerwald, Robert Tate, Gary Tener, Craig Thomas, Rick Williams, Donald Sakman, Walter Zuck and 50 year members James Sheldon, Felix Stano and Wilhelm Banzhaf.

You can make your dinner reservations by calling the club at 412.231.9141 or make your reservation

In Memoriam

The singers not only had to struggle with the weather but also the loss of four members of the chorus in just a few short months. Their death has left us with much sorrow and it was with much sadness to have to say farewell to Mary Miller, Dave Womer and just recently Jim Liebmann and Artur Idler.

James M. Liebmann, died at age 63, on March 8, 2014. Jim is survived by his wife Karen, who is also Vice President of the Damenchor and sons Eric and Kurt and their families. Besides being a devoted singer he also was a scoutmaster. He served the Pittsburgh District as President and also was vice president of the Maennerchor. Jim’s dedication to our Teutonia Choruses was exemplary. On many occasions he carried our Damenchor Fahne with pride, the last time just last year at the 61. Saengerfest in Milwaukee. We will honor his memory and he will always be remembered for his great Bass voice. Ruhe in Frieden – Rest in Peace.

Artur Idler was born in 1929 in Lichtental, Romania. He died March 11, 2014. In the turbulent years during the WW II he and his family ended up in Germany, from where his ancestors left centuries before when many Schwaben left the Heimat to make a new beginning in a new country only to have been uprooted again and finding their way back to Struempfelbach in Wuerttemberg. The end of the war brought hardship to many and again the family decided to immigrate to America. They were sponsored by the Lutheran Church and ended up in North Irwin, PA. Artur and his late wife Lena joined the Teutonia in 1964 and he would have been a 50 year member this year. He was a singer with the East Pittsburgh Saengerbund and after the Saengerbund folded Artur joined the Teutonia Maennerchor in 2005. For over 30 years he served the E. P. Singers as Treasurer and sang with the Maennerchor until health would not allow him to drive. We will remember Artur for his quiet and humble ways and as a good friend. Ruhe in Frieden – Rest in Peace.

Herbert Goller (1940-2014). Herbert was born in Lima, Peru and met his wife Elisabeth in Germany before coming to the United States in 1978. Herbert was a successful entrepreneur and joined the Teutonia in 2004. Our sympathy goes out to his wife Elisabeth and their extended family. Ruhe in Frieden – Rest in Peace.

2014 Father – Daughter Dinner

TEUTONIA MÄNNERCHOR (celebrating 160 years during 2014)

Sunday March 30th, 2014 @ 2:30 in the afternoon

Yes, It is a celebration of the wonder of daughters but we also invite Grandfathers, to bring their granddaughters and older Brothers to bring their sister (in honor of their father) and Fathers to bring their Daughter in Law.  Guest fathers and daughters are invited, with a member.  All ages are invited.

The afternoon event  will start at 2:30 with a well known  Harpist for your enjoyment during cocktails and soft drinks. Each daughter will receive a flower and we have a “Shutterbooth photo” available at no cost (with multiple photos allowed), alcoholic beverages, soft drinks can be purchased.

There will be light musical entertainment appropriate to honoring our daughters, with performances by the Kinderchor, Teutonia singers and Alpen Schuhplattler und Trachten Verein – with a special performance of the “Landler dance” (as performed in “The Sound of Music”) Dancing  for Fathers and Daughters will follow.

The adult menu is Schnitzel for $19.00 or a 4 oz filet and a crab cake for $22.00 and kids can order either chicken fingers and french fries or a hotdog and mac n’ cheese for $14.00 all meals are plus tax and tip.  This includes the photos and entertainment.

NOT JUST FOR DAUGHTERS!  please get your reservations in with your meal selection  For reservations call 412 231 9141 or e-mail

Alpen Schuhplattler und Trachten Verein 50. Stiftungsfest

You’re invited to the Alpen Schuhplattlers’ 50. Stiftungsfest!  Everyone is welcome at our celebration of 50 years of dancing, tradition and friendship.  Tickets are on sale now for our banquet, Bauernmesse and brunch.


Banquet: April 26, 2014 @ 6PM, IBEW Circuit Center, South Side

Join us for a delicious German dinner and an evening of dance performances and dancing to the music of the Barons.  Adult tickets $40; kids 10 and under $15.

Bauernmesse and Brunch: April 27, 2014 @ 10AM, Teutonia Männerchor

Finish the weekend with a traditional Bauernmesse sung in German.  Join us afterwards for brunch featuring a pig roast!  Brunch tickets: $10.

Reservation forms are available in the Teutonia Ratskellar or online at  Please send your reservations by April 11th.  Note that all events are cash bar; the IBEW Circuit Center accepts cash only.

Questions? Contact Jackie Dorfner at (412) 257-7574 or

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance

On Saturday, March 15, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, which calls for the wearing of green.

Ratskeller Dinner 5:30 PM, Upstairs Hall performance @ 8 PM

  • Enjoy the Irish High Holy Day celebration in the comfort of your club
  • We are featuring Guinness and Irish whiskey, along with our usual selection of beers and schnapps at our reasonable club prices
  • You can dine with a special menu which includes corned beef & cabbage, stew and schnitzel.
  • Enjoy a performance of “The Celtic Dance Academy”, one of the premier performance groups of this historic art form
  • Finish the evening enjoying the music of the Rhythm Kings for your dancing or listening pleasure

Germans and the Irish do have a lot in common. We enjoy good food, good beer and now and then something stronger. It was St. Killian who brought Christianity to Germany and the continent in the 6th century. St. Killian’s Abbey in Wuerzburg is named after the monk and there are many more churches in Europe who trace their roots to St. Killian. The young dancers from the Celtic Dance Academy will be performing and the Rhythm Kings will have you dancing to their Irish tunes, and yes, we also will have some traditional waltzes and polkas. There will be something for everyone. If you have been at the St. Patrick’s Day in the past you will recall the fine dancing these young children present, and if this is your first time we guarantee you a great evening. Get your tickets early and join your Teutonia friends with a touch of the Irish and have some fun and Gemuetlichkeit.

Schnitzel Night in the Ratskeller with Ed Boron

Saturday March 8, 2014, from 5:30 PM until 12:00 AM

Nothing is more traditional than Schnitzel (a boneless pork cutlet, tenderized, with a special coating or sauce for a delicious offering). And we will have three different Schnitzels for your selection, two of them branching out a bit from the traditional German style to some of the neighboring area specialties, including Jägerschnitzel, Zigeunerschnitzel und Rahmschnitzel.

Dinner is priced at $14.95.

Also, enjoy the accordion playing of Ed Boron for an enjoyable evening . Dinner is served from 5:30 to 8:30 PM and the music begins at 7:00 PM.

E-mail or call us (412) 231-9141.

Schnapps Tasting & Live Music

Saturday, March 22 — Starts at 7:30 p.m. $15 per person – GUESTS ARE WELCOME

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We will taste five different schnapps with our Schnappsmeister, including:

New members encouraged to meet others and bring a guest for an informal evening (the usual Saturday dress code).

Dinner served 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and includes:

A choice of our fine selection for a Wurst Sandwich, accompanied by special seasoned fries and German Potato Salad!

Your choice of Knockwurst, Bratwurst, Slovenian Wurst, or Frankfurter!

Price: $7.95

New Members Welcomed in February

At the February 16th Membership Meeting, we welcomed the following new members: Derek Coughenour, Joseph Coulter, John Daley, Kevin Flannery, Joseph Froetschel, Daniel Goss, Joe Grguras, Daniel Haser, Edward Heinl, Kevin Keefer, Frederic Krehely, Robert Kuhi, Rug Phatak, Andrew Poerschke, David Starsnic, Charles Stehno and Timothy Steitz.

