News and Updