Pan Am Journal - Music and the German-American Experience

The Temple of Music

The Temple of Music had a wooden substructure covered with chickenwire mesh. Plaster was applied and later ornmentation was added. It was not meant to be a permanent structure. Details on the various stages of its development can be found at Doing the Pan....

The Temple was the design of the architectural firm of Esenwein and Johnson. The color scheme was light yellow with gold and red trimming. The panels of the dome were done in a light blue.

It was reported that there was seating for 2,200 people. An archived article of the Buffalo News for February 23, 1901 indicated that a contract for 1850 chairs had been awarded to Randolph McNutt of Buffalo.
Organ concerts were held at the Temple of Music.

Imagine a concert so big that the Temple of Music was not considered large enough. This songfest was a series of concerts offered by the North American German Singing Society, a group comprised of 105 choruses from all over the country. The event was so big that it was hosted at the Connecticut St. Armory, known back then as The New 74th Regimental Armory, located at the corner of Connecticut and Niagara Streets. The armory had room for 10,000.

The Saengerbund, as it was called by the German population of Buffalo, had not been to the city since 1883 for its 23rd concert cycle. This festival of song was a highly publicized event, which occurred between June 25th and June 27th.

June 24, 1901, Buffalo Evening News

For a translation of the Buffalo Volksfreund coverage of June 24th, see Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

Many prominent members of Buffalo society joined forces to bring the Exposition and the Saengerbund together. Star performers were engaged for the June 25th and 26th performances.

Buffalo Mayor, Conrad Diehl

From the book Buffalo und sein Deutschtum, page 82:

"Our city basked in overall respect and general esteem during the term of Buffalo's former mayor, Dr. Conrad Diehl. To this day his tenure elicits the highest regard from our populace. Dr. Diehl demonstrated his commitment to the office through his hard work, his insight and his sense of duty. This excellent man, a model to the Germans of this city, has left an exemplary political legacy."

Conrad Diehl was born in Buffalo July 17, 1843. He attended the University of Buffalo Medical School. Upon completing his degree, he studied in Europe. Having returned to Buffalo, he joined the staff of Buffalo General Hospital in February of 1874. He served for 25 years as the Secretary to the Medical Board. From 1870 to 1878 he served as regimental doctor to the 65th Regiment. The list of good works amassed through his involvement with the Erie County Poor House and the Buffalo Orphan Asylum. In 1897 he became president of the School Board. From there his political career took wing when he was endorsed by members of both political parties to run for mayor. Conrad Diehl was also a member of the Orpheus Singing Society and the Saengerbund.

As mayor, Diehl was significantly instrumental in the funding efforts to bring the dream of the Pan American Exposition to Buffalo. Committees were established and a subscription drive was initiated. Some 11,000 citizens pledged their support, raising 1.5 million dollars. By the Spring of 1900 another 3.3 million had been accumulated through government appropriations and bonds, bringing the total to 5.8 million dollars. It was noted in Buffalo und sein Deutschtum [page 41] that this sum did not include monies supplied by other states for their own buildings or fees obtained from concessionaires for the privilege of selling their products on the Midway.

John Lund photograph taken from Geschichte der Deutschen in Buffalo und Erie County.

John Lund was born October 20, 1859 in Hamburg, Germany. His father was a merchant who foresaw a career in law for his son. His mother was an ardent lover of music and instilled this love in her son. He learned to play the piano by the time he was seven years old. In 1876 he continued his studies at the Leipzig Conservatory of Music. Lund studied piano, violin, oboe, organ and composition. Upon graduation in 1880 he became choir director of the Bremen Opera and within two years became assistant conductor. In 1883 he became conductor of the Stettin Opera Company.

In 1884 the conductor of the Metropolitan Opera House travelled to Europe to find an assistant conductor. He wanted a young man with background in Wagnerian musical drama. He discovered John Lund.

John Lund became conductor of the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra in Spring of 1887. At the time the orchestra was composed of 33 musicians. John Lund was also director of the Orpheus Men's Choir.

Henry Jacobsen

According to the Buffalo Volksfreund, Henry Jacobsen was born in Hamburg, Germany. He studied music from an early age and received instruction from many noteworthy masters such as Degenhardt, Schraelieck, and George Seest. He came to the United States in 1881 to become Concert Master and Assistant Director of the Schreiner Orchestra. In Toronto he assumed the role of conductor of the "Liederkranz" and the "Classical Music Club". He then came to Buffalo to become Concert Master of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Buffalo Vocal Society. From there he went to Wells Women's College in Aurora, Illinois, then back to Buffalo in 1892. He became conductor of the Sängerbund but later resigned in order to dedicate himself to the creation of his own compositions. The Buffalo Volksfreund reported on June 22, 1901 "Als Componist erfreut sich Herr Jacobsen eines prominenten Rufes" - Mr Jacobsen has a fine reputation as a composer.

The Official Book: Thirtieth Sängerfest of the North American Sängerbund held in Buffalo June 24, 25, 26, 27, 1901 - This is a 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" x 3/8" maroon hardcover book

The Founding Fathers of the Saengerbund

Here's a clearer picture of F.C.M. Lautz from Geschichte der Deutschen in Buffalo und Erie County. It was part of a family picture collage of the Lautz family.

Friedrich Christopher Martin Lautz, Fritz in the page of family portraits, was born March 5, 1846 in Rimhorn, the Hessen-Darmstadt region of Germany. He came to the United States when he was seven years old. During the Civil War, he served in the 81st New York Volunteer Regiment. After the war he joined the family business, Lautz Brothers and Co., a soap manufacturing company, and later he established the Niagara Starch Works. He was also a partner in the Niagara Tool and Stamping Co. He was president of the Deutschen Jungermänner Gesellschaft, a young men's singing society from 1880 to 1884. His lifelong love of music inspired him to help establish the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra in 1888. He was chairman and president of the Music Committee for the Pan American Exposition.

The June 25th edition of the Buffalo Evening News reported that F.C.M. Lautz was replaced by William Miller as master of ceremony for the opening of the 30th Sängerfest. The News did not report that the death in the family, which caused Mr. Lautz's absence, was that of his brother, Charles, on June 21st.

The bottom of right-hand page indicates that the opening ceremonies were held in the weapons hall of the 65th Regimental Hall at Broadway and Michigan. Rehearsals and concerts were held at the 74th Regimental Hall at the corner of Niagara and Connecticut St.

For a full report on the opening celebration see The Power of Song, a translation of the June 25, 1901 article featured on page 8 and continued on page 5 of the Buffalo Volksfreund.

Ernestine Schumann-Heinke (1861-1936)

The Buffalo Volksfreund reported that Madame Schumann-Heinke was the foremost mezzo-soprano of the day. She sang solo parts in all four special concerts. As a Wagnerian heroine, her artistry was unsurpassed.

The Buffalo Evening News reported in its Wednesday, June 26th edition "In praise of Mme. Schumann-Heinke, many paragraphs could easily be written. Her very remarkable voice, its rich volume, its amazing range and its purity were all in evidence yesterday."

Mrs. Schumann-Heinke retired to San Diego, California after a long and successful career. A full biography of her can be found at the Jewish Women's Archive. Many recordings still survive.

Lillian Blauvelt, Soprano

The Buffalo Volksfreund reported that Madame Blauvelt "calls New York home and enjoys the status of one of the best concert singers in the United States. Madame Blauvelt has appeared in several large music festivals here, and at the Louisville Music Festival she covered herself with glory."

The June 27th edition of the Buffalo Evening News was cordial but not overly-impressed by her performance.
"Mme. Lillian Blauvelt made her first appearance at the festival yesterday. Charming to see, charming to hear, she delighted the audience."
Fourteen paragraphs later it was added "While Mme. Blauvelt's voice would not be called a Wagnerian soprano, she showed a fine conception of her solo. Her voice is an example of what purity of tone can do. Largeness is not credited to Mme. Blauvelt, but there are few of the so-called 'big' voices that possess the carrying quality of her voice. The purity and lovely quality made the voice heard distinctly far beyond the limits of the hall.
"Mme. Blauvelt was not so fortunate in her duet (from the Flying Dutchman) with Mr. Davies. Nor did Mr. Davies fulfill expectations in this number. Whether the lightning affected their nerves or whether they were not sufficiently acquainted with their parts, is a question. But the duet was a failure. And lightning or some other distracting element must have affected the Sailor's Chorus. The ending was fine enough to condone the shortcoming of the first part, however."