Stein Society Meeting – March 2014

The meeting will be at Noon on Saturday March 8th at the Teutonia Mannerchor. We have a guest speaker (Ed Heinlien) going to discuss the difference between a beer stein and a beer krug. There will be tons of quality antique steins for sale at bargain basement prices, Including Mettlachs, Regimentals, Characters, Glass, Westerwald (Regensburg) just to mention a few! We encourage everyone to bring your steins to sell or to learn more about what you have. We usually set up at 11:30 A.M. and start the meeting promptly at noon. Feel free to contact Tom Weber with any questions or for details.

Thank you,
Tom Weber – President
(412) 854-2547

Schützenkameraden News

Old man winter has been tough on Teutonia’s scheduled events, but the intrepid Schützenkameraden decided not to let the weather spoil the Schützenfest Awards Dinner. Though some could not make it through the snow, those who did enjoyed an evening of warm camaraderie and good food from our wonderful kitchen. A special meal of venison and wild boar ragout was available for the occasion. Everyone had a great time, there were lots of smiles as the winners received their authentic Scheiben (wooden target plate with winners name engraved) and marksmanship prizes from Germany.

It was also a special night for our Hauptmann (captain) Willi Banzhaf as he was presented with a commemorative plaque for founding the Teutonia Schützenkameraden in 1997. Willi will still be an honorary Hauptmann, but has asked Keith Knecht to serve as the active president of the group and continue the events long tradition in Germanic culture.

The Schützenkameraden are looking forward to 2014 and have tentatively set the dates of Saturday, June 28 for the Frühlingschieβen (spring shoot) and Schützenfest on Saturday, August 9th at the Millvale Sportsman’s Club in Wexford. Watch for updates in the coming months.

2013 Schützenfest Winners

Schützenkönig (Shooting King – .22 caliber Sporter Rifle) – Keith Knecht

Ritters (Knight)

  • 1st Ritter – Brian Gruber
  • 2nd Ritter – Eric Dean

Schützenmeister (Shooting Master – .22 caliber Target Match Rifle) – Eugene Lechmanick

Ritters (Knight)

  • 1st Ritter – Rose Lechmanick
  • 2nd Ritter – Keith Knecht

Letter to the Editor

I’ve been a member for years, member #500. I often donate extra money to the club, especially the building fund. I have not donated to the murals restoration for one, very simple, reason – why do it if the smoking continues in the Ratskellar?

I really like the club and the many activities – we especially like the Franz family radish night and stein night, childrens’ parties for different seasons and so forth. What bothers me is the ‘antique’ thinking – the smoking, even though it is a private club, should be gone. But, the influence of the older members is understood and some things are difficult to change. Likewise, the club loses sales because of the attire rules. Here’s the scene – we’re in Pittsburgh for some other event (a one-hour each way travel commitment) – in blue jeans – “Let’s stop at the Teutonia for a while.” “We can’t, we’re in blue jeans.” “Okay”, and then we go somewhere else like Primanti’s or Penn Brewery. They get our money.

I can somewhat live with the smoking, but why ruin the newly-restored murals with it? Makes no sense to me. I can live with not stopping at the Teutonia, un-planned, because of the blue jeans. Makes no sense to me. I’d rather spend my money at the Teutonia.

Additionally, my blue jeans cost more than dress pants and, these days, blue jeans are not just considered as ‘work clothes’ anymore. Old, old thinking. Hoping that you have an open mind to listening to a member’s thoughts.

Thank you,
Jorn Jensen
Worthington, PA

Editor’s Note: Our club has been smoke free for the past year and blue jeans are permitted, just not in the Saengerhalle!

CIEE is looking for a host family for Sarah from Germany

CIEE is looking for a host family for Sarah from Deutschland!

Sarah is 15 years old and says “I am excited about the American School Spirit and I think the whole wide country is really interesting” She is a member of the German Youth Scout Movement and enjoys hiking, photography and dancing. Sarah describes herself as trustworthy and fun to be around but says she sometimes talks a little bit too much- a weakness that she likens to eating too much chocolate. She arrives in August 2014 for a 10 month stay.

If you would like more information about hosting Sarah please message CIEE of Western Pennsylvania.

Danke schön!

Aus Sängerkreisen

This must have been the coldest winter in years and the singers were forced to cancel several rehearsals due to snow and ice. Now we hope that spring is just around the corner and we can have rehearsals on a regular schedule. With a heavy schedule coming up, we urge all singers to attend every rehearsal. We also take part in the Annual Student Dinner at the club sponsored by the Alpen Schuhplattler on Tuesday, March 18, 6:30 pm in the Saengerhalle.

The singers traveled to New Castle by bus to be part of the “Celebration of Life” for our fellow singer Dave Womer. The Womer family, led by Dave’s wife Jan, reminisced about the 50 plus years they had together and lovingly described some of the lighter side of Dave. Dave’s grandchildren read from the scriptures and several of Dave’s friends and members of the family told some of the highlights in his life. The Teutonia Maenner und Damenchor, with remarks by the Saengerpraesident on the years Dave was in our midst emphasized the firm commitment Dave had to our chorus. The singers sang several songs which were very much appreciated by the family and friends. Jan Womer also thanked the singers with a donation to the Teutonia and Dave’s nephew Tim and his wife Barbara also made a substantial donation in Dave’s name. It was a beautiful way of remembering our fellow singer and learn even more about this very gentle and compassionate friend and singer.

New Date for the Teutonia 160th Jubilaeum

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The weather in January and February made it difficult in planning for our 160. Jubilaeum scheduled for April 12 and now will be changed to Saturday, May 17. This date was to be the Singer’s Annual Spring Concert but we will now combine it with our 160th Anniversary. More details in the next Teutonia News. Mark your calendar for this special celebration and support your Teutonia by planning to attend. At this writing we do not have a complete program but it is hoped that we will have special guests from the honorary German Council to representatives from the city as well as the President of the Nord Amerikanische Saengerbund. The Teutonia choruses will present a special program of songs. A string ensemble will entertain during cocktail hour and dinner. Music for dancing by the peter Karsti Trio. Our Kitchen staff will prepare a very special dinner and seating in the Saengerhalle will be 10 to a table. We hope that this will be a memorable Anniversary in the history of the Teutonia. It is essential that we celebrate 160 years of preserving German Song, Music and Traditions throughout the year. For the fall a two day concert with local choruses and out of town choruses is planned with a special dinner for Saturday, November 16 and a Sunday brunch and afternoon concert on November 17.

The Kappenabend 2014

The beginning of Fasching / Karneval with our Annual Kappenabend was a most fun evening with young Bill Dorfner playing all those old and new Faschingslieder led by yours truly. The Ratskeller was alive with schunkeln and everyone joining in the singing. A reminder of a time when it was common to have impromptu singing in the Ratskeller. Many prizes were handed out for the funniest hats. The newly crowned Prinzenpaar, Prinz James and his lovely Prinzessin Nancy had a hard time selecting the best head gear of the evening. Now Prinz James and Prinzessin Nancy are eager to welcome everyone to the Faschingsball on Saturday March 1. The Teutonia News most likely will not reach you in time but we do encourage you to dress up in the most original or funny costume. Remember this is the time of year, or as it is known “the Fifth Season” when you can choose whatever you would like to be, from King to Pauper, from cowboy or cowgirl, anything that you can dream up.

The Fourth and Last Schlachtfest of the Season

Sunday, March 9 from 2 to 6 pm

While we are looking forward to warmer days our members will have a last chance to enjoy this special dinner. Often we are asked about this old world custom of Schlachtfest. Schlacht or schlachten means to butcher. The butchering of the pigs was a seasonal tradition and when the arduous work of cleaning the pigs, pickling and sausage making was done, it called for a celebration where families, neighbors and friends would gather for an after butchering feast or “Schlachtfest”. For our last Schlachtfest of the season on Sunday, March 9, it will be much appreciated work for our kitchen staff preparing all the good eating the Schlachtfest offers to satisfy our hungry Teutonians and friends. So let’s close the season with a bang and at the same time enjoy the good times and Gemuetlichkeit in the Ratskleller.

