The GERMAN CONCERT ORCHESTRA, also known as the Germania, was an ensemble used for all musical purposes in the German community and the longest-lasting orchestra in early Cleveland. Appearing on the scene as early as 3 June 1854, the Germania probably absorbed the earlier ST. CECILIA SOCIETY orchestra soon after the Civil War. Made up of German musicians, the group had no regular conductor. FERDINAND PUEHRINGER worked with it to raise the standard of playing and is credited with developing a concert subscription series, which made the orchestra more viable. The Germania's primary function remained broad; it was available for any engagement. In 1870 it performed works by Haydn, Handel, and Weber. In 1871 it supported the German Harmonic Singing Society in a production of Martha at the ACADEMY OF MUSIC. Philip Groterath conducted the group at Case Hall in Oct. 1873, when it supported many local singing societies, including the Cleveland Gesangverein, Harmonie, Orpheus, Harmonia, and Turnverein. Adam Nuss of the Cleveland Gesangverein conducted the orchestra and his own chorus, as well as appearing as a guest violinist and pianist. Though not the principal orchestra at the 1874 Saengerfest, the Germania supported local singing societies at the festival. The PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, formed in 1881, eventually supplanted the Germania as a professional group, although the Germania continued to support local vocal societies for several years.

Heywood, Alexander, J. It Must Be Heard (1981).

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