The Buffalo Volksfreund reported in the June 22nd edition that Mr. Williams was an American from Worcester, Massachusetts. He was a prominent star and enjoyed great popularity in Buffalo through his many appearances as solist with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra.

The Buffalo Evening News coverage of the first concert, held the 25th and reported in the 26th of June edition:
"Mr. Evan Williams then sang 'From Boyhood Trained' from Weber's 'Oberon'. Mr. Williams has not been heard in Buffalo in several seasons, but he is remembered as possessing a phenomenal voice. It can not be added, however, that his work of yesterday afternoon was quite up to his former high standard. There was a regrettable lack of steadiness of tone and of resonance at times.
"His singing pleased the crowd, however, and he was recalled several times. A lovely cello obligato was a feature of this solo."

The Children's Chorus - June 26th

The Wednesday matinee concert featured 3500 children under the directorship of Joseph Mischka, director of music for the Buffalo School System.
The Buffalo Volksfreund carried the review of the Cleveland German Newspaper,the Wächter und Anzeiger. Their music critic reported, "Today's matinee featuring 3500 children,who sang under the direction of Professor Joseph Mischka, may have been the best special performance of the songfest. The girls, dressed in white, and the boys, wearing dark suits, were an unparalleled vision on the stage, sublime in their execution from the first click of the director's baton. Clear, youthful voices resounded and astonishing precision prevailed. The American, German, and French National Anthems were performed with such fire that the young singers earned the most exuberant of applause at the end of their performance."

The Buffalo Volksfreund said that Mr. Davies was a stranger to Buffalo, but one of the premier singers of England. His work was known in London and in New York. He enjoyed great success in his appearance at the Cincinnati Song Festival, where he sang with Marie Brema.

The News reported on June 26th:
"Mr. Davies sang the Prologue from 'I Pagliacci' and he had to repeat a part of it. His work was excellent. His artistic attainments are of a high order, and there is a peculiar reed quality in his voice that is especially attractive."

The last concert, given Thursday June 27th, was held at the stadium in the northeast corner of the fair grounds. The guest singers had made their way home but the singing societies made one last appearance. 9000 were in attendance. To cap off the performances, a young lion from Bostock's Animal Show escaped while being transferred to his cage. According to the Buffalo Evening News , "a Mexican Rurale vaulted into the arena, and grabbing the animal by the nape of the neck, hung on until the trainers had boxed the brute." The report in the Buffalo Volkesfreund stated "A tame lion from the Bostock Arena managed to slip away from his trainer and look for a little excitement. The animal ran around the racing track about a dozen times, being chased by its trainer, and was finally subdued by a courageous spectator. The regularly scheduled fireworks display was cancelled. The last number of the program was the song 'Oh, that we must part'."



The Buffalo Volksfreund offered in its June 28th edition a backstage look at the Saengerfest.


"Two of the arriving singing societies, who wish to remain nameless, found themselves with neither a part in the mass rehearsal nor the concerts. One of these groups went to the Concert Hall at 10AM in order to supplement the chorus. Their services were graciously declined.

"Representatives of the foreign press complained that they weren't given space at the Press Headquarters, press badges, or vouchers for free copies of the 'Official Book' of the Song Festival. They later noticed at the Concert Hall that if they wanted a copy of the book, they'd have to pay a quarter. By way of apology for this unfortunate circumstance, let it be noted that said book was done under the auspices of the Publishing Committee, not the Press Committee. That book was delivered to the Armory by the committee the day before the start of the festival. The sudden bereavement by the Lautz family sent the festival board scrambling at the last minute since the board's chief and another executive officer were otherwise engaged. Necessary arrangements are being made by the festival board to procure books for the foreign press.