Club News – March 2014

It certainly has been cold and snowy the last few months which made it difficult to drive and attend our events. One very successful event was the Chicken Wings and Beer in the Ratskeller on February 8. We had an overflow of reservations and had to disappoint some members since we had a full house. Everyone had a great time and we surely will repeat the Huehnerfluegel und Bier in the Ratskeller. We did have a much better attendance on Sunday, February 9 for the Third Schlachtfest. Our Kitchen staff and waitresses deserve lots of praise for the service they are providing.

Gute Besserung / Get Well Soon

Frank (Franz) Stehr was hospitalized but now is back home and doing great after the surgery. We are sure he will be back singing very soon. Our singer Jim Liebmann is in a lot of pain but holding up ok. Jim is grateful for all the cards and prayers. Keep Jim in your prayers and also let him know we are hoping for the best. A card or call is always appreciated.

Norbert and Charlotte Pilewski enjoyed their cruise visiting San Cristobal Fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico when Norbert had a nasty fall which required 16 stitches in the hospital. Norbert and Charlotte had to cut their trip short and return home. Norb is doing fine and after a good night’s sleep in his own bed is feeling much better.

In Memoriam

We are saddened to have lost very suddenly Mary Miller. Mary died after a short time battling cancer. Mary and Fred Miller have been loyal members for years and also took part in our last concert tour to Germany. Our most sincere sympathy is extended to Fred and his family. Fred joined the Maennerchor in 2004 and still an active singer.

Thank You Willi Banzhaf!

Wilhelm Banzhaf was born in 1941 in a small village near the city of Ulm, in southern Germany. At thirteen, he entered trade school to become a printer and spent the next four years in apprenticeship before becoming a journeyman. In 1960, he emigrated from Germany and landed in Pittsburgh shortly after. He joined Teutonia Männerchor, in 1962, and was a noted singer in the East Pittsburgh Sängerbund before joining the Männerchor singers in 1994. Willi was also a founding member of the Alpen Schuhplattler und Trachten Verein D’ Pittsburgher in 1964 and served as president for 30 years.

In 1997, Willi founded the Teutonia Schützenkamerden to promote a very old tradition here in Pittsburgh. Willi participated in his village’s Schützenfest (Marksman’s Festival) as a youth and was able to authentically recreate the enjoyment of the Holzvogel (wooden bird) and Scheiben (wooden plate) events. Prizes are given to the winners during the awards dinner held afterward. Herr Banzhaf continues to be one the most active and genuine personalities at Teutonia.

We would like to thank Willi for his effort in managing the Teutonia Schützenkamerden as president! He has handed over the presidency to Keith Knecht, who will also do a fine job.

Hühnerflügel und Bier / Chicken Wings and Beer

Saturday, February 8, 2014 (Sold Out)


Darren Stroh

If you attended last year’s Teutonia chicken wings and beer event, you won’t want to miss this year’s. Next Saturday February 8th, $15 per person, includes the beer tastes and wings (music, German sing along and prizes included).

Connie Ostertag

Connie Ostertag

Conrad or Connie Ostertag has been add to the fun. He’ll be providing outstanding music for that truly “gemütlich” atmosphere.

It will  be done in a tasting format with (four) different types of wings / sauce combinations from the Teutonia kitchen, served separately, each expertly matched with a craft brewed ale from Yards Brewery in Philadelphia. Each ale will be explained by the brewer, to lead you through an understanding and appreciation of this oldest form of beer (ale has been brewed for more than 5,000 years,  while the Lagers are newcomers of the last three or four centuries.  In fact the term “ale” comes from the German word “alt”, or “old.”


Happy Wing Eaters of 2013

And ales are getting more interest recently. Last week’s Wall Street Journal article “Hopped Up; Mellowed Out“ discusses the new popularity of the ancient drink. Quoting the Journal, The latest pale ales offer a welcome change of pace: nuanced flavors.” It explores the new and experimental breeds of hops and the resulting new ale offerrings.

Our guest from Yards will be able to taste you through four varieties of ales that show the range of their brewing including a classic IPA, Porter, Strong Bitter and an English Strong Ale.

Purchase your tickets as you enter the Ratskeller. Don’t forget to reserve a table for you party in advance.

Aus Sängerkreisen

Lieder leuchten wie Lichter,

Lieder malen Gesichter,

Lieder machen dir wieder neuen Mut.

Lieder kommen und gehen,

Lieder helfen verstehen,

Lieder tun deiner Seele gut.

Lieder lassen dich schweben;

Lieder ändern dein Leben,

Lieder singen sich tief ins Herz hinein.

Lieder feiern die Liebe,

Wenn’s nur immer so bliebe,

Lieder tragen dich Himmelwärts.

January was not kind to the singers, twice rehearsals had to be cancelled due to extreme cold and snow. We were able to hold our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 15 to plan for our Winter / Spring season. It is hoped that we can now return to our weekly rehearsals to get ready for the 160th Anniversary Grand Opening on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

On March 18, we will participate in the Annual Student Event sponsored by the Alpen Schuhplattler. The singers will also take part in the 50. Stiftungsfest of the Alpen Schuhplattler u. T.V. on April 25 -27, 2014. A special Mass will be held in the Sängerhalle on Sunday, April 27. On Saturday, May 17 we will welcome Spring with our Annual Fruhjahrs Konzert. We are also looking into the possibility for “Eine Fahrt ins Blaue” during the summer.

The Revival of Stein Night – Save the date

Saturday, May 3, 2014 – 7:30 to midnight

Stein Night has been a special event in years passed and we are bringing it back this spring by popular demand. Just bring your favorite or most prized “Bierkrug” Stein and your friends. To start the event right and worthy of its name, the first Stein of beer will be free. Then your Stein or collection of Steins will be on display for the duration of the evening and will be judged for original design, craftsmanship and artwork. For the best selections we will have a special prize. Steins have always played an important role, especially during imperialistic reign in Germany, when every unit and every branch of the Imperial Army used ornate Steins for symbolic identification. This was also the custom of the various trades and student fraternities. Steins of that period are now prized family heirlooms. A special menu will be available for this evening.

Keep the Beer Stein Night on your calendar. We will also have live music for your dancing and listening pleasure. More information in future issues.

Kappenabend and Crowning of Teutonia Fasching / Karneval Prinz and Prinzessin

On Saturday, February 15, the Teutonia Members will open this year’s Karneval Season with Bill Dorfner and his accordion. We will have a sing-a-long of Faschings Lieder and plenty of good food. The highlight of the evening will be introducing the Prinz and Prinzessin leading all the revelers through the Faschingsball on March 1. Wear your most outlandish hat “Kappe” since the dress code will be suspended for the Kappenabend and Faschingsball. You can be whatever you like to be for these events and prizes will be awarded for the most unique hat gear. Bill Dorfner III, who is a virtuoso on the accordion, knows all the Karnevals Lieder and will have you sing along and schunkel as well as swing “Das Tanzbein.”

Am Aschermittwoch ist alles vorbei. This is what they say in the Rheinland and all over Germany, “on Ash Wednesday all is over”. So get ready to celebrate Fasching on Saturday, March 1. This is the only time of year when you may pretend to be a King, a Pauper, Stripper or Witch, so you can leave your troubles behind.

Fasching or Fastnacht is throughout Germany in scope and in popularity value easily compared to the traditionally celebrated Oktoberfeste. From the Fastnacht activities on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, to the more elaborate and colorful week-long celebrations in the large metropolitan cities such as Mainz, Koeln and others, it is a celebration before the start of Lent. At Teutonia’s Faschingsball on Saturday March 1 we will have the Peter Karsti Trio playing for the masqueraders and have you swinging to their always popular tunes. To have the most fun at the Karneval / Fasching come in costume and join the Grand March of the masqueraders. Who knows you might be the one or group of revelers winning a prize.

In Memoriam

Donna Kitzman (74), wife of our member Ed Kitzman was called home on December 13, 2013, our deepest sympathy to the family.

