In 1852, German settlers in Austin formed a traditional singing group. On February 8, 1879, the group officially organized as a singing society bearing the name “Saengerrunde”. The Saengerrunde is the oldest ethnic organization in Texas. The Austin Saengerrunde provides an atmosphere that encourages members and guests to preserve and enjoy the German heritage.
Singing was the great love of Mansbendel’s life, and he was a devoted member of the Saengerrunde (German for “singer in the round”). Peter’s rich baritone voice could also be heard in the choir of St. David Episcopal Church.
Many of Peter’s friends were part of this group. Here gathered his good friends Dewey Bradford, owner of the paint store, Phil and William Dieter from the Calcasieu Lumber Co., Godfrey Flury, then in the outdoor advertising business, Anton Stasswender, whom owner of the Monument works, Arthur Fehr, a young architect, Paul Wakefield, Public relations, together with other friends from the Saengerrunde, the theatrical group, and the lumber companies.
The Saengerrunde Hall is located at 1607 San Jacinto St. in downtown Austin next door to Scholz Bier Garten. The Saengerrunde bought Scholz’s from The Lemp Brewery in 1908 and still own it to this day. The Saengerrunde added a bowling alley next to the bier garten and still have weekly bowling league.
In 2008, I approached the club about carving two membership frames in quarter sawn oak to match Peter’s 1939 Art Deco frame design. I was happy to carve these as a tribute to Peter Mansbendel’s fine talent and how he has inspired me. The club then approached me in 2018 to carve two more frames but this time in my own style. So, if you’re ever in downtown Austin, stop by Saengerrunde Halle on San Jacinto St. and see my frames next to Peter’s great work.
Learn more about this club here http://www.saengerrunde.org