MGV "Eintracht" Frickhofen 1885 e. V. -
as from April 2017
The male choral society "Eintracht Frickhofen" was founded in 1885. The club started with 26 singers when a teacher of the local school, Mr. Hannappel, works as the conductor. Nearly 10 years ago there was already established the "Catholic Men's Association – St. Josef" – 19 young men who sung mainly in church as well as in secular events. So this club can be seen as the predecessor of our choral society.
As early as 1891, the first flag was procured. Meanwhile another teacher of the local school, Mr. Grimm, had taken over the conductor's post. The club grew up and in 1893 it had nearly 40 active singers.
But the members of our club didn’t only take care in singing, they also were engaged in theatrical performances. So in 1894 theater was performed with great success on the second Christmas day – the first of a lot of following performances.
As a member of the regional organization "Nassauischer Sängerbund" the club also took part in events in the closer and wider surroundings. In the 90s, the members participated at singing festivals in Elz, Montabaur, Weroth and Limburg and a competition in Dehrn.
Due to professional transfers in the following years the conductors post shifted in 1892 to Mr. Hamann and 1897 to former teacher and later schoolmaster Alfons Heinzmann. He was allowed to lead the choir as conductor for 28 years (until 1935). Soon the association under Heinzmann took an unprecedented boom – but First World War put it to a quick end. Seven singers unfortunately did not return from the war.
It took up to January 15th, 1919, to start again with singing lessons and within the next few years the number of active singers increased up to 90. Also the earlier tradition of theater playing was renewed – especially to the fact that there was a new building with a great hall and a stage available in the village. These rooms also made it possible to approach larger pieces such as operas and operettas.
Also the club was very successful at singing contests in the following years. 1924 the Frickhofen singers achieved the first prize and first class prize (against strong competition) in Elz. In 1925 the club also achieved a great success in the national competition in Dehrn. In the following three years, the association also participated in several competitions and won first prizes.
Regarding the theatrical performances the club decided to perform Oberammergau Passions in Frickhofen. The initiator Anton Schardt, 120 contributors and an indefatigable rehearsal made it possible that the first performance of this world-famous act took place during the fasting period in 1926. During the following years the MGV was well known far beyond the domestic borders for performing plays, operas and operettas (e.g. "Jungfrau von Orleans", "Willhelm Tell", "Der Freischütz" and "Der fidele Bauer").
Then in the 30s economic crisis and the upcoming Nazi dictatorship restricted the activities of our club. The visit of competitions was suspended for several years. Due to the general conscription and service obligations there were not enough players available, so it was no longer possible to play the theater. So in 1935 the 50th anniversary was celebrated in a small interior event. In the same year the chairman Anton Schmidt resigned his position - his successor was Georg Laux. Also Mr. Heinzmann resigned after 28 from years his post as conductor – he was followed by Mr. Willi Schmidt.
After Hitler attacked Poland - which led to World War II – it got even harder to continue the clubs activities. From 1942 to 1946 came the club life completely to the stand. Worst of all: 24 singers did not return from the war.
In 1946 the MGV started again with regular singing lessons and during the following years the club flourished and prospered magnificently. Many successful concerts, visits of competitions with best results, the second performance of the Oberammergau Passions 1951, the performance of the operetta "Schwarzwaldmädel", the fairy - tale opera "Hänsel und Gretel" and the singing play "Dreimäderlhaus" testify to a high performance level of the association.
In 1955 there was another important personal change in the club history: Due to health reasons Willi Schmidt resigned as conductor of the choir and his was followed by Josef Schlitt, who successfully led the club for many years. He was a professional musician, teacher and bandleader with an excellent musical education who worked for 33 years as conductor of our club.
1960 was the year of the 75th anniversary of the MGV. If you could not celebrate the 50th anniversary, you wanted to organize a big party. There was held a 3 days festival involving 21 clubs from near and far.
The following years were again characterized by theater performances: In 1961 the Oberammergau Passions were performed for the third time. Under the musical direction of the conductor Josef Schlitt were also performed in the following epoch operettas like: "Csardasfürstin", "Maske in Blau", "Gräfin Mariza", "Bettelstudent" (1965) and "Fledermaus" (1968).
The 1960s and 1970s brought a lot of changes in political and social development. The MGV "Eintracht" was also exposed to this general trend: Especially the young generation was no longer attracted by traditional associations. So the number of active singers decreased slowly and theater performances were no longer possible.
During the seventies many big concerts in and outside Frickhofen, a big success in the Siegen contest (with the first prize at the compulsory choir and the second prize at the Volkslied) gave the club and its conductor testimony of their abilities. Not to be missed are the excellent carnival events in Schlitt’s hall, which attracted many visitors from abroad to Frickhofen. In 1975, the club celebrated its 90th anniversary with a large festival concert. With folk songs, opera and operetta melodies, but also musical and pop music, the association once again testified of its universal performance. Not to be missed is the great "Robert-Stolz-Evening", which we held twice - in Frickhofen and in the Elz townhall.
The most important event during the eighties was the celebration of the 100th anniversary. Two years of intensive preparations were necessary to celebrate the festivities with the ceremonial act in the newly built townhall of Frickhofen. The jubilee weekend in the large tent on the local market square was celebrated also with a rock and country concert as well as concert and show event representing the abilities of clubs singers as well as other choirs.
In 1987 a long lasting period (33 years) ended when Josef Schlitt resigned as conductor. He was followed by Hugo Schuth, who prepared the choir for a successful participation at contests in the following years. Also the club started for several excursion e.g. to Berchtesgarden and Berlin.
In 1991 there was another change in the position of the conductor: Jens Röth, a 24 years old teacher, was engaged for this post. This was the beginning of a new very successful period for our association. During the last – round about – 25 years the choir participated in a lot of contests – in most cases with extraordinary success.
This positive development was supported by the fact that during the nineties a whole group of young men joined the club, who previously were members of a local youth choir – all of them with a good musical education.
So the relieved choir had some great events like concerts together with Gießen philharmonic orchestra, the Ukrainian choir Oreya and the famous tenor Rene Kollo. During this time the members of the club also built their own rehearsal room – which was used up to 2013, when a new rehearsal room was rehired. (and renovated by the club members).
During this period the MGV participated in a lot of contests with excellent success – for instance: international choir contest in Lindenholzhausen 2001 and 2011, 10th Hessian choir contest 2001 and Praga Cantat 2014 – and a lot of other contests.
For its 110th anniversary the club started a project and prepared a series of contests for sacred choir music. It first took place in the local parish church “St. Martin” October 2005. It was repeated in 2010 and 2015. These contests were – all three times - participated by more than 30 choirs and more than 1000 singers.
Actually the choir counts 55 singers with an average of 45 years. So the MGV is looking forward to future success.