News and Updates
What's new for 2018
Tips for Pair Discussion
Arrival at Heights High School
Plays will be performed at Houstonfest
Scholarships at State
Daily log of changes to
Fri., Jan. 18, 2019: Regular deadline to submit registration
spreadsheet in order to pay regular price of $10/student (payment does not have
to be mailed until 1/25).
Fri., Jan. 25, 2019: Final deadline to submit registration spreadsheet
for late price of $12/student and deadline to postmark payment.
Mon., Jan. 28, 2019:
Proof sheet of entries sent to teachers for final
verification and changes.
Tue., Jan. 29, 2019:
Research Papers due
by 11:59 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 30, 2019,
8:00 p.m.: Deadline to submit changes (adds,
drops, substitutions). After this point, no more additions or
substitutions will be allowed in individual events. Substitutions in group events may continue in emergency situations.
Thur., Jan. 31, 2019:
Videos due to
Mark Johnson by 6:00 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 2, 2019:
Feb. x, 2019:
State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. in
order to qualify for early-bird price of $10 per student. Online
registrations submitted after this point incur the regular registration fee of $12
per student. Also, deadline to apply for the
Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship.
Feb. x, 2019:
State online registration due by 11:59 p.m.
(regular deadline). Also, postmark deadline for State payment, regardless
of whether you completed your online registration by the early-bird or the
Feb. x, 2019: Entries for promotional video contest due to State director Jennifer Christianson
Sat., Feb. 23, 2019:
Texas State German
Contest, Texas State University, San Marcos.
Sat., Mar. 2, 2019:
Mar. x, 2019:
Scholarship applications due.
Tue., April 30, 2019:
Teacher Grant applications due.
Changes to Rules
and Procedures Effective for 2018
The changes described below flow from the
Houstonfest steering-committee meeting held on May 20, 2017, and the State
steering-committee meeting held in Boerne on July 29, 2017.
Due to a scheduling conflict at our usual
location, Heights High School, Houstonfest will be held this year only (2018)
at Hogg Middle School in Houston. We should return to Heights in 2019.
New as of 1/3/18:
Given the extra effort that will be required of the organizers to pull off the
event at a different location this year, we've decided not to offer Bubble
Soccer in 2018. We hope that it will return in 2019.
We will continue to invite
and have a concession stand
to provide lunch.
Incentives for new schools to participate
(continued from 2017):
We will waive the registration fee for up to 5 students from any school that has
not attended Houstonfest in the last 5 years, and new schools will pay the
regular price of $10 for any students beyond the first 5, even if they enter
during the "late" registration period. Also, teachers who are brand new to Houstonfest may request to be excused from judging for the first year so that
they can move freely around the contest and see how things work. Contact
Rustin Buck to take advantage of these offers; the registration spreadsheet
is not set up to reflect them.
We have added a sample press release
that you can use before or after Houstonfest to the Teacher-to-Teacher Tips page.
There is a similar release about the State contest on the
A clarification in case there was any doubt:
All drama entries must be memorized. Points will be deducted if fellow cast
members or the judges have to prompt performers.
will continue to be offered in all three regions but will not advance to State
in 2018 (as in 2017). The State Steering Committee would like to see improved
participation in this event at the regional contests before approving it for
State competition -- so please,
encourage your students to
enter. This event is
excellent practice for the AP exam.
may not enter or help with the writing or revision of the narrative story
in Photo Essay.
There are a few changes and updates to
Pass auf! First, there will no longer
be a Grammar category, so now there are only four categories: History &
Politics, Arts & Letters, Odds & Ends, and Erdkunde. However,
there will still be 25 questions per round. There will be 5 questions per
category (which yields 20 questions), and then there will be an additional set
of 5 from one of the categories to round out the 25. In other words, there
will be 10 questions from one of the 4 categories and 5 questions each from
the other 3 categories. Some things that
were formerly in the Grammar category will be folded into the Odds & Ends
category. This is the second year that we will have an annual theme about
which there will be at least one 50-point question per round. The theme for
2018 is The German-Speaking World 1914-1945 (inspired by the 100th
anniversary of the end of World War I -- 1918 / 2018).
In 2018 we will return to the
old sweepstakes system to maintain consistency
with the other two regional contests and with the State contest. Schools will be
classified as "Large Schools" or "Small Schools" based on how many students are
enrolled in German classes at the school, and at least the top 5 schools in each
division will receive trophies.
In April 2017 the long-awaited Folk Dance
Summit brought together teachers with experience sponsoring folk dance
groups, teachers hoping to start folk dance groups, and members of several of
the adult folk dance groups from around the state (who, besides being experts,
are also our potential coaches and judges). The impetus for the summit was the
desire to get everyone pulling in the same direction and to make it much easier
for schools to get started doing folk dance. The summit was very productive and
resulted in a range of planned changes:
The event formerly known as Einzelplattler
will now be called Einzeltanz.
Since its inception, this event has focused on one particular dance, the
Heidauer Plattler, which will remain the designated dance for 2018.
However, we expect to install
a four-year rotation of dances by introducing different (non-Plattler)
dances in 2019, 2020, and 2021. A committee of folk-dance experts is currently
choosing the other three dances. The Heidauer Plattler will return again in
2022 as the cycle starts over.
coming months, we will publish a list of folk dances on the contest
websites. The list is currently being generated by a committee of folk-dance
experts who will rank the dances according to difficulty (Category I, II, or
III). The list should also include links for each dance to the dance
instructions, the music, and a video demonstrating the dance. This should
provide everyone -- schools with experience in folk dance and those just
starting out -- with a common reference point for the proper categorization of
the dances and for commonly-agreed-upon versions of the dances. Schools
wishing to perform dances not on the list will follow a procedure to submit
the dances in advance for categorization by a panel of experts.
websites will feature contact information for folk-dance groups around
the state who are willing to work with schools to help them start or build up
their dance groups.
sheet for Group Folk
Dance has been substantially revised. The new critique sheet has only 100
points (instead of 150). Precision is worth the most, at 40 points. (It
was a common theme at the Folk Dance Summit that the judges would like to see
students in firm control of the basic dance steps, as opposed, for instance,
to attempting extremely difficult dances before truly mastering the basics --
thus the great weight placed on precision.) Technical difficulty (level
of dances) is worth only 10 points on the new critique sheet, as opposed to 50
on the old one. Artistic variety (doing dances from a variety of genres and a variety of German-speaking
regions and with props)
is worth 10 points as well.
More to be added soon regarding a new contest to create a video
promoting the Texas German contest system.
When is the next Houstonfest?
February 2, 2019
Heights High School
413 E. 13th Street
Houston, TX 77008
Link to Texas
State German Contest