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The History of Liederkranz

provided by Dick Clark, Eugene, Oregon

First of all, the term "Liederkranz", rightfully translated, means something along the order of "song wreath" or "song crown" which seems appropriate for a group whose endeavors are heavily weighted toward singing.  "Liederkranz" is also the name of an odiferous cheese, which may also bear some subtle meaning for the group, more from the culinary sense, in that members of the group have been known to indulge in copious amounts of food during the annual retreat.  The olfactory aspect of the cheese probably relates only to the quality of the humour exhibited during "extra-curricular" endeavors..  During the nineteenth century there was also a male choral singing  movement in Germany known as "Liederkranz".

At any rate, Liederkranz is the name adopted by a group of musicians whose genesis resides in an idea brought to Oregon by Royce Saltzman.  In Los Angeles he became familiar with the "Rumpslump group" a group of five conductors who got together to discuss music and evaluate each other's performances.  The conductors of the "Rumpslump group" included Charles Hirt and Howard Swan. 

During the summer of 1965 Royce spoke to a couple of U. of O. grad students (including Steve Stone and Lynn Sjolund) and they decided to form a similar group.  The group started out small but quickly grew and in 1966 met for the purpose of discussing music amongst themselves and with some guest whom they chose to invite.  They early on selected the first weekend in November and easily agreed that Menucha, near the town of Corbett, Oregon, was the ideal site for their retreat. 

The membership has included choral directors at schools, churches, colleges and universities throughout the Northwest, professional singers and teachers, university deans, directors of major arts festivals, insurance representatives, fishermen, organists, percussionists and mechanics, all of whom have had some professional connection with choral music or the wider forum of art music.

The tenets of membership are few and relatively democratic.  You have to be invited into membership, you must attend every session, be on time and not leave early and must pay your dues.  From the accumulated dues of the group are paid the fees and expenses of the guest and the room/board expenses for the entire assembly for the weekend.  The membership convenes on Friday evening at 7:00pm and dismisses after the noon meal on Sunday.  Whether the establishment of the Royal Chinook Road House and Tavern liked it or not, it was for twenty-eight years a secondary site of activities for Liederkranz, and our faithful visits did much to enrich its already colorful heritage.  Regretably progress turned it into a too-civilized eating establishment and the color of old has been lost. It lasted but a few seasons and now is closed.

For twenty-one years the group naively limited its membership to men.  With the convening of the twenty-second (1987) November weekend at Menucha, Liederkranz no longer had to apologize for excluding a significant segment of the community of professional musicians. Both men and women were considered for membership. It was a welcome, significant, and regenerating route for this group to follow.

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Guests who have shared their musical and artistic insights with Liederkranz since 1966
Year
Guest
Year
Guest
1966
Howard Swan
1988
Jon Washburn
1967
Weston Noble
1989
Andrew Parrott
1968
Joseph Musselman
1990
Group Endeavor - Iverson, Conlon, Clark, Sparks, Olson
1969
Robert DeCormier
1991
25th Anniversary - Gregg Smith
1970
Elaine Brown
1992
Morris Hayes
1971
Barbara Reeder, David Shrader, Robert Trotter, Neil Wilson
1993
Paul Hillier
1972
Julius Herford
1994
Vladimir Morosan
1973
Frank Pooler
1995
Lynn Whitten
1974
Paul Salamunovich
1996
Group - Gabriel Dumitrescu
1975
Gibner King, Edith Kilbuck, Lawrence Smith
1997
Simon Carrington
1976
John Biggs
1998
Dennis Schrock, Imant Raminsh
1977
Denis Stevens
1999
Frieder Bernius
1978
Brock McElheran
2000
Rod Eichenberger
1979
Howard Swan (First Presbyterian Performance)
2001
Morten Lauridsen
1980
Group Endeavor - Trotter, Lieurance
2002
Fred Stoltzfus
1981
Bev Henson
2003
Veljo Tormis
1982
Elmer Thomas
2004
Robert Sund
1983
Stanley Chapple
2005
Joseph Flummerfelt
1984
John Rutter
2006
Morna Edmundsen
1985
Dale Warland (First Presybterian Performance)
2007
Jaacov Bergman
1986
Phil Mattson
2008
Maria Guinand
1987
Dennis Schrock
2009
Hirvo Surva
2010
Vance George
    2011 Alice Parker
    2012 Ann Howard-Jones
    2013 Charles Bruffy
    2014 Jo Michael Scheibe
    2015 Simon Carrington
Further Liederkranz History

Liederkranz Membership in 1966
Richard Barbour, Gresham High School
Gary Frame, South Salem High School, Leslie Jr. High School
Jerry Harris, University of Oregon (Grad Student)
Bruce Johnson, Cleveland High School, All Saints Episcopal Church
Merl Lotz, Wilson High School
Richard Muhle, Centennial High School, St. Stephens Episcopal Cathedral
Rob Roy, Pendleton High School, Pendleton Presbyterian Church*
Royce Saltzman, University of Oregon, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Lynn Sjolund, Medford Senior High School
Stephen Stone, Beaverton High School, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
James Welty, First Presbyterian Church, Portland

Notes from 1966

Guest was Howard Swan. Convened at 9am, Saturday, November 5. Those who wanted to arrive early could do so but it would cost $2 more.   Total amount charged to attend was $30.

Liederkranz Membership in 1968

Richard Barbour, Gresham High School
John Cobb, Eastern Oregon College, First Methodist Church
Art Diamond, University of Oregon (Grad Student)
Gary Frame, South Salem High School, Leslie Jr. High School
Jerry Harris, University of Oregon (Grad Student)
Bruce Johnson, Cleveland High School, All Saints Episcopal
Tom Lewis, Gresham
Merl Lotz, Wilson High School
Richard Muhle, Centennial High School, St. Stephens Episcopal Cathedral
Rob Roy, Pendleton High School, Pendleton Presbyterian Church*
Royce Saltzman, University of Oregon, St. Mary’s Episcopal
Dave Schrader, University of Oregon, Percussion
Lynn Sjolund, Medford Senior High School
Stephen Stone, Beaverton High School, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
Robert Trotter, University of Oregon, Dean
James Welty, First Presbyterian Church, Portland
Jack Williams, McLoughlin Union High School (Milton-Frewater)
Neil Wilson, University of Oregon

Notes from 1968
Jerry Harris, organizing Co-Chairman

Liederkranz Membership in 1972

Richard Clark, Walla Walla High School, Grace United Methodist Church
John Cobb, Eastern Oregon College, First Methodist Church
Rod Eichenberger, University of Washington
Walt Farrier, Willamette University
Gary Frame, South Salem High School, Leslie Jr. High School
Gary Gadwood, Sunset High School, Beaverton.
Jerry Harris, University of Oregon (Grad Student)
Wayte Kirchner, Lane Community College, Eugene
Dan Russell, Boise College
Royce Saltzman, University of Oregon, St. Mary’s Episcopal
Dave Schrader, University of Oregon, Percussion
Lynn Sjolund, Medford Senior High School
Stephen Stone, Beaverton High School, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
Robert Trotter, University of Oregon, Dean
James Welty, First Presbyterian Church, Portland
Jack Williams, McLoughlin Union High School (Milton-Frewater)
Neil Wilson, University of Oregon

Liederkranz Membership in 1973

Richard Clark, Walla Walla High School, Grace United Methodist Church
John Cobb, Eastern Oregon College, First Methodist Church
Rod Eichenberger, University of Washington
Will Elliott, Boise State College
Walt Farrier, Willamette University
Gary Frame, South Salem High School, Leslie Jr. High School
Gary Gadwood, Sunset High School, Beaverton.
Jerry Harris, University of Oregon (Grad Student)
Wayte Kirchner, Lane Community College, Eugene
Dan Russell, Boise State College
Royce Saltzman, University of Oregon, St. Mary’s Episcopal
Dave Schrader, University of Oregon, Percussion
Stephen Stone, Beaverton High School, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
Robert Trotter, University of Oregon, Dean
James Welty, First Presbyterian Church, Portland
Jack Williams, McLoughlin Union High School (Milton-Frewater)
Neil Wilson, University of Oregon

Liederkranz Membership in 1974

Richard Clark,  (Grad Student, University of Washington, Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church)
John Cobb, Eastern Oregon College, First Methodist Church
Rod Eichenberger, University of Washington
Will Elliott, Boise State College
Walt Farrier, Willamette University
Gary Gadwood, Sunset High School, Beaverton.
Jerry Harris, University of Oregon (Grad Student)
Wayte Kirchner, Lane Community College, Eugene
Neil Lieurance, Shore Crest High School, Seattle
Dan Russell, Boise State College
Royce Saltzman, University of Oregon, St. Mary’s Episcopal
Robert Scandrett, Western Washington State College
Stephen Stone, Beaverton High School, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
James Welty, First Presbyterian Church, Portland
Jack Williams, McLoughlin Union High School (Milton-Frewater)
Neil Wilson, University of Oregon

Liederkranz Membership in 1977

John Cobb, Eastern Oregon College, First Methodist Church
Will Elliott, Boise State University
Walt Farrier, Willamette University
Gary Gadwood, Sunset High School, Beaverton.
Jerry Harris, University of Oregon (Grad Student)
Tom Iverson, Centennial High School
Wayte Kirchner, Lane Community College, Eugene
Neil Lieurance, Shore Crest High School, Seattle
Dan Russell, Boise State College
Robert Scandrett, Western Washington State College
Stephen Stone, Beaverton High School, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
Robert Thornton, Redmond High School
Robert Trotter, University of Oregon, Dean
Paul Westlund, University of Oregon
James Welty, First Presbyterian Church, Portland
Neil Wilson, University of Oregon

 

Liederkranz, NW - Howard Meharg, President, 360-693-7169 - Debra Glaze, Treasurer, 503-620-9024 - Howard Meharg, Webmaster, 360-693-7169