Swiss Harmonie and the
United Swiss Singing Societies of the Pacific Coast
(USSSPC)
The United Swiss Singing Societies of the Pacific Coast (USSSPC) was founded in 1934 Its purpose of holding song festivals that promote Swiss folk singing, yodeling, and music; and encourage friendship and camaraderie among the members of the societies. The founding member societies included the Helvetia Sänger Club of Portland, the Männerchor “Edelweiss” of Tacoma, and the Swiss Male Chorus Alperösli of Seattle, who first performed in a combined concert January 21, 1934 in the Swiss Hall in Portland. Following this event, the presidents of the three choruses met and agreed to form a federation with the title “United Swiss Singing Societies of the Pacific Coast”. The founding fathers were Otto Hausermann, president of the Helvetia Sänger Club who was presiding, Charles Bischofberger, president of the Männerchor “Edelweiss” and Hans Forster, president of the Swiss Male Chorus Alperösli. The purpose of the organization is defined as follows in the organization’s current bylaws: “To promote Swiss folk singing, yodeling, and music; foster their common cause; and to encourage friendship and camaraderie among the members of the societies. This purpose shall be carried out mainly by holding song festivals.”.
USSSPC Song Festivals (or Sängerfests) are held every three years, rotating among member societies. The USSSPC currently has eleven member societies in major cities along the Pacific Coast and the Western United States, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver, Ripon/Modesto, and Salt Lake City. While there were only 105 singers in the Tacoma Festival in 1935, 406 singers participated in San Diego in 1990. The largest group (427 singers) performed when the Swiss Singing Society “Harmonie” hosted the Festival in 1984 in Long Beach, California.
In 1945, the “Harmonie” became the fifth member of the United Swiss Singing Societies of the Pacific Coast (USSSPC). In joining the USSSPC, the Harmonie recognized how beneficial it would to join other Swiss Singing Societies along the Pacific Coast and belong to a parent organization with the purpose of holding singing and yodeling festivals in the best Swiss tradition. The Harmonie participated in our first USSSPC Sängerfest in 1946, and has participated in all Sängerfests since then. The Harmonie has also hosted the Festival four times in the past: The first was in 1948 at the Hollywood Bowl, in 1966 at the Shrine Auditorium, in 1984 at the R.M.S. Queen Mary in Long Beach and the last one in 2005 at the Terrace Theatre in Long Beach.
The Harmonie is proud to be hosting the next USSSPC Sängerfest – the 30th Pacific Coast Swiss Singing in and Yodeling Festival. It will take place June 25-28, 2020 in Pasadena California. Currently, our thirty-member mixed chorus is under the direction of Rodger Whitten, and we are all hard at work rehearsing our music program and preparing a great festival that will live up to our mission of sharing our cultural heritage of traditional songs, yodels, dances and instrumental presentations with friends and audiences in the United States, our adopted homeland.

 

The Los Angeles Swiss Singing Society Harmonie is a Section 501-c-3 organization.

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