Member Harry J. Butch Kelley Jr. (61) of McCandless died December 15, 2013. He is survived by his wife Karen, children Tracy, Jason, Coleman, Timothy and Katie and their families.

David W. Duncan Jr. (87) formerly a member and Bartender in the 80’s died December 16, 2013 in Greenwood Village, Colorado. David is survived by his wife of 59 years, Karin Duncan and by two daughters and two sons.

Marian Webb (85) died December 18, 2013. She was the wife of the late Merlin R. Webb, mother of Michelle and Michael and their families. Marian was an avid 66 card player for many years.

Mary Ann Graf (75), wife of our member Ed Graf, passed away peacefully, January 8, 2014. Mary Ann was an active community leader, Teacher and together with Ed purchased the vacant St. Mary’s Church and Priory making it into the well-known Priory Hotel and European-style Boutique Hotel and pride of Old Deutschtown. Mary Ann is survived by her husband Ed, sons John, Stephen, Timothy and their families.

David E. Womer (73) singer since 2007 passed away on January 19 after a lengthy illness. Dave was one of our most loyal singers since joining the chorus. He had a perfect attendance even though he traveled from his home in Hermitage weekly to rehearsals and chorus activities. Dave and his wife Jan also took part in our Chorreise to Germany in 2012 and he was a friend to all of us. We will miss Dave and will honor his memory in our chorus, “Wir wollen ihm ein Ehrendes Gedenken bewahren”. To his wife Jan, of over fifty years, we extend our deepest sympathy as well as his three children, Leanna, Brandon, Heidi and extended families.

Our sympathy also goes to Emil and Traudi Neuburger on the death of her sister Mina in Munich.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the departed members and their families.

Ruhet in Frieden, may they rest in peace.

Welcome New Members – December 2013 and January 2014

At the December 15 Membership Meeting, we welcomed the following new members: James Bastone, Robert Carroll, Robert Czerniewski, Joseph Haggerty, David Halich, Jeffrey Lang, Thomas  McKinley, Peter Nudi, David Paola, Scott Reisch, William Schossow, Andrew Sherman and Shawn Vogt

On January 19, the following new members were welcomed: James Zielinski, Robert Truver, John Trischler, John Skendall, Joseph Shimko, Dan Shade, Raymond Rengers, Joseph Noll, David Morgan, Raymond Miller, William Keller, Jr., Christopher Hess, Ford Fuller, III; Alan Eichler, Frank Dahmen, Samuel Concelman, Ryan Burg and Nikolas Ahlf.

President Ralph Wagner welcomed the new members and administered the oath of membership. He reminded the new members of the house rules and dress code as well as the many ways the members can be part of the activities the Teutonia offers.

Father Daughter Dinner Postponed


Original date: Saturday, February 1st, 2014; New Date: Saturday, March 29th, 2014

This weather has been too cold and risky to ask you to bring the youngsters out – so we have moved the event to a warmer month – but with the same fine program. If you have already purchased tickets, please see the bartender or manager to get a refund or let them know that you will be attending on the new date. Our apologies for any inconvenience.

The relationship between a Father and Daughter is a special one. This dinner honors that relationship and allows you to celebrate it with your daughter in the Historic surroundings of Teutonia. The evening will start at 5:30 PM with a flower and a photo for the daughter. Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and snacks can be purchased. There will be light musical entertainment appropriate to honoring our daughters. Dancing will follow.

It’s a celebration of the wonder of daughters and we invite Fathers and Grandfathers, to bring their daughters and granddaughters of any age, older Brothers to bring their sister (in honor of their father) and Fathers to bring their Daughter-in-Law. Guest fathers and daughters are invited, with a member.

The adult menu is Schnitzel for $24.50 or a 4 .oz Filet and a Crab Cake for $28.50 and kids can order either Chicken Fingers and French Fries or a Hot Dog and Mac ‘n Cheese – $14.00. *This includes tax and tip, a photo and entertainment.

This event was a great success in its first appearance last year and we urge you to save the date and make reservations early! Tickets are required and you can get them at the bar or order them over the phone (412) 231-9141.

Aus Sängerkreisen

159th Anniversary was a Big Success

Damenchor AwardsThe Singers celebrated their 159. Anniversary on Saturday, November 23 with a filled to capacity Saengerhalle. The concert began with “Saengergruss” singer’s greetings and National Anthems. Our Director, Ed Helgerman, then took the baton to lead the men in a musical program of some well-known Folksongs ending with “Trinklehre” Who will be the first I will serve a glass of wine, it will be to the great spirit that made the world so beautiful. The Damenchor took the stage to render their selections of songs, ending with Romance from “Mignon”. Both choruses were rewarded with much applause.

What must be considered the highlight of the concert was the awarding of a 60 year Urkunde and Pin from the NASA to Kay Schachner for her 60 years of loyalty to the Damenchor. Her mother brought her to the Teutonia when she was just 18 years old and became one of the most loyal members of the Damenchor. Kay held several positions in the Damenchor and served for many years as Vice-President. For years Kay was working in the kitchen preparing our Annual Schnitzel and Spaghetti Dinners. Her friendly smile and helpful way endeared her to all who know her. Kay is a survivor from her humble beginnings in the German settlements of Yugoslavia and the terrible expulsion and suffering after WWII. The family found their way to Pittsburgh and a new beginning. Through all this Kay kept her hopes high. She met her husband Konrad Schachner at the Teutonia and both of them sang with the Chorus until the untimely death of Konrad. Kay is still one of our most loyal singers and the recognition given to her was much deserved. Kay just recently with the help of Darlene Lucas wrote down her life story in a small book, maybe Kay will give some of our readers the opportunity to share her life. We are in admiration of her lives tribulations and wish Kay many years of song in the Teutonia Choruses.

Pittsburgh District Kinder and JugendchorThe Pittsburgh District Kinder and Jugendchor surprised everyone with a most improved program of songs, all in German. They were led by Dirigent Walter (Lenny) Young. Janet Aland, their director for a decade, was unable to be at the concert but both directors are doing a wonderful job with the chorus and deserve much credit for the successful Kinder/Jugendchor. The children were rewarded with thunderous applause and also a little monetary help from the audience.

Also adding to the concert were our friends from the Schweizer Maennerchor under the direction of Steve Lipnichan. They began their program with a Alphorn rendition by Steve then rang a large Swiss Cow Bell and a Talerschwingen, a Swiss tradition with a silver coin being turned in a large bowl. This always is a favorite with the audience.

Our very special guests of the evening was the North Hills Harmony Line Chorus for their first appearance at the Teutonia. This chorus is a Barbershop Chorus and they awed the audience with songs from Zip-adee-Doo Dah and Beer Barrel Polka to the Armed Forces Medley and a Wonderful World.


Our friends from the Newcastle Eintracht Maennerchor surprised us with some of their favorite songs. It is always appreciated when they travel to Pittsburgh and make our concerts more enjoyable for the listeners.

We ended the concert with the Teutonia Gemischter Chor singing “White Roses from Athens” and a Christmas special in “Leise rieselt der Schnee”, softly the snow is falling. For a final song we sang “America the beautiful” and “God bless America” with everyone joining in.

The Peter Karsti Trio played our old favorites for listening and dancing after the concert. Now the chorus is preparing for the 2014 – 60th Anniversary.

Schweizer Abend in the Ratskeller

January 18 @ 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

A traditional Swiss Evening will be held on Saturday January 18. Our Swiss Yodeler and musician Connie Ostertag will be entertaining you as only he can. Add to that a traditional Schweizer “Rippli” including Schweizer “Roesti” and Sauerkraut and you will feel like you are on a trip to the Swiss Alps even though you are in the comfort of Teutonia’s Ratskeller. It should be a very nice evening for all who enjoy good Swiss delicacies and music.

Special Swiss dinner – $19.95

  • Rippli – A Swiss pork rib specialty
  • Roesti – Traditional potato dish
  • Swiss Sauerkraut

Music by Connie Ostertag.


We Need Your Help (Mural Restoration Fund)!

