This is the name of a German free church choral organisation founded at Elberfeld (now part of Wuppertal) in 1879 by Wilhelm Elsner (1833-1892) to encourage the musical life of what is now the Bund Evangelisch-Freikirchlicher Gemeinden in Deutschland (mainly Baptists), the United Methodist Church, and other German speaking free churches all over Europe. When Elsner died in 1892, Ernst H. Gebhardt* was appointed chairman. It is estimated that during the 1930s there were some 40,000 members. After World War II and the partition of Germany there were some 718 affiliated choirs in West Germany and West Berlin, and some 310 choirs in the GDR. Its headquarters was at...
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