Singspiel Zeitung 2019: Day 4

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That’s a wrap!

Gemütlichkeit was what we all experienced the past four days. The German word “describes a space or state of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer. Other qualities include coziness, peace of mind, belonging, well being, and social acceptance.” We could easily rename Sommer Singspiel “Gemütlichkeit Camp,” but it would be meaningless– to feel Gemütlichkeit it cannot be one’s central purpose– it is a side effect of being together in a place like the Lancaster Liederkranz.

We spent 4 glorious days together making music, singing, dancing, learning the German language, playing soccer, and sharing delicious lunches together! What a joyful experience! Thank you to all who were a part of such an amazing four days!


Opening Session

Today two of our Singspielers, Landen Klingenmaier and Sammy Kieffer, asked to share the Bench Dance. It was a special treat! They dressed in their tracht and entertained us first thing in the morning!



More great teamwork, and fun on the soccer pitch! Thank you for four great days, Herr Beck and Tanner!


Music and Movement:  

Singspielers have put the final touches on all of their music for our sharing today!  They can officially: 1) sing a song in a 3 part round, 2) sing, play a barred instrument, have another rhythm instrument part, and add movement all in the same piece of music, 3) sing songs in different meters, and, 4) compose their own music!  It’s been such a joy watching them explore instruments, movement, working together with campers they may not have ever met before, and gaining confidence that they all have something unique and artful to share with the group. What a wonderful week it has been!



We broke our campers into 2 groups to showcase our knowledge.  One group was responsible for singing “Backe, backe, Kuchen” and we added a percussion ostinato part on the “Devil Sticks”.  We were very impressed with their German and music ability. The second group focused on “der Kuckuck und der Esel” complete with German animal sounds!  This week was an absolutely wonderful experience for us and we think the campers had fun too. Thank you for sharing your children with us!



We reviewed our Siebenschritt Tanz from Tuesday that we learned from Mary Ellen Kilp, and were able to learn a brand new dance from Herr Paul Stanavage which we called the “Traveling Polka,” because some of the dancers travel around the outside of the circle during one part. The campers like the new dance so much that they insisted on sharing it later in the day for their parents– learned and performed the same day! What a brilliant group!



Ham and pretzel, tomato, celery & carrots, and fruit salad.


At Recess:


Getting Ready for the Sharing:



Pictures speak a thousand words! We’ll let our pictures speak for themselves! Please share these with your camper!



A special thank you to Judy Zodet, and all of the volunteers that helped in the kitchen over the course of our four days!


Thank you all for a wonderful Singspiel Camp!

Singspiel Zeitung 2019: Day 3

Day 3 of Sommer Singspiel was a blast!

We are experiencing so much at camp this week!

Everyone is invited to our sharing session tomorrow, Thursday, August 7, at 2:30 p.m.!

Come see some of what we’ve created together in just 4 short days!

Opening Warm-Up:

Our campers came in this morning a little tired! In fact, they spontaneously created a napping group on the floor before the day even started! In order to gently get them going for the day, we did a body warm-up and then eased them into some singing of some of our songs like “When I First Came to this Land,” “The Happy Wanderer,” the “Coffee Canon,” and “All Things Shall Perish.”

A Visit from the Sturgis Pretzel Factory in Lititz!

Today we had special guest teachers from the historical Julius Sturgis Pretzel Factory in Lititz. Herr Kurt Van Gilder and his assistant Erin came and taught us a lot of interesting facts about Pretzels. Did you know the first commercial pretzel factory in the US was located in Lititz, PA!? Check with your Singspieler on Pretzel trivia! They’ll impress you with their new knowledge!




Thank you so much, Herr Kurt Van Gilder and Erin!!! ​


Singspielers reviewed the songs “Backe, backe Kuchen” and “der Kuckuck und der Esel.”  Then, remembered our vocabulary from the bakery and the market. We learned that the farm animals in Germany make different noises than those in America.  Did you know that a rooster (Gockel) says “kickeriki?” Afterwards, we wrapped up our lesson with a game of pictionary!


Music and Movement:

The campers are having fun and learning a lot!  We are working on singing beautifully, playing barred instruments and singing at the same time, expression and composing our own music!  The students are digging deep and learning to share their ideas with confidence as well as transferring what we learn in English to German.  One more awesome day ahead of us and then we get to share with all of you!



