August Thielepape

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a man whose political and musical leadership helped reshape San Antonio.

On July 21, 1865, August Thielepape raised an American flag over the Alamo to signify the end of the Civil War. Thielepape was a true Renaissance man. After moving to San Antonio from Germany in the 1850s, he worked as an architect, engineer, composer, and civic leader. In 1865, he helped found the Beethoven Männerchor, a popular Texas-German singing group, and he even conducted its debut performance at the Casino Club, an auditorium he had designed.

In 1867, August Thielepape became mayor of San Antonio. He continued composing and conducting music, but he also worked to help modernize the city’s streets, bridges, and schools. In 1872, he moved to Chicago to help rebuild that city after the Great Fire. He died there in 1904.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll discover yet another Texas connection to the “King” of rock and roll.

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