"Let me see generation times, will we hear children singing rhymes? Sweet memories gone by..."

29 March 2013

Zur Erinnerung an...

Stimmet ein, Gesangesbrüder,
In des Tages Festgesang!
Singet eure schönsten Lieder
Mit der Freude hellem Klang!
Denn das Haus, das schön erstanden,
Ist ja unsere Heimath neu;
Sie umschliesst mit festen Banden
Unsere Sänger wahr und treu.
--"Weihe-Sang" by Gustave Adolphe Peple

The above German lyrics are the first verse of "Weihe-Sange" ("Dedication Song"), written to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Gesgangverein Virginia on September 24, 1877.  Gustave Peple's poem was set to music by my 3rd-great-grandfather, Charles L. Siegel, who was then the Gesangverein's director.

On March 29, 1880 - 133 years ago today - the Gesangverein Virginia held a masquerade ball.  The Library of Virginia has in its collection a scrapbook that Charles Siegel compiled for the Gesangverein, and included in the book is a page of cartoons for the masquerade entitled "Zur Erinnerung an..." ("In Memory of...").

(From "This Day in History" on LVA's website)

A brief article from the following day in the Richmond Daily Dispatch described the event:

THE SÆNGER-HALLE MASQUERADE. - Sänger Halle was thronged last night on the occasion of the masquerade ball of the Gesangverein Virginia.  The number of merry maskers was large and the costumes in excellent taste - some grotesque and other exquisite.  A full string-band discoursed sweet music, and the festivities were prolonged until a late hour.

The Gesangverein Virginia still exists today - visit their website here:

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