Christmas Saengerfest is back! This is the perfect event to get you in the holiday mood. I’ve enjoyed attending this 160 year old tradition over the past few years because the music and venues are absolutely gorgeous! You can read more reasons why to attend Saengerfest here.
Saengerfest is an event that I have looked forward to for the last few years. It’s an event you don’t want to miss that helps kick off the Holiday Season.
American Legacy Tours keeps Cincinnati Singing with Christmas Saengerfest. Working with the churches in Over-The-Rhine and the best choirs in the region the group that started the started the Queen City Underground, hopes that Christmas Saengerfest will showcase Cincinnati’s Great Choral Tradition. Entering its fourth year, Christmas Saengerfest promises to be the largest choir concert in the region, with over 30 musical performances choirs! Several churches in Over-The-Rhine will play host to this amazing 2-day festival.
“The Spirit of Christmas Tour exposed a real need to get the churches in the neighborhood more exposure. We also noticed that churches throughout the city were used as venues during the World Choir Games. So four years ago we thought to ourselves, ‘Why not do this every year, in Over-The-Rhine’?” said Laura Gels, Marketing Director at American Legacy Tours.
The choral festival will feature St. Francis Seraph Church, Over-the-Rhine Community Church, First Lutheran and the Moerlein Tap Room. Choirs have been committed to performing at the event include the Cincinnati Boys Choir, Muse, Kopling Saengerchor, and numerous others.
“Many people don’t realize that Saengerfest has a long tradition in Cincinnati. It was the city’s first major festival and attracted hundreds of thousands of people to Over-The-Rhine. ” said Monica Gels, co-organizer.
1. Saengerfest gives you an opportunity to admire the outside and visit the inside of gorgeous churches and historic buildings.
2. The music at Saengerfest is A-MAZ-ING!
The combination of a beautiful church and incredible voices joined in Christmas music is uplifting and inspiring. There is also a variety of diverse choirs that you will be able to choose from to listen to. It’s like a musical “choose your own adventure.” There are different choirs at different locations each hour.
3. Saengerfest reminds you what community looks and feels like.
You see the churches that have stayed in Over the Rhine as the backbone of the community. They have continued to help serve and meet the needs of the people for generations.
4. Saengerfest is family friendly or makes a great date night.
Kids are exposed to beautiful music and have enough variety offered to help keep their attention spans.
For a date night, Saengerfest feels like something out of a movie as you hear choirs singing and you walk the streets in Over the Rhine.
5. You can also grab a beer at Christian Moerlein’s Brewery during or after the event.
Enjoy 14 choirs at 4 amazing historical venues!
FRIDAY DECEMBER 4
7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 5
7:00 to 11:00
Buy tickets online. Tickets are $25 per day or $50 for both nights!
I’m giving away 4 tickets to each night!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
One ticket allows patrons access into each venue the night of the show.
*Bus transportation is provided during the event and patrons can move freely from place to place. Patrons are recommended to park at the parking garage at Washington Park and check in there.
Disclosure: I was given tickets for review and giveaway purposes. All opinions are my own.
Last year was the revival of a Cincinnati tradition that began in 1849. My interest in the Saengerfest Choir festival first began after taking the Spirit of Christmas Tour that highlighted beautiful historic churches in Over The Rhine.
The tour shares stories about how each of the churches were central to community. The tour also lets you hear from various ministers and priests and parishioners who are still dedicated to serving the community. (you can read more about it here)
I LOVED the Spirit of Christmas Tour and my husband and I LOVED Saengerfest last year!!!! The experience was absolutely beautiful in every way. The choirs, music, venues and atmosphere create an incredible memory to share with loved ones.
Here is a little more about how Saengerfest started. As someone who grew up in the Cincinnati area, I had no idea that our city had such an incredible tradition for so many years.
Cincinnati is known as the birthplace of Saengerfest, a German tradition that celebrated choir singing groups, or “Saengerbunds.” The North American Saengerbund was developed by German immigrants, and originally only consisted of choirs from Cincinnati, Louisville, and Indiana. The newly formed Saengerbund decided to carry on the German tradition of Saengerfests in the United States, and held the first-ever Saengerfest in Cincinnati in 1849.Saengerfest grew quickly, and in merely three years the size of the group more than doubled. By 1870, Saengerfest consisted of almost two thousand singers and over 60 choirs. Cincinnati was bringing thousands of people into the area to witness these celebrations and even attracting national attention.
A 1879 article in the New York Times detailed the event in Over-the-Rhine and described it as “worthy of comparison with the Mardisgras of Southern cities.”Saengerfest not only involved the German immigrants and constituents of the area, but it attracted thousands of people from across the U.S. The event continued to grow and return to Cincinnati regularly, eventually becoming a huge tradition of the area. However, this began to change with the introduction of the May Festival in 1873. A lot of people dismissed the festival and were resistant to embracing it for fear of taking attention away from Saengerfest. Eventually, the May Festival gained a great amount of attention and detracted support from Saengerfest. Despite the resistance efforts, many talented singers and supporters broke away from Saengerfest to perform in the May Festival. The popularity of the May Festival continued to grow, and the attention surrounding the traditional Saengerfests slowly died down. Though Saengerfests are still a part of the North American Sangerbund tradition, Cincinnati has not hosted Saengerfest since 1952 and the support has greatly dwindled. It is time to bring this Festival Back.
I love the heart behind the organizers of Saengerfest.
Two years ago, during the Spirit of Christmas Tour American Legacy Tours came across two revelations. First, that people love the churches and sacred spaces of Over-The-Rhine. Second, that these places need exposure. With the current renaissance in the community everyone from business owners, community non-profits, and developers have received assistance. The religious community has not, and we wanted to help generate exposure for the work these groups do. In some cases churches have membership of just 20 people, but serve the needs of over 300 people from GED training to soup kitchens.
During Saengerfest there are multiple choirs performing at multiple churches each hour. This gives attendees the option to chose their own adventure and experience the diverse beauty and talent offered. There are 9 choirs and 5 venues that will host the event.
*Washington Park has a parking garage that is central to all of the churches.
I’ve been given tickets (6) pairs to giveaway to Saengerfest for Friday or Saturday night!!