As we start a new year please remember our Mural Restoration Fund, a $30.00 donation would help us in paying for this important Project.

The Teutonia Ratskeller is a unique place and most likely the only such historic place in the country. As you well know of the many clubs which existed before WWI only few have survived. Especially clubs located in inner cities have either moved to the suburbs or just folded. We have a jewel in our Historic Club which we need to preserve for generations to come.

If 1000 Members give $30.00 it would make that possible. I especially urge my fellow Life Members to add a generous donation when you pay the dues for 2014. The many hours we spend in the club over the years with good friends and family should be incentive enough to do your fare share in preserving our Ratskeller.

Schützenkameraden Awards Dinner

Saturday, January 25, 2014

All the awards and prizes are here and the Kameraden are ready to salute the best shooters of 2013. Everyone is invited to help the Schützenkameraden celebrate this annual event. The Kitchen Staff is preparing a very special Venison Ragout, Jaegerschnitzel and Stuffed Flounder.

This takes me back to my hometown where the Schützen would gather in the local “Gasthaus/Wirtschaft to enjoy Rehruecken” (Deer Roast) while reminiscing of past adventures. It is hoped that many Teutonians who have not been part of our small group of shooters will join us and learn about the old tradition of German Schützen Vereine. On many occasions we spoke with members about the Schützenkameraden and often are told that they would also enjoy being part of this fun group. This will give you an opportunity to get to know us and also learn of our plans for the 2014 season. Please call the club to make reservations and tell them you are with the Schützen.

Dinner includes:

  • Venison Ragout: $18.95
  • Stuffed Flounder: $16.95
  • Jaegerschnitzel: $13.95

All dinners include Salad, Vegetables, Potatoes, Bread and Butter.

Tea, coffee and dessert extra. Soup $2.00 per cup and $2.75 per bowl. Potato Pancakes three for $2.25.


Until then “Gut Schuss” Willi

Second Schlachtfest of the Season

January 12 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

With the cold winter months, this is that special time of year when we enjoy a delicious Schlachtteller. This old world tradition has been celebrated in the Teutonia for generations and is always a special event. The succulent Blut- und Leberwurst together with the Schweinehaxen and Pork, plus all the trimmings are so delicious. To wash that down with a glass of beer what could be better. Add to that family and good friends and you will experience the most enjoyable afternoon at the Teutonia.

You cannot miss this very authentic and traditional Dinner at our fine club and the delicious and tasty Schlachtteller with Roast Pork or Schweinehaxen (Smoked Pig’s Knuckles), Sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, Spaetzle and two choices of Wurst for only $15.00 per person, children 12 years and under $7.50. A good Kuchen and Coffee is also included.

Planning for our 160th Anniversary

We are starting to plan for a year of celebrating our 160th Anniversary.

If you can help organize and plan for this milestone in our history we ask that you attend the meeting on Thursday, January 16, 2014, 8:00 pm. The meeting will be chaired by Vice President John Erskine and Singer President Willi Banzhaf. If you can volunteer to help organize a year of celebrations and have some good ideas it would be much appreciated.

We envision a Gala Dinner in the Sängerhalle on April 12, 2014, this might change due to other activities.

We are also planning a two day concert in the fall for visiting Choruses and our local clubs. Much planning lies ahead and we hope our members will help in the preparations and organizing of our celebration.

Club News: January 2014

December was a very busy time for our Manager and Kitchen staff. We had several out-of-town groups at the club for lunch and the singers entertained them with some Christmas songs. Many of the visitors we spoke to had very favorable comments of the lunches and also enjoyed the beautiful decorated Saengerhalle as well as the entrance to the club.

The Schuhplattler as in years past, had donated the beautiful Christmas tree in the Ratskeller and we owe a special “Thank You” to our friend Jim Falcioni who spent days decorating the upstairs hall and the Ratskeller with beautiful festive garlands adorned with red bows and lights in the windows. He also has some of his castles on display in the Ratskeller. Jim made the replicas of some of the most famous castles in Germany from cut-outs years ago. We hope you get a chance to see the displays before they are taken down.

Manager Tom Morgan also prepared dinners and lunches for Dec. 11 and 12 as well as Dec. 18 and 19. As in the past years they were well attended.

Our chef Georg has left us and the kitchen is now being staffed by Inge who has been working hard together with her helpers and waitresses to make your visits to the club a rewarding experience. Please let them know you appreciate their dedication.

Gute Besserung / Thinking of You

It is with much concern that we report that singer Dave Womer had another stay in the hospital and is back home in hospice care. Dave who never missed a rehearsal in all the time he was part of the Maennerchor is now unable to communicate but still appreciates your cards and prayers. His wife Jan and family are taking care of Dave around the clock. Please include the family in your thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time.

Jim Liebmann who has been battling cancer has somewhat improved after another surger. His wife Karen is confident that he will win this struggle. Jim and Karen surprised everyone by attending the Singers Christmas Party on Dec. 11. He looks good and is making much progress. We wish the family hope and courage, you are in our prayers.

Our friend and fellow singer Elmer Menhart is still under doctors care and wants all to know that he misses us and wishes all a Happy and healthy New Year.

Arthur Schwotzer is doing well after surgery and recuperating at home. He hopes to be back singing when the new season starts in January.

Darlene Lucas is finally on the mend after several hip surgeries, and was also able to attend the Christmas Party with the promise to be back singing very soon.

Aus Sängerkreisen

At this writing the singers are rehearsing for the 159th Anniversary on Saturday Nov. 23 with a report to follow in the next Issue. Also we are preparing for several engagements in the Teutonia for visiting groups with a Christmas Program on Dec. 4, 5 and 11th. In this year’s Adult Christmas Party on December 14 the singers will also participate with a selection of Weihnachtslieder and the audience is invited to sing along with some of the favorite Christmas Songs. Fred Ziwich and his Orchestra will provide music for sing along and dancing. Please join us for this very special Christmas, have dinner in the Ratskeller and enjoy the Christmas Spirit with a glass of Gluehwein.

The Teutonia Ladies will again sponsor the Annual Singers Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 11. The evening will start at 6 pm with dinner followed at 7 pm. The Kitchen Staff will prepare a Prime Rib or Stuffed Flounder Dinner. Followed by the Christmas Story and singers are invited to add to the program with a poem, a song or your own Christmas Story.

Let Alice Weinbrenner know if you will be attending and also bring 2 dozen of cookies for the “Gabentisch”.

A Successful First Schlachtfest

Our First Schlachtfest of the season on November 10 was well attended and our Kitchen Staff served over 170 Schlachtteller (Dinners). Everyone we talked to had many favorable comments and all enjoyed a great Schlachtfest Dinner. Our Sergeant at Arms, Robert Gerthoffer, purchased a Beer stein at the Beer Stein Collectors Meeting and it depicts the Master Butcher’s as they prepare the pig for a Schlachtfest. The Lid is engraved with the Master Butchers Name, a nice find and we are sure that Robert enjoyed the Schlachtfest even more with this example of a tradesman in the Butcher Handwerk.

On the Stein we read “Hoch lebe das edle Handwerk der Metzger” – High live the honorable trade of the Butcher. On the lid we have “In Memory of the Ruckriegel Family.” If you missed the first Schlachtfest you can enjoy this traditional Dinner again after the hectic Holidays on Sunday, January 12, 2014.

Member Appreciation Day (Free Beer)

All our members, ladies and men are invited to an evening of Teutonia Gemütlichkeit on Wednesday December 18.

The Teutonia thanks all their members for the support of our activities and especially all the members given time during the year in volunteering for clean-up, flower planting and removing. It is the volunteers of our club who are always ready to lend a hand. It is also a chance to give our officers and staff a “Thank You” for their commitment to making the Teutonia a place for the entire family.

We would also include all the advertisers in the Teutonia News who make it possible to have the News published every month.

Hope you can join us for a free beer and sandwiches from 7 to 9 pm.

