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Arion Singing Society

411 Danbury Road, New Milford, CT 06776
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HISTORY OF THE ARION SINGING SOCIETY

On March 1, 1911, a small group of music loving Germans met in the rooms of the Concordia Society in Danbury for the purpose of forming a male chorus.  Most of these men had belonged to similar organizations in their old “Vaterland”, which enabled them to conduct the business of that first meeting in a swift and orderly manner.  The name “Maenner-Gesangverein Arion” was chosen for the new society.  When it was registered with the state of Connecticut on August 23, 1915, the title “The Danbury Arion Singing Society, Inc.” was used.  The Arion is affiliated with the Federal Clubs of Connecticut and has been a member of the Connecticut Saengerbund since September 8, 1913. 

The first singing rehearsal was held on March 24, 1915 at the Concordia Hall in Danbury, CT, where all future meetings and rehearsals were held until September 1915.  At that time, the members were ready to move into their own home on Main Street in Danbury.  As the membership increased and a larger facility was required, the Society moved to 8 Ives Street, Danbury, the present home of the Polish-American Citizens Club. 

Under the excellent leadership of many directors, the Arion’s choruses returned with numerous trophies and awards from prize singing contests; the initial first prize was won in 1914. The Ladies’ Chorus was established in 1942 and the Children’s Chorus was formed in the 1960’s.  In 1972, German language classes were organized and, in the spring of 1973, the Edelweiss Schuhplattler Auxiliary was established.  This group brought a lot of enjoyment to the Arion’s social functions.   

The Arion made their home in what is today the Omaha Beef Company on the corner of Maple Avenue and Crosby Street in Danbury between 1929 and 1980.  That year, the Arion temporarily relocated to the Elks Lodge on Main Street.  The Elks quarters served the Arion’s purposes for five year; however, conditions became such that a new, more suitable facility was needed.  The Arion was lucky enough to locate its present home on 411 Danbury Road in New Milford, CT.  Much work was needed prior to moving in and, due to the efforts of many dedicated members, that task was completed in relatively short time.  The Arion is proud of its new home. 

In 1992, the first Christkindl Markt was held and, in both 1998 and 2007, the Arion hosted the annual Saengerfest at its present location.  The first annual Oktoberfest made its debut in 1998 and was such a success that every year it draws a large and faithful crowd.  The Arion is presently under the choral directorship of Ulrich Hartung who has been with the club for eleven years and the faithful leadership of Karla Roder, the current president.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Arion Singing Society.  Let us hope that the Arion Singing Society will carry out the noble intentions that the original organizers intended and continue to raise voices in song!