September 22, 2015

Contact: Steph Deidrick

William H. Pommer Concerts and Symposium at Deutschheim State Historic Site Sept. 25 and 26

Guests can celebrate the German-American musical experience with the second annual William H. Pommer Concerts and Symposium at Deutschheim State Historic Site. The event extends over two days with concerts starting at 7 p.m., Sept. 25 and 26 and a symposium at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Showboat Theater in Hermann.

Grandson of Caroline Pommer, who built Deutschheim’s Pommer-Gentner House in 1840, William H. Pommer was a classically trained musician who studied in Vienna and Leipzig, Germany. He returned to St. Louis as a composer and performer. The event will be an opportunity to experience his music and other German-Americans composers.

The following events are free and open to the public:

7 p.m., Friday - “German Comedy is Serious Business” will feature the overture and selections from “The Legend of St. Etheldethelwethelberga” composed by William H. Pommer, German theater music of the Old Country, and a performance of Bach, Suite #6 in D Major for cello solo.  
2 p.m., Saturday - A Symposium with presentations and discussions including:

“German American Theatre in New York” by John Koegel, author of “Music in German Immigrant Theater: New York City 1840-1940” and Professor of Musicology at California State University – Fullerton.
“Operetta Adaptions” by Bill Everett, Curators’ Professor of Musicology at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
“William H. Pommer and German-American Style: The Case of The Legend of St. Etheldethelwethelberga” by Nicolaus Schroeder, Student Summer Scholar at Grand Valley State University.

7 p.m., Saturday - “German-American Theater in New York” concert will feature “Operettas from Europe to America” and chamber music for cello and violin.

The William H. Pommer concert will feature performers from New York, Grand Valley State University in Michigan and University of Missouri, Kansas City. Sponsors for the event include Missouri State Parks, the Hermann Arts Council, the German American Club of Hermann, the Deutschheim Verein and the Missouri Humanities Council with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Deutschheim State Historic Site will be open for guided tours of its historic houses, including the 1840 Pommer-Gentner House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day throughout the event.  Tours are offered at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., with the exception of Saturday afternoon during the symposium.   

Deutschheim State Historic Site is located on West Second Street in Hermann. For information on the event, call the site at 573-486-2200. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.