Mural Restoration Progress

We also can report that our conservator, Chantel Bernicky, hopes to have the Murals on the Bar side of the Ratskeller finished by the end of the year or early January with the rest to be completed by late spring. It is hoped that we can have a special event rededicating the Ratskeller to its original beauty.

If you would like to help the Restoration Fund with a donation we would encourage you to do so. If 1000 members could donate $30.00 each the project could be paid for.

Since we have nearly 3000 Members this should be possible indeed. Future members of the Teutonia will certainly appreciate this effort and keep the Teutonia’s historic image for generations to come.

Club News: December 2013

As we approach the end of the year and look forward to the Christmas season we are happy to report that since we have a new management team headed by Tom Morgan the Teutonia is doing well and we look forward to more improvements as we begin a new year. Tom has been booking the club to weddings and special lunches which all contribute to the bottom line of our Teutonia.

The Board of Directors, headed by our President Ralph Wagner, have worked hard to make the Teutonia the premier club in Pittsburgh and Western Pa. It is a compliment to generations of Leadership and Teutonia Members can now look forward to our 160th Anniversary in 2014.

John Erskine, Vice President, and this writer as Saenger Praesident, are planning for a year of special events in honoring our 160th Birthday. We would encourage our members not only to take part in the different events planned but also volunteer your services and ideas to plan for this celebration. A meeting of prospective volunteers will be set up in early January to be announced in the next News.

Humboldt Monument in Allegheny Commons Park (West Park), North Side

Alexander von HumboldtIn last month’s Issue of the T-News we told you about Friedrich Schiller and the Schiller Turn und Gesangverein as Pittsburgh celebrated the 100th Birthday of Schiller. The Teutonia was one of the 70 plus German Organizations in Pittsburgh taking a major part in the celebration.

This month we feature another famous German who was not only one of the most famous Germans but also was known throughout the World. Baron Alexander von Humboldt was a Prussian Explorer and Naturalist (September 14, 1769 – May 6, 1859). Together with his friend, the French medical doctor/botanist Aime-Jacques Bonpland, they explored the coast of Venezuela, the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, and much of Peru, Ecuador, Columbia and Mexico.

On their many expeditions, Humboldt and Bonpland collected plant, animal, and mineral specimens, studied electricity, did extensive mapping of northern South America, climbed mountains, observed astronomical phenomena, and performed many scientific observations. Humboldt discovered what is now called the “Humboldt Current” off the west coast of South America.

After their South American expeditions, Humboldt and Bonpland visited the USA and were guests of President Thomas Jefferson in Washington, D.C., for three months in 1804. Their visit happened just after Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to explore the western US.

Humboldt, at the age of 60, traveled to the Ural mountains in Siberia and central Asia to study the weather. He wrote extensively of his travels and discoveries. Humboldt died at age 90 and is buried in Tegel, Germany. Many landmarks in the Americas, including a current, a river, a mountain range, a reservoir, a salt marsh, parks, many counties and towns are named for Humboldt. On the moon, the Mare Humboldtianum (Humboldt Sea) was named after Humboldt.

As this writer knew since arriving in Pittsburgh in 1961, we were often told about a statue on the North Side honoring a famous German. The little we knew was only that it was someone famous. We just recently learned more about this well-known German and it was through the efforts of our Webmeister Alex Lau that we now can shine a light on this man.


As we learned from an article in the Post Gazette of October 14, 1947, headlined “Humboldt Monument Again Vandals’ Object”. We are told that Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, scientist, explorer and author was honored by the Masonic Orders (Freimaurer) in Pittsburgh with a massive Monument in West Park, on the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1869. We can only assume that not only the Freimaurer but also many of the then existing German clubs contributed to the monument. The monument was in recognition of the baron’s liberal and humanitarian thinking, and President U. S. Grant visited Allegheny for the ceremony.

The Monument went through lots of vandalism at the hands of some citizens. At the outset of World War I, the bronze bust of Humboldt which surmounts the Monument was painted yellow and park officials were forced to remove it to safety because of the anti-German sentiment. Eight years later after numerous attacks had chipped the stone, the city renovated the monument, added a water fountain. The fountain and flowers around it were soon destroyed. The two large urns at the base of the piece soon could not be recognized, an object of the largest scale vandalism to this point. Recalling its hectic career, an old Northsider sitting on a bench facing the monument, commented, “It’s a shame, I saw some fellows hacking at it not so long ago.” Years passed and now we find out that the bust of Humboldt might still be in some storage place. It sure would be nice to have it returned to “Deutschtown” and possibly placed in front of Teutonia. If you can be of any assistance in this we certainly would appreciate any help we can get and bring the bust back to an honored place in the history of old Allegheny.

The City of Pittsburgh has confirmed they are in receipt of the statue, but no ETA has been given on its return.

2013 Annual Singer’s Schnitzel Dinner Gallery

On Sunday, November 3, 2013, at the Annual Singer’s Schnitzel Dinner, a great time was had by all. Photos taken in the Ratskeller at the Teutonia Männerchor.

2013 Annual Singers Schnitzel Dinner

Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 1 to 6 pm

If you have tasted our Schnitzel Dinners in the past prepared by our Ladies Chorus with assistance of the men, you know how delicious they taste. We ask all our members to enjoy this wonderful dinner with all the trimmings and top it off with a nice slice of homemade cake. The Schnitzel Dinner is a great treat at only $12.00 and $6.00 for children under 12. Bring your friends and family to this Annual Dinner and support the singers fund raising effort.

Pittsburgh Stein Society Club Meeting

Above: (** Imperial German soldiers and their “Reservist” beer steins (they were leaving active duty and would become reservists for many years.) The photo is circa 1911. **)

Pittsburgh Stein Society Invites You at Noon on Saturday, November 2 to our Beer Stein Collectors Club Meeting at the Teutonia Männerchor.

Here is why you should attend:

  • The Guest speaker will be John Harrel – World renown Authority on Regimental Steins!
  • John is the author of the original book written about Regimental Steins, he literally “Wrote the Book” on them!
  • A very interesting talk and a great time are GUARANTEED!
  • Many quality antique German Beer Steins will be on display and for sale at reasonable prices, like Mettlach, Regimental, Character, Brewery, Glass, Lithopane, just to mention a few!
  • Do you have any Regimental Steins (Reservistenkruge) that you want to know more about? Bring them along and John will be happy to look at them and comment on their history and value.
  • Do you want to sell any antique old German Beer Steins you may have inherited or maybe just collecting dust? Call Tom Weber at 412-854-2547.
  • Come join us and learn about Steins and Stein collecting.
  • Lunch will be included for $5.00.
  • Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Stein Society.
  • We’re looking to add new members and expand our club. Our Annual Dues are Only $10.00 and for 3 years is ONLY $25.00!
  • For more information about our club or the meeting call: Tom Weber @ 412-854-2547 or email

Hope to see you there on Saturday, November 2 at noon.

From the Pittsburger Volksblatt

Our webmeister Alex Lau has recently been able to find some interesting facts in the 1859 founded German Newspaper “Pittsburger Volksblatt”. We are fascinated with some of the stories about the German Community in Allegheny / Pittsburg(h). Especially interesting was the fact that in 1859 at the 100th Birthday of Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller a large celebration was organized to commemorate this well-known German dramatist, poet and major figure in German Literature, who was also a contemporary of Wolfgang von Goethe. Some of the famous works he wrote was “Ode to Joy”, which was later used by Ludwig van Beethoven in the Ninth Symphony. Many other well known dramas included “The Robbers” and best known “Schillers Glocke” or Schillers Bell.


