Non-profit Ladies Choir (Damen Chor) whose mission is to preserve Gottscheer and German folk songs and traditions, in an effort
to pass our heritage on to future generations.
The Deutsch Gottscheer Gesangverein was founded in Ridgewood, New York on
February 3, 1937. The first President was Elsa Tscherne and the first Music Director was Joseph Hellinghausen.
1937, the choir was awarded first prize in the choral competition among the choruses of the Vereinigten Sänger (United Singers)
of Brooklyn. The singers were also the recipients of the first prize in the competition
in the following years. The choir had fifty members at the time.
War 2 interrupted the successful start of the young choir. As with all Gottscheer and German groups, the organization
was forced to fight for its survival. Following the war, the members of the choir actively supported the Gottscheer
relief efforts in assisting the Gottscheers in Europe who had lost their homeland.
The choir held many concerts for the benefit of the relief efforts.
large influx of immigrants during the fifties spurred the growth of the choir by providing many new members. Following the
death of Joseph Hellinghausen in 1963, Peter Freund was appointed musical director of the choir. He began joint programs
with the Gottscheer Männerchor. This association of the two choirs proved to be mutually beneficial and successful and resulted in the recording of
their first record album of Gottscheer songs in 1967.
the death of Peter Freund in 1979, Professor Leo Alfassy was appointed musical director. A second record album was recorded
in 1980. In that year, a Gottscheer songbook featuring thirty-nine traditional folk songs was also published.
the summer of 1985, the Gottscheer Damenchor and Gottscheer Männerchor traveled and performed in Germany
and Austria. The choirs also participated
in the Gottscheer Treffens in North America and Canada.
Deutsch Gottscheer Gesangverein presently has 20 active members, and works closely together with the Gottscheer Männerchor.
Weekly practices are held at the Gottscheer Klubhaus (Gottscheer Hall) which has been the headquarters for the Gottscheer
Choirs since 1947. Concerts are performed there twice each year - in April and November. In addition, during their
annual visit to Hawley, Pennsylvania,
the choir holds a concert at Lukans Resort and sings at Sunday mass at the local church. During Christmas holidays,
the choir also sings in various churches in Ridgewood, including St. Patrick's Cathedral
Deutsch Gottscheer Gesangverein strives to preserve the Gottscheer and German folk songs and traditions, in an effort to pass
our heritage on to future generations.