„We are the big Wieland troop“
The Wieland Choir has delighted audiences for 65 years
In 1934, Wieland workers founded a works’ choir. Initially a pure male choir, they performed at Christmas parties, jubilee parties and many other occasions. And from 1950 onwards they went on annual excursions - until a change in leisure behaviour led to the dissolution of the choir in 1999.
Whoever came up with the idea of founding the Works’ Choir in 1934 can no longer be determined. However, Hans Grüner was probably one of the founders, having been the conductor of the choir for the first 35 years, which initially consisted only of men. The singers made their first public appearance in 1935.
Unknown is also the author of the Wieland song, which is a hymn to the company and the solidarity of the employees. "We are the big Wieland troop", it says right at the beginning, "are good comrades, whatever the working year brings us". Each of the three verses of the song unmistakably expresses the pride of being part of the great Wieland family.
There were plenty of opportunities for public singing for the choir, which reunited again after the Second World War in 1949: at Christmas and anniversary celebrations, as well as in homes for the elderly, at the university clinic, at Christmas markets or at funerals. Members include such illustrious names as Karl and Dr. Wolfgang Eychmüller or Harald Kroener, who even were appointed honorary singers.
From 1950 onwards, the Wieland Choir's fixed programme included annual excursions, mostly to the surrounding area of the company. The Lenninger Valley and Teck Castle were just as much a part of the programme as Stuttgart, Aalen and Neresheim or the Wimsen Cave, the Hohenstaufen hill or the Lorch Monastery. The detailed reports tell us that singing was enjoyed wholeheartedly on these trips. Already on their first excursion, the choir – "filled with the natural beauty of our Swabian homeland" - started singing the song 'Dies ist der Tag des Herrn' (This is the day of the Lord) with a wonderful view of the Lenninger Valley.
Relatively late, only from 1994 onwards, women sang along, and the pure male choir became a mixed choir. The 50th trip in 1999 took the Choir to Bad Schussenried and was something special, not only because of the anniversary. Did the singers have any idea what the near future would bring when, at the end of the day, they sang "Good night now dear friends, say farewell, good bye"? Because a few months later, in October 1999, the Wieland Choir was dissolved after running for 65 years – due to a shortage of young singers.