Schiller Glocke Turn und Gesangverein

We also find out that on the South Side of Pittsburgh we had the “Schiller Glocke Turn und Gesangverein” who spearheaded the commemoration of the 100. Birthday of Schiller. The celebration was held in most American cities where large German influence was known to exist. In Pittsburgh the Schiller Glocke Turn und Gesangverein called for all German Organizations to take part in the festivities. For this purpose a committee was set up and we find the following clubs to respond for the first planning committee on Monday, August 8, 1859. The call to make it a proper and honorable celebration was answered by the Frohsinn Gesangverein, Fortschritt und Harmonie von Pittsburgh as well as the Teutonia Maennerchor of Allegheny. The meeting was held at the then existing “Altenheim” Senior Citizen’s Home. At the second meeting others joined and the celebration was held starting with a 100 gun salute at 7 a.m. followed with a parade of all German Vereine through the streets of Pittsburgh and Allegheny. The afternoon was set aside for speakers in English and German with readings from Schiller’s Poetry. The day ended with a large concert including live pictures “Lebenden Bildern”.

The Gesangverein Frohsinn and Teutonia Maennerchor sang “Schillers Glocke” and die “Macht des Gesanges” (The power of Song) as well as “An den Fruehling” (to the spring). Tickets to the concert were sold for 50 cents and 75 cents for reserved seats. We also read with interest that at the end of the concert a Bust of Schiller was presented. It would be interesting to know what happened to the Bust? The Allegheny Rifle Company was leading the Parade, possibly a forerunner to the Allegheny Schuetzenverein.

In the next issue we will tell you about another famous German who was commemorated with a Monument in Allegheny Park, North Side.

Welcome New Singers

The Damenchor welcomed new singers, Ruth Zeigler, Jennifer Palmer and Amanda Parrotte. The men added Jim Viel and Dale Ross. Welcome to all new singers, we hope you will enjoy singing with the chorus and therefore contribute to the preservation of German singing and culture.

Adult Christmas Party and Dance

Saturday, December 14 will be our Annual Adult Christmas Party, where Fred Ziwick and his Band will provide music for dancing and also play some traditional Christmas music. Both the Maenner- and Damenchor will be presenting a short program of traditional Weihnachtslieder and also have the audience join in a sing-a-long. This should be a nice evening to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. A special Christmas Dinner prepared by Chef Georg will be served from 5 to 8 pm. Join your Teutonia friends for an evening of Gemuetlichkeit and traditional German Christmas celebration.

In Memorium

We are mourning the passing of Timothy E. Kitzman, 48, on October 6, 2013. Tim was the son of member Ed Kitzman and an accomplished musician and Button Box player. He was for some years the leader of the Button Box players in the Teutonia.

Alice Harvey died on October 7, 2013 and was a long time member of the Teutonia 66 Card players where she served as president. She also was the longest serving School board member in the North Hills.

James W. Burke died on October 19, 2013 at the age of 83 and is survived by his wife of 49 years, Mary Eileen. He enjoyed playing cards every Friday before his long battle with cancer.

We are extending our sympathy to the bereaved families.

First Schlachtfest of the Season

It has been a tradition in the Teutonia at the beginning of fall to celebrate “Schlachtfest”, our Butcher’s Feast. It is the time of year when the harvest has been brought in, the Wine and Cider barrels are filled, and the pig which has been fattened all year is ready for butchering.

As a youth, in Germany, this was always a very special day for me. Early in the morning the butcher would arrive before day break and get ready to make Blut and Leberwurst, as well as cooking the pork to be salted and canned for the long winter months. The large barrel of Sauerkraut was now ready to be served and by noon our neighbors would arrive to taste the first Wurst and Pork and wash it down with new wine. In my hometown of Altheim, my father would tap the first barrel of Most “hard cider”, still a bit sweet and not quite fermented, but oh, how I remember that time of year. For neighbors who could not make it to the house, my mother prepared a small milk can with “Metzelsuppe” (butcher’s broth) and Wurst for me to take to the neighbors. I always received a few “Pfennig” cents as a tip, together with a smile on their faces and very much appreciating the gift. This of course was repeated when another neighbor would have a Schlachtfest. We hope you are ready to enjoy this traditional meal at the Teutonia when we will again serve Pig’s Knuckles, Pork, Blut and Leberwurst as well as Bratwurst or Knockwurst, topped with the best Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. We hope we have convinced you to come and enjoy this mouthwatering feast, we will see you at the Schlachtfest on Sunday, November 10 from 2 to 6 pm.

Aus Sängerkreisen

The singers are busy rehearsing for the 159. Anniversary Concert on Saturday, November 23. This year’s concert will be a prelude to the 160. Anniversary in 2014. Besides the Pittsburgh District Kinder / Jugendchor we have invited the Swiss Helvetia Maennerchor and as a special feature the North Hills Harmony Line Chorus will perform. It is a first in recent history that they will be part of our concert program and should be a great addition to our Annual Anniversary concert. For all singers it is very important that you attend all rehearsals so as to be prepared for a good performance. This is a free concert and we urge members to call Alice Weinbrenner to make table reservations at 412 821-6063. You also can call the club at 412-231-9141 to guarantee your seating. The Peter Karsti Trio will be playing for dancing and listening pleasure after the concert. Our Chef Georg will be preparing a wonderful dinner of Austrian Vegetable Soup, German Jaegerschnitzel with Swiss Roesti, Rotkohl, Apple Strudel and Coffee/Tea. Dinner will be served from 5 to 8:00 pm. The singers expect a full house and we guarantee a great program of songs in the tradition of the Teutonia since its founding in 1854.

Club News: November 2013

Now that the Oktoberfeste are behind us we can report that we had an excellent Oktoberfest Season, beginning with the Kick-off to the Fourth Oktoberfest on October 26. All have been sold out and at each one the club served 200 plus dinners, not a record, but Manager Tom Morgan was very pleased with the turn-out. The Damenchor had a brisk sale of their delicious “Kuchen” which helped to replenish their kitty. Even the Oktoberfest training sessions before the start of the season were lots of fun and a learning experience for all who attended. They received a free Stein and T-shirt indicating their successful completion of the course. A special “Dankeschoen” to all who celebrated Oktoberfest, it is very much appreciated. Let us now continue to support the club’s special events and dinners throughout the year. It is our members who make the Teutonia the best German-American Club in the Tri-State area.

Have you noticed the progress with the Mural Restoration? Several of the murals are now back to their original splendid colors. Of course the work by conservator Chantal Bernicky is still continuing and we urge all our members to support the ongoing efforts in making the Teutonia a very special place for our members and guests. Your donation to the Building and Restoration Fund is urgently needed. Please make a generous donation by filling out the form on the back of the Newsletter with your contribution.

New Members Welcomed

At the monthly September Membership Meeting we welcomed John Russel, Rick Sumrok, Max Schneider, James Sellers, Bill Stickman, Del Dosch, Peter Vicniski, James Thompson, Joseph Gaydos, John Folmer, John Groll and Douglas Rohrkask.

At the October Meeting we welcomed John Elash, Luke Felak, Stanley Kaczmarski and Robert Rutherford.

Earlier in the year we welcomed George Hendrych, Michael McAndrews, Heath Winsheimak, Leo Blauth and Joshua Snoke.

To all our new members please support the club by attending our special events, dinners and lunches. You might also join one of our groups by participating in singing, dancing, shooting, card playing or the pool league. There are lots of opportunities for you to be active in the Teutonia.

2013 3rd Oktoberfest Gallery

On Saturday October 19, 2013, at the 3rd Oktoberfest, a great time was had by all. Photos taken in the Ratskeller und Sängerhalle at the Teutonia Männerchor.

German Classes Return this Fall

German Class at Teutonia Männerchor will be starting again this Fall.

The class is an informal study of German at the Intermediate level (Common European Framework Level B1) and meets Saturday mornings from 9:00-10:00 AM in the Ratskeller.

Cost is $10 per week, and the sessions normally run for six weeks.  If you are interested, contact Ross Klein at 412-445-877 or ( for details.

2013 Oktoberfest Kick-Off Gallery

On Saturday September 28, 2013, at the Oktoberfest Kick-Off, a great time was had by all. Photos taken in the Ratskeller und Sängerhalle at the Teutonia Männerchor.