"Professor Joseph Mischka, conductor of the Children's Chorus, received an unpleasant surprise on Thursday morning as he awaited the arrival of Mrs. Lillian Blauvelt. She was scheduled to rehearse her solo part in the children's chorus number. The lady's husband confided to Professor Mischka that his wife was not inclined to participate because her name on the concert bill was not printed in as bold a typeface as that of Mrs. Schumann-Heinke. Her decision was final. Professor Mischka experienced the sinking feeling that this refusal could spoil everything. The lady, who had sung the solo part in the opening rehearsals, declared upon Professor Mischka's request, that she would be willing to fill in. Around 1PM Mrs. Blauvelt's husband returned to Professor Mischka and told him that his wife had reconsidered and decided to perform her part. How did this change of heart come about? The soprano consulted a lawyer who advised her that breach of contract would not only deprive her of the stipend for this engagement but also involve her in a court action which she would surely lose. - artistic tempraments!"

The Final Tally

"Although the chairman of the Finance Committee of the Seangerfest assured us on Wednesday evening that there would be no deficit, the actual figures belie this assertion. It's possible that the board is viewing things 'with a blue eye'[the German equivalent to seeing the world through rose colored glasses].It has been discovered that there is a $5000 deficit.

"What might have happened if it had been necessary to build a concert hall for the song festival, like they did in Cincinnati? We leave that for you to decide.

"Intelligent people will agree that the role of the song festival and concert has been to promote the previously maligned Pan-American Exposition at least with regard to the music-loving population of Buffalo.

"The concerts of the 30th United Song Festival have taught us, as they did two years ago at the Jubilee Song Festival in Cincinnati, that gigantic mass choruses are a time consuming effort. Their capacity for success is due largely to favorable circumstance and limited by disruptive incidents."

Newspaper ads

The Buffalo Evening News, Friday, May 31, 1901

Buffalo Volksfreund, Friday, June 21, 1901

Tickets for the afternoon concert were 50 cents, $1, and $2. Evening concerts were $1, $2, and $3.
The ad also indicates that there was seating for 10,000 people.

It has to be remembered that a dollar in 1901 is equivalent to $31.53 in 2020. Calculations based on wage earnings for factory workers in the 1900 United States Census indicate that the average weekly wage was $8.65. Retail price for pound of sugar was 4 cents, a dozen eggs were 14 cents and a pound of butter was 24 cents. Wholesale prices were slightly less. Perhaps the ad right next to the Sängerfest announcement would have appealed more to the working-class population of the East Side of Buffalo.

"The Second Song Festival of the Worker Singing Society of the Middle Northern States of North America on June 23rd and 24th with a picnic in Teutonia Park. 8PM on the 24th - a mass concert of the United Singers in the Concert Hall at the Teck Theater.
Admission 35 Cents per person (These tickets are also good for a trip to the picnic).
Extra admittance tickets to the picnic, 15 Cents for Gentlemen and Ladies."

Inspection of a 1872 - 1905 Ward Map of the City of Buffalo revealed that Teutonia Park was located on the East Side in the 18th Ward. The park was located at the intersections of Fillmore and Fougeron Streets, extending one block to Josephine St. to the east and Urban St. to the north. The area is two blocks north of what we now know as Martin Luther King Park.

Translation:The Pan American Exposition's Most Noteworthy Attractions.

Authentic Reproduction of a Portion of the Royal Old City of Nuremberg.

The Dürer House, the Tower of Our Lady's Church, the Tower to Heaven, the Nassener House, the Bratwurst Bell, St. Moritz Church, the Castle, etc.

Lüchow's German Restaurant - the only German restaurant of the Exposition and the only place where imported beer is sold.

Daily in the afternoon and evenings - Grand Concert of the Bavarian Regimental Infantry Choir (48 men) under the direction of the Bavarian Regimental Master of Music, Jacob Peuppus.

Two concerts daily of the Upper-Bavarian Song and Country Dance Society, the Königseers (5 ladies, 2 men)

Miss Stolle's stereoptic presentation of the paintings of the most famous masters of art

Gebhard's Famous Astronomical Clock

Buffalo Evening News Ad run during the Pan American Exposition


Buffalo Evening News, May 30 - June 28, 1901.
Buffalo und sein Deutschtum, Deutsch-Amerikanische Historische und Biographische Gesellschaft, 1911-1912, Jacob E. Mueller, Publisher.
Buffalo Volksfreund, June 22 - 28, 1901.
Geschichte der Deutschen in Buffalo und Erie County, N.Y., Reinecke & Zesch, Buffalo, 1898.

Compiled by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks,
April 21, 2001
Revised September 2, 2002
Reformatting and second revision, February 12,2021.