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Singers

The Singers are the cultural pillar of the Los Angeles Turners

To give you an idea what the Los Angeles Turners singers are about, here an article by Turners Singer Uwe Russmann about one of our garden concerts.  The Turners Singers rehearse every Tuesday, 7:30 pm, at the Turner Center in Westchester.  The singers are always looking for good voices to support the choir. Interested to join?  Call the Los Angeles Turners: 310.926.7699.


The Turner Singers 2002
The Turner Singers at the Garden concert in June 2002.

Garden concert with Champagne
More than 70 Music lovers enjoyed
a delightful afternoon with the Turner singers

On Sunday, June 23, two days after the start of summer, the Turners had invited friends and members to their Summer Gartenkonzert.  Shortly after 2:00 pm on this gorgeous day, the first guests arrived, helping themselves to Kaffee & Kuchen of their choice from a plentiful buffet. 

Dennis Fredricks, President of the Turners, welcomed the guests and singers, followed by Lilly Layton, Vice-President and Choir Leader, who also greeted the large group of guests and introduced the songs. “A musical trip through the Brandenburger Land” was the theme of the Garten Konzert of the Turners that was prepared for in the lacy shade of the beautiful garden of the Turnerhaus.

As Lilly Layton explained, at the end of 2001 the journalist Friedrich Landkammer, had written an article about the L.A. Turners.  A copy of this article ended up with  Irmgard Büchsenschütz in Berlin through her brother, who lives in Palm Springs.  Irmgard Büchsenschütz felt touched by the dedication of the Turner Singers and immediately sent a letter-package to the Choir Leader Lilly Layton that contained texts and notes of a range of songs that her late husband had created in his long and productive life.

Gustav Büchsenschütz, born in 1902, joined the popular Youth-Movement of the “Wandervögel” (Wander Songbirds).  Evidently, the spirit of the Wandervögel Movement must have influenced Gustv Büchsenschütz deeply, because many of his songs describe his love for wandering, singing and Gemütlichkeit.

In his long and active life, - he died in 1994 -, Büchsenschütz created a vast treasure of music with mostly folksy themes, many of them expressing his love for the Brandenburger Land, the beautiful Berlin County, but also contemplative songs. Thanks to the generosity of Irmgard Büchsenschütz, the Turner Singers were able to choose from the treasure the following eight songs, to share them with their guests, as their new, talented Director Ms. Linda Kaan accompanied them on the keyboard.

Horst and Ellen Neu, South Bay ClubJust as the Turners were finished singing the last song, dedicated to all guests that just recently celebrating their birthdays, Horst Neu, President of the German South Bay Club, his wife Ellen (photo left) and two of their sisters form Canada, entered the garden, bringing a large bouquet of flowers for Lilly Layton.  Since on this day it was the birthday of both, Horst Neu and his wife Ellen, the Turners sang the joyous Birthday song by Gustav Büchsenschütz one more time.

As in the past, the Turner Singers felt very pleased to have so many loyal friends as their guests in their midst; some of them, who were coming as representatives of other German Clubs, i.e. Margaret Wobig, President of the Damenchor Frohsinn; Willi Jablonski, President of the MGV Frohsinn; Annie Surface, Representative of the Phoenix Club Gemischter Chor and Fritz Schmid, representative of the L.A. Schwabenverein.

After the concert there was a break for more Kaffee & Kuchen, but also some hearty Abendbrot (bread with cold cuts), before Lilly Layton invited all guests to join in for a Sing-Along.  Director Ms. Linda Kaan spontaneously accompanied the Sing-Along on the electronic organ.  The many magically smiling faces were witness of the enjoyment that guests and singers alike were having with the songs that most of them had already sung in their childhood.

As always, Ray, Lilly’s husband, was diligently serving on the bar plenty of delicious drinks the entire afternoon.

Towards the end of the afternoon, the Turners were happy to welcome to their ranks a new member, Gisela Heumann, who was introduced by Carl Schaefer, the ceremony master of the Turners. Still, a few surprising performances added to the enjoyment: Willy Jablonsky, President of the MGV Frohsinn, sang “Die Kirschen in Nachbars Garten” and „Schütt die Sorgen in ein Gläschen Wein”, followed by the solo song “Vor meinem Vaterhaus”, presented by Fritz Schmid, Representative of the L.A. Schwabenverein.

Classical tunes, played by Turner member Wolfgang Sauer on the grand piano on the inside of the Turner House, were accompanying the closing hour, as the many helping hands of guests and Turner Singers were moving dishes, tables and chairs back into the building.

Without the dedication of all the lovely people involved with the Turners, the Konzert would not have been such a great success.  Thanks to all of you; guests, helpers and members alike!

At about 7 pm, a delightful afternoon of singing, sharing of food and memories came to an end, with apparently many of the music lovers looking forward to the next Wiedersehen.

Uwe Russmann

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