“Singing frees the soul”

For mayor frank wilzok, one thing is certain: "an honor is the small salary of a volunteer." Helmut eichner is one of the people who really deserves this little treat. For half a century, he has been one of the main pillars of the singing society 1854 kulmbach weiher-mangersreuth.
The reward for the effort: at the honorary evening in the kommunbrau on saturday, chairman dieter fritsch, supported by the head of the bayreuth choir, heiner beyer, pins the golden badge of honor of the association on his reverse. A high honor also befalls eichner's conductor: walter schleicher, who has been loyal to the association for 40 years, is named honorary choir director. Also he receives the golden pin of honor of the association.
With eichner, who sings in the first bass, memories are awakened of times in which the jubilarian had steered the fate of the association: "the 70s, 80s and 90s were the bleeding time of the association, in which we gave much-acclaimed concerts in bayreuth, bad steben and nurnberg. Unforgettable are also the concerts with musical greats like wagner-sanger karl ridderbusch or the bass of the semper oper dresden, gunter emmerlich."
In 1962, at the time of the economic miracle, eichner had joined the weiherer singers. For the 77-year-old sanger, who lives in mangersreuth, it was not only the close proximity that brought him to the singing club, but above all the good reputation that has always preceded the singing community. "'Where are you going? To the weiherern!It had been said at the time.". And not without reason: in addition to a few folk songs, the association has always cultivated sophisticated, especially church songs.

Musical challenges
The musical accompaniment to the honorary evening reflects this principle. The challenging composition "land recognition from the pen of edvard grieg with its many tempo and rhythm changes becomes a masterly artistic performance.
Eichner also sings in fervor. How to master such creative hurdles? "In which one is highly concentrated on the matter at hand. In the early stages, it is still a rough challenge, but with time, the progress grows, the song becomes a routine."
For eichner, choral singing is a piece of music that liberates the soul, but also makes you happy. Not only him, but also other. When at the end of a concert, the audience applauds, he feels it as a satisfaction. He also considered his time as chairman of the association from 1974 to 1994 to be one such episode. "If no one gets involved for the good of the general public, then our society becomes impoverished.", says the sanger, who still speaks up with constructive suggestions today.
He thinks back wistfully to the days in the 1970s when the choir of around 50 people was twice as large as it is today: "that was a splendor of choral singing." This was not only due to the large number of singers, but also to their then and now choir director, walter schleicher.
Four decades ago he came to the small town of kulmbach from the big city of nurnberg – as a teacher at the secondary school. "They were different times. Sometimes there was more to do, sometimes less. But one thing has remained the same over all these years: the people of weiher have always gone along with my creative work with them", says schleicher, who gives his singers special praise: "a piece had never been rehearsed as well as it was performed afterwards."

Choir director still remains
Schleicher is also known to many kulmbach residents as the director of the music school. From 1979 until his retirement in 2011, he worked meritoriously at the institution. For the club, this had a positive side effect. "My effort in all concerts has always been to involve music school students. Tonight we are accompanied by a former student of mine, maria-kristin voit on electric piano."
Neither eichner, nor schleicher think of quitting. "As long as I still have joy in singing, I stay with it", explains the former. Even the choir director does not want to resign yet. And in his speech of thanks, he not only praises the association, but also his wife heike.

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