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The History of the Choir

It was in the early spring of 1970 when a few friends gathered in the basement of Mr. Joe Baumglartner, who also played the accordion, with the intention of forming a small singing group. The purpose of it was to share some time together singing well known folksongs. At the same time, Mr. Lambert Laturnus, then already 80 years young, Accordianvolunteered to direct and practise with these few voices.
Printed music was not available at this time, especially not in the German language, however some of us had memorized some songs and were able to write them down. Thus a nice sound evolved and soon we were able to sing a four-part harmony. Shortly after, the idea presented itself to form an official choir.

Fritz and Kaethe Blume were kind and hospitable enough to offer their house as a meeting place for our practices. Under the able guidance of Fritz Blume and also some helpful choir directors, our singing circle started to grow. Our abilities also grew and subsequently we began to perform successfully in front of groups of people.

As membership continued to grow it was made obvious that we had to look for larger premises. Unfortunately, Fritz Blume took very ill and couldn't take part in our success, nonetheless he was still able to come up with our present name "Liedertafel" before he sadly departed from our midst.Conducting

With growing member participation the desire was expressed to seek professional guidance and perhaps hire a Choir Director and Pianist.Notes
It was decided to ask Mr. Rene Schipper and his wife to take over such duties, which they accepted. Under their professional guidance the choir improved and soon found recognition in and out of town. We sang and still sing in Senior Citizen Homes, Hospitals and at many other different functions with great success.
Oftentimes our functions include guest choirs from other cities and combined performances with members of the Symphony and City bands. We always consider it a privilege to host choirs and guests from out-of-town and abroad and we enjoy to reciprocate whenever asked to do so.

Meanwhile, the choir reached a membership of 60 people and had to find a new suitable location where to meet for practices. We found a new home at the German Canadian Harmonie Club in Kelowna where we hope we'll be able to stay for a long time to come.Early performance
The "Liedertafel" choir also became a member of the Nord Pazifischer Sängerbund (North Pacific Singing Associations) which encompasses an area from Portland to Spokane to Prince George and Victoria. We meet at three year intervals at previously selected cities to hold a Sängerfest. Kelowna had the honour to host such an event in 1984 and again in 2016. In 1984 We had the privilege to look after more than 1,500 singers and guests. It was a huge festive event and a great success for everyone taking part as well as for the City of Kelowna. The choirs were received very well by the audience and the 500 member mass choir made quite an impression.
Mayor John Hindle presented the "Liedertafel" with the "City of Kelowna Flag" as a token of appreciation. All participating members and guests enjoyed the hospitality of our fair city to the fullest. Shortly before the Sängerfest HandshakeMr. & Mrs. Schipper had resigned from their positions as Choir Director and Pianist. Mr. Kurt Kofer as Choir Director and his wife Janet Kofer as Pianist, took over these vacant positions and they were with us until 2014. Under their guidance many new songs such as folksongs, semi-classical and classical, were added to our repertoire.

During February of 1990, the "Liedertafel" celebrated it's 20th anniversary at which time three long time members received an honourary membership. The three members were: Mrs. Kaethe Blume, Paul Fischer and Richard Person. Soon after, the membership expressed the wish to travel to Europe to reconnect with choirs who have come to Canada and Kelowna on previous occasions. Due to the commitment of our board this wish became a reality and we were privileged to travel and perform in several German cities.Birds singing After completion of the 10-day concert tour, the choir traveled by bus through France, Switzerland, Italy, South Tyrol and Austria. It was a memorable trip about which participating members will talk for a long time to come. After having returned to Kelowna, new challenges awaited us and needed to be mastered. Out of a small group a large choir emerged, of which we are proud, and we hope to continue to sing and perform for the next 25 years. This summary was an attempt to describe the start-up and development of the "Liedertafel" as best as we could. Undoubtedly, many incidents may have been overlooked and we ask for your understanding. Also, we hope that someone will continue to record the future events of this group.

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