There is always something wonderful throughout the culture in
which to wander and experience awe especially music and heritage!
“Birthday Trips” Accompanying My Mother!
Hence, the name for this link which she often uttered…
“Where Are My Keys and Let’s Go!!”
As a birthday gift for the five years prior to her death November 2000 of which she wanted again
every year after the initial Birthday Card was that I gather her up at the Holiday Inn in Jennings, LA
and the entire day was hers! We went wherever she wanted to go as she had the directions
jotted down on the first piece of paper she could get her hands on as she would call the person
and make the arrangements! I had a little gift for her on her seat; she was dressed top to bottom
and off we shot!! What joyous days well spent packed with lasting memories forever and ever!
We Traveled East and West, as well as, North and South!
1) The Louisiana Choral Foundation
Lake Charles, LA
2) "Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church Parish Family Choir"
Lake Charles, LA
First Full Weekend in October of Every Year!
Roberts Cove, LA
ROBERTS COVE GERMANFEST FOLK SINGERS
History by Josie Thevis, Coordinator 2009
“When Father Charles Zaunbrecher began the Family Reunions at the St. Leo IV Parish Hall, singing and musical instruments were added to the celebrations by some of the family members. It was a joy to see the happiness, especially on the older men as they sang, leaving their worry about the crops in the field behind them for that day.
Now that you have a picture of the earlier singing of German Folk Songs in Roberts Cove, we take you to the Celebration of Germanfest. It was most fitting that a part of this great fest should include fold songs sung by our early settlers in memory of days gone by.
In 1995, when the first Roberts Cove Germanfest was held, the St. Leo Church Choir led by Josie Thevis performed in a little tent away from the stage. We invited anyone who wanted to join us. It was surprising to see who was interested.
Then in 1996 by luck and the grace of God we happened upon two wonderful people of our neighboring city of Jennings by the name of Joseph and Anna Kormesser. Joseph was born in Austria and Anna in Germany who came to Louisiana to retire.
With their expertise in German music, Joseph played the piano accordion and Anna lead our group of singers who were comprised of former St. Leo Choir members and who now lived around the State of Louisiana as well as other interested singers of our community and surrounding area. Thus the “Roberts Cove Germanfest Singers” was organized with Josie Thevis as coordinator. Our first guitar players were Tommy Ohlenforst and Otto Zaunbrecher.
During the time that Joe could not play his accordion, Anna stepped down as our leader, but continued being a singer and yodeler. Lee Seilhan from Rayne stepped in and led our singing group for a few years until Anna resumed leading us again.
Our group has performed many times, including appearing on the John Folse Culture Show on LPB, Channel 15 in Baton Rouge. We also appeared at Vermilionville, Acadian Village and other areas around Lafayette, Eunice, Crowley, Rayne, nursing homes, etc.
When health prevented Joe from playing his piano accordion, we were privileged to find Simone Dubois of Crowley who filled his shoes quickly. We were also fortunate to find good guitar players to replace Otto and Tommy whom our Lord called from us. They are Adrian Leonards and his son, Levi, Ted Jacques who was already a member of our singing group, Denise L. Dumesnil, daughter of one of our singers Dennis Leonard and Russel Meche of Crowley.
We are also grateful to our many dedicated singers who have been so faithful to our singing group since its beginning and to the newcomers who are willing to learn the German words and help keep up our love of German Folk Singing.
We remember those dedicated singers whom Our Lord has called home, and know they are still with us in spirit, namely Gertrude Hensgens Monlezun, Alois Reiners, Edwin Leonards,
Darryl Vondenstein and Nickolas Hensgens.
We are thankful also to Monika Ohlenforst Arceneaux for typing and printing this songbook, and Mary Ann “Rusty” Leonards for helping me to put it all together.”
~Germanfest Folk Singers~
Monika Arceneaux Bernardine Leonards
Ray Bordelon Blaise Leonards
Lucille Chisholm Buck Leonards
Lawrence Cramer Dennis Leonards
Henrietta Didier Dot Leonards
Simone Dubois Henry Leonards
Denise L. Dumesnil Levi Leonards
Jeanie Fruge M/M Louis Leonards
Elaine Gossen Mary Ann Leonards
Herbie Gossen Wilfred Leonards
Margie Gossen Joseph McCarthy
Ralph Gossen Russell Meche
Lawrence Habetz Marcella Ohlenforst
Marie Habetz Bernadette Pontón
Coreada Hoffpauir Charlene Reynolds
Christina Hornsby Sara Reynolds
Ted Jacques Josie Thevis
Darlene Kirsch Stephanie Vice
Anna Kormesser Ashton Williams
Joe Kormesser/R.I.P. Rachel Williams
Dot Leger Liz Zaunbrecher
Adrian Leonards Vincent Zaunbrecher