Recent Pictures of Events

Some of the participants of the Teutonia Radler Tour on August 17 in front of the Fountain at the Point. Over 100 riders took part in this year’s Radler Tour through Pittsburgh with a lunch stop at the Hofbräuhaus and ending up at the Teutonia for a wonderful Buffet Dinner. Three visitors from Munich also joined us, who were cousins of Tom Adam. It was a beautiful day in Pittsburgh and a perfect day to show off our city to our guests.

Dan Biehler brought his 1921 Model T Ford to the Alliance Parade. Ralph Wagner, President of the Teutonia was seated next to Dan and in the back seat Jim Liebmann. Admiring the Antique Model T was Gisela Banzhaf, Bill Biedenbach, Fred Ruf and Emil Neuburger.

Conrad Ostertag with plaque of this year’s Swiss/German American. Alliance President John Erskine and Mary Beth Pastorius accepting for her late husband Tom Pastorius.

Weihnachtsmarkt in Historic Harmony

A German Christmas Market on:

  • Saturday, November 9 – 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Sunday, November 10 – 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

The day includes: German Entertainment – Wine Tasting – German Food – Artisans and Vendors – Horse Drawn Wagon Rides – Museum Tour – Face Painting – Visit with Father Christmas – Historic Harmony Museum

Mercer St.
Harmony, PA 16037

Teutonia Kinderchor News

Longtime Kinderchor member Alex Frick succeeded in his application to the Junior Mendelssohn Choir.

We congratulate Alex Frick on his success.  We would like to thank all people in helping Alex, especially Janet Aland, our director of the Kinderchor, Lenny Young, the director of the newly formed Jugendchor and his wife Raquel Winnica-Young. We are looking forward to seeing Alex perform with this prestigious ensemble.

 We encourage all children and teenagers of Teutonia members and their friends to participate in our Kinderchor/Jugendchor.  All children from kindergarten age through twelfth grade are invited to join us.

 The younger kids sing traditional and contemporary German songs in the Kinderchor, and the older kids perform a wide range of German music, ranging from Mozart to Wanderlieder in the newly-formed Jugendchor.

In the Kinderchor, the kids are exposed to the German language and the German singing tradition.  Along with the music, they enjoy a fun, social atmosphere with a great group of friends.

 The Kinderchor meets at Teutonia Männerchor on Saturday mornings at 10:15.  All kids are welcome – no prior singing experience is required.  If you’re interested, please contact Brigitte Schmidt at 412-983-5679 (

Aus Sängerkreisen

After a fast start with rehearsals and a trip to the Erie Sängerfest on Saturday, Sept 21 the singers are now getting ready for the fall and winter season. The 40 singers and guests were part of the Erie Sängerfest in conjunction with the Siebenburger Sachsen Sängerbund. Most of our singers traveled to Erie on Friday and Saturday, and for those who didn’t want to drive we rented two mini buses. The day started early with rehearsals beginning at 11 am followed by lunch and the afternoon was a time for the choruses to present their individual programs. The Teutonia Ladies and Men received much applause for their performance. All choruses were prepared to present a fine program. Besides the Teutonia Männerchor and Damenchor, the Schweizer Männerchor Helvetia and the Bloomfield Liedertafel represented the Pittsburgh District. From Cleveland the Eintracht-Saxonia Sachsenchor joined us as well as the New Castle Eintracht Männerchor together with our hosts the Erie Männerchor Gesangverein. After the afternoon presentation we enjoyed a nice dinner and then it was time for the combined Choral program. The Directors Andrea Ball, Ed Helgerman, Dan Forsberg and Steve Lipnichan had the Mass chorus give their very best. It was a great program, but the singers sang for themselves, since we had only a few people left in the audience.

As we look forward to November we will be singing at the Isartaler Gedenkgottesdienst on Saturday, November 2, at 4 pm. Holy Spirit Church, Millvale.

On Sunday, November 3, 2013 we will host our Annual Schnitzel Dinner and on Saturday, November 23, 2013 the Männerchor will celebrate their 159th Anniversary.

We also have been asked to sing on Dec. 4, 5 and 11, for a luncheon at the Teutonia for the Rivers of Steel Heritage Tours.

The Best of the Wurst – German Radio Program from Toledo

We have a new advertiser in the Teutonia News, The German-American Hour, broadcast from Toledo. The two hosts are well known personalities in Toledo. Tim Pecsenye is known to the singers as one of the driving forces in the Nord Amerikanische Saengerbund and also a former President. At this time he still serves on the Board and also leads the Central Ohio District as President. His partner Jack Renz is an enthusiastic Schuhplattler with the Toledo Holzhacker Baum. The two teamed up to bring two hours of German Music and entertainment from Toledo. If you have been a loyal listener to the German Radio Hour with Heino and Dena, you might want to tune in on the “Best of the Wurst” on the Internet and iHeart (See the ad on page 7 in the newsletter).

2013 German-American Day Celebration

On Saturday, September 14, the Alliance of Germanic Societies of Pittsburgh held their fifth Parade and Recognition Luncheon. The parade started from the North Side Commons along East Ohio Street to the Teutonia. This year’s parade turned out to be the best and included several floats and antique cars, as well as the singers from the Teutonia, Swiss Helvetia, Bloomfield and the Alpen Schuhplattler and Isartaler Dancers. We especially enjoyed the almost 200 members of the Mount Lebanon High School Band who in their fine uniforms playing music had the Parade participants marching in step. After all arrived at the Teutonia the festivities began with the choruses rendering a few songs and greetings by AGS President John Erskine, welcoming everyone to the luncheon. The Buffet served by the Teutonia Kitchen Staff was excellent and enjoyed by all. This was followed by the introduction of some special guests and the reading of a Proclamation of the Pittsburgh City Council by President of the Council Darlene Harris. Ed Graf presented the Honorary Certificate in honor of his longtime friend and fellow Northsider, the late Thomas Pastorius. Mary Beth Pastorius accepted the honor for her late husband, the former owner and founder of the Penn Brewery with some very inspiring comments about her husband. Also present at the Luncheon was their son Tom and family.

Andy Schwartz of the Swiss Helvetia Singers made the presentation to Conrad Ostertag who was named Swiss-German American of 2013. Conrad has been an active singer and musician for over 50 years and began playing the accordion as a young boy with his father Conrad, Sr. For his years of actively supporting the German Community and many years of entertaining people Conrad was very deserving in receiving this honor. In his acceptance speech he reminisced about the joy of singing, yodeling and entertaining people throughout Western PA and beyond.

It was also nice to have the new German Honorary Consul, Paul Overby, visit with us. It was his first introduction to the German Community after arriving from Missouri. We were also honored to have the Austrian Consul Edgar Braun take part in the program. Dominique Schinebeck, Swiss Honorary Consul, marched in the Parade but had a prior commitment and could not attend the luncheon.

Club News: September 2013

Time again to get out your Lederhosen and Dirndl for the Annual Oktoberfest being celebrated during October. The Annual Parade and Keg Tapping took place on Saturday, Sept. 28 with the honorable President Ralph Wagner tapping that first Barrel of Beer. The Kick-off Oktoberfest was lots of fun with the Kinder of the Alpen Schuhplattler showing their talents and the Barons led by Bill Dorfner had everyone dancing and schunkel to those foot stomping tunes of yesteryear. If you did not get your tickets for the Oktoberfest call the club to see if there are still tickets available. You also might want to just come to the Ratskeller for Chef Georg’s delicious Buffet Dinner. You can experience the Oktoberfest spirit-first hand at the Teutonia, unless you are the lucky one who can attend the original Oktoberfest in München. We are looking forward to see many of you and also hope many of our newer members will take this opportunity to see what “Gemütlichkeit” is all about.

Flower Removal

The Flowers around our club looked beautiful all summer long but with the arrival of fall and colder temperatures we need to remove them and clean up around the club. If you volunteered at the spring planting, maybe you can again help in removing them. We certainly would appreciate some help from our members who can spend a few hours with this annual job.

The date will be Saturday, October 12, 2013 – 10:00 am

Refreshments will be provided 

Mural Restoration in the Ratskeller Update