Today for lunch we had some delightful chicken schnitzels, spaetzle, grapes, celery and carrots. As a special treat for dessert, we had fresh watermelon! Yum!


Folk Dance:

Herr Paul Stanavage came to spend some time with us today and he taught us two dances! The first dance was called a Boarisch Tanz. The second dance was called the Kreuzpolka. He also taught us a bit about the Tracht, or traditional clothing, that he was wearing! We had a lot of fun learning form Herr Paul!



Herr Beck shared that there has been a lot of good “Team minded play” and thinking about passing and playing soccer as a group. He said this is a great thing to be seeing and is really impressed with our Singspielers this week!


Instrument Making:

Today in instrument making class, the Singspielers created Arm Guitars! They were able to play them for each other and share their new instrument skills! Later in class they played Ukuleles! How exciting!



It’s been HOT this week! Some of the campers spend time at recess looking for shade, while others happily embrace the heat and sun by playing cards!


End of the Day Wrap-Up:

We’re looking forward to our last day! We spent a few minutes discussing all the things we did over the last three days! Our list was quite impressive! We ended our day with the Fliegerlied!

See you tomorrow for our last day of Singspiel!!!




Singspiel Zeitung 2019: Day 2

Day 2 of Singspiel 2019 is in the books! It was a great day!


We warmed up our joints with some rotation exercises and then practiced some group shadow screen statues and the Coffee Canon. 



Today, the campers stayed “in der Stadt” or in the city and learned about the fruits and vegetables that are sold “auf dem Markt” at the market. Singspielers made connections to our local farmer’s markets and Roots.  We played a game called “Obstsalat” or fruit salad, where students practiced their pronunciation of the German fruits and learned how to be quick at finding a seat! We ended with singing a new song, “Der Kuckuck und der Esel” which is a song about a cuckoo bird and a donkey.  Tomorrow, students will be learning some more animal vocabulary.



Instrument Building:

Herr Luckenbill lead the Singspielers in building a herald trumpet out of PVC and empty water bottles.  Students trumpeted the arrival of some special guests and learned about the special tones that each trumpet can make.


Music & Movement: 

In music class today we explored a lot of different ways to play body percussion patterns that related to different kinds of cookies that a baker would make. We took these patterns and using small cards with rhythms written on them, we created cookie rhythm patterns which we then played with wooden spoons– a real tool of a baker– on hand drums! We also played barred instruments and explored speech rhythms of different kinds of vegetables and fruits that you would see at a Market. We reviewed the “Down at the Market” song as well. We also played with the Cuckoo and the Donkey puppets!



Herr Beck guided the Singspielers in more passing skill activities and then they were able to play a game as well! Even though it’s hot, the campers muster up the energy to play hard and with good sportsmanship! Hooray for a fun time at the Liederkranz!


In the Kitchen

Today we were able to make Apple Strudel! Our volunteers made everything so easy and simple for us to have a really fun time in the kitchen!



We had an amazing lunch of Bratwurst on a bun, carrots, celery, and fruit salad! We are so fortunate to have so many amazing volunteers that help in the kitchen to make us delicious lunches! Thank you to our wonderful volunteers!


German Folk Dance:

We had a special guest teacher today, Frau Mary Ellen Kilp came to spend some time with us and taught us the Siebenschritt Tanz! It means 7 Steps and we were able to master it in less than 30 minutes!


Cranky Coloring

We started coloring our paper scroll for our Cranky of the Pennsylvania German Folk song, “When I First Came To This Land.”


Wrap Up

Herr B  introduced the song and danced to the song, “Anton aus Tirol.”  Then, reviewed the Coffee Canon including movements. Afterwards, the Singspielers practiced the songs, “All Things Shall Perish,  Cuckoo and the Donkey and ended with the Fliegerlied.


Looking forward to Day 3!



2019 Sommer Singspiel Zeitung – Day 1

Our 5th year of Sommer Singspiel at the Lancaster Liederkranz is under way! We have nearly 40 students, and a team of amazing teachers and volunteers that make the magic happen for this unique cultural, language, music and movement day camp! Thanks to a wonderful team!


Singspielers took a trip “in die Stadt” (to the city) learned about the importance of bakeries in Germany and how the German people appreciate a wide variety of fresh pastries and bread  every day. We sang the song “Backe, backe Kuchen” which is about baking a cake. Then, learned the German words for the ingredients to Snickerdoodles, measured, mixed and rolled everything onto the cookie sheets.   Snickerdoodles have a connection to the German word “Schneckennudeln” (snail noodles) and are a popular cookie in the Pennsylvania Dutch community.


Macaroni and cheese, carrot & celery sticks, applesauce and cookies.


Music & Movement:

On our first day, Singspiel campers learned songs related to small town life in Germany:  bakeries and markets. The students explored what you could find or buy, and transferred these ideas to rhythms. We also learned songs about a bakery and coffee, rounding out their explorations of small town life in German.  Singspielers also learned a beautiful song about music and a hysterical song about a donkey and a cuckoo bird which will be translated later into German. During movement, we had a blast learning how to create body shapes on a shadow screen while the other campers mirrored the movements.  We explored levels (low, middle, high) and freezing into shapes as well as moving through the space.  




Campers learned how to pass the ball and throw it in from the sidelines. Afterwards, they played a practice game.  Everyone played with great teamwork skills!


Instrument Making:

Students learned about a lot of different instruments, and created a new “Stump Fiddle!” And they tried them out while singing some songs with Herr Luckenbill!


Day 1 Wrap-Up

At the end of the day the campers came together to practice our music in a large group setting.  We also got to see a real Alphorn! We all reviewed all of the pieces that they learned today plus enjoyed camp favorites like “Fliegerlied”.



Today was a great start to camp and we look forward to tomorrow!




Sommer Singspiel Cultural Day Camp: August 5-8, 2019 – Registration is Open!

What is Sommer Singspiel?

A camp that builds skills in music skills (including singing, playing instruments, creative movement), and German (language, culture, and traditions – including soccer!)

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What are the Camp Goals?

The Lancaster Liederkranz began as a singing club. The Singspiel Program aims to continue to honor the original goals of the Liederkranz by providing opportunities for the younger generation to experience German music, language, and culture.

For Whom?

Students going into grades 2-8.


August 5th – 8th, 2019 from 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM at the Lancaster Liederkranz.

By Whom?

The Sommer Singspiel instructors are all certified local area educators. Check out our staff biographies – click here.


Drue Bullington, Michael Luckenbill, Lisa Sempsey


Conny Coldsmith, Dawn Miller


Bob Beck, Tanner Beck

What is the Tuition?

LLK Members first student: $65;

Each additional student from same family: $45.
Non LLK Members first student: $95;      
Each additional student from same family: $55

Register Here:

Singspiel Zeitung 2018: Day 4


Opening Game and Photo Booth

Frau Alli treated us to a game of bingo this morning! Campers were asked to ask each other to perform tasks and share information from our time together at camp; if the camper was able to perform the task, the square was able to be counted as “filled in.” Once they had “Bingo,” the reward was a piece of candy! Campers also spent time together in our Singspiel Photo booth!



Today we had some time to work on our scripts with Frau Henrich. We practiced saying our lines into a ‘Microphone’ and asked questions about how to pronounce things. We also got to play some Theater games to practice different vocal sounds.



Today we had soft pretzels, ham and cheese cubes, and grapes for lunch. Simple, but delicious! Dessert was served after the sharing session and consisted of our Apfelstrüdel and our Lebkuchenmenschen!



We spent one last half hour with Herr Beck and Tanner playing Fußball. We got to put all of the skills we practiced this week to use in a scrimmage.


Sometimes, the heat, the soccer, the fun . . . it all gets to be too much and you just have to take a moment for yourself!



Singspielers reviewed the three German-speaking cities that we visited this week: Berlin, München, and Berlin.  Then, we reviewed some of the history of the Berlin Wall and the historical sites such as the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate.  After that we reviewed the German pronunciation of the Edelweiß song. Singspielers learned so much this year. We are so proud of their progress!


Music and Movement

The campers had a chance to finish up some class work where they finished composing short pieces of music to act as “B sections” for our rhyme “Simple Simon”.  They then added instruments of their choice in small groups and performed for their group-mates. Additionally, the song “We’re Going on a Trip” turned into the game show, “Was ist das?!”  Such fun! Campers chose pieces of clothing from a suitcase and drummed the words using their new German vocabulary. It has been a wonderful 4 days of music and movement and we are so glad that your kids chose to spend their time with us!


Shirt Signing

Singspielers all received T-Shirts today. We signed the backs of these shirts with fabric markers. Iron the backs of the shirts to set the ink, other wise it will all wash out! 


Final Sharing

This afternoon we had a fantastic opportunity to share a lot of what we learned with our families!

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Thank you!

To the many. many people who volunteered their time, and efforts to help make our Sommer Singspiel Camp a success, we are exceedingly grateful!


Singspiel Camp is underwritten by the Lancaster Liederkranz Cultural Grant Fund. Special thanks to Judy Zodet, Grand Fund Chairperson, for her vision and tireless support of this program!

We are proud of the all the participants, our teachers, and our wonderful Lancaster Liederkranz! If you aren’t a member yet, we invite you to consider joining the Liederkranz!

To all of our Singspielers, have a wonderful school year and we look forward to seeing you again next summer!

Please consider filling out this survey to offer feedback to help us hear what you enjoyed about our camp and what ideas you have for helping us to make it better!

Save the Date- Singspiel 2019

Sommer Singspiel Camp will be held Monday, August 5-8, 2019. Put it on your calendars now! 


Singspiel Zeitung 2018: Day 3

Opening Game and Morning Gathering

We started the day with another fun game from Frau Alli and then we got to read through the script that we will be performing tomorrow. Frau Henrich was able to pull together things from all of our classes for the script. We can’t wait for you all to see our sharing session tomorrow afternoon at 2:30!  



Things are heating up (if you can believe there is any more room for increased heat!) on the soccer pitch! Lots of great experiences in character and sportsmanship are being had each day at soccer! Thanks Herr Beck and Tanner!



Singspielers remembered the beautiful sights of Salzburg and München.  We were so impressed with how many German vocabulary words that knew for transportation and things that we need on our trip.  We located and labeled these cities on a map and even painted the German and Austrian flags. Then, we continued our trip to the capital of Germany, Berlin.  Singspielers learned about the history of the Berlin Wall and visited the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, where we met Angela Merkel!


In the Kitchen

Today Singspielers had the opportunity to get to make Apple Strudel with Frau Zodet in the kitchen! She showed the all of the ins and outs of the process for making the famous German pastry! They also got a lesson on the ingredients and background of this tasty dessert from our wonderful German teachers. As usual, we are so thankful to Frau Zodet and the wonderful helpers who appear every day to make sure our campers and teachers are well cared for and fed.


Music and Movement

Sing, say, move, and play!  The campers were engaged in so many rich music activities from drumming, to untuned instruments, to using their German vocabulary while creating new rhythm patterns.  We’re getting excited for our sharing on Thursday. The campers’ ideas will have a large influence in what you hear in our songs and rhymes. It’s always so exciting when students have say in what they learn!  It was a great day, and we’ll see you all tomorrow!


Instrument Building

Today we got to see some string instruments that Herr Luckenbill brought in. Some of them he had made himself out of recycled materials. We then made kazoos out of PVC pipes and some plastic bags. He also shared a lot of fun and interesting other instruments that he has either made of collected!



Today we feasted upon Chicken Schnitzel (tenders), Spätzle (noodles), and tomatoes. We were challenged to eat like Germans do by holding the knife in our dominant hand and the fork in the other the entire meal. We had some fresh watermelon for dessert.

We also had time to try on our camp T-shirts and squeeze in a group picture! We have a lovely group of campers this year, all of the adults have commented how fun it is to work with these energetic, and enthusiastic learners! We know they don’t come out of the box like this, and the lion’s share of the credit goes to amazing people like our Singspiel parents who are committed to raising fine humans! We recognize your efforts and salute you!


Wrapping up the Day

Maibaum Dance and the Fliegerlied ended our camp’s festivities for Day 3. Tomorrow we look forward to one more day together and the opportunity to share some of the wonderful experiences we’ve had this week with our families and supportive members of the Liederkranz.


Lunch tomorrow: Ham and cheese cubes and warm soft pretzels!

Our sharing session will begin at 2:30 p.m; all are welcome!

Bis Morgen!