June 07--German folk music and classical songs are on the agenda for the 22nd annual S ngerfest, a German music festival slated Saturday in Cole Camp.
A celebration of German heritage, S ngerfest will feature a freewill donation dinner followed by several area singing groups, including the Braun Familie Kinderchor and accordion music by Ehren Oncken and Marilyn Loehing, who are part of the Hermann-based Loehring German Band and have toured Germany several times.
"Cole Camp is a strong German community and we really like to celebrate that," said event organizer Neil Heimsoth. "Singing especially is part of the German heritage, It's folk music is unique because instead of traditional folk music that focuses on love, German music is mostly about love of homeland and homesickness.
"Naturally there are songs about beer too," he added with a laugh.
Heimsoth, who has been singing in the men's group of the Cole Camp German Singers since 1990, said much of the group's practice time is spent learning pronunciation of the German words.
"None of us speak more than a word or two of German so we probably spend just as much time learning proper
pronunciation as we do learning the music and the melody," he said. "We really work hard to make it as authentic as possible, while also keeping it fun."
After the singing portion is finished, the Loehing Band will be on hand to play traditional polka music and waltzes; attendants are invited to dance and enjoy the evening, Heimsoth said.
"If you like happy music or just music in general, S ngerfest is the place to be," he said. "Everything is free too. Dinner -- which will have cooked pork and excellent deserts made by the ladies' singing group -- the music and the dancing. We wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to could come out and enjoy the German heritage. We're hoping to see a big crowd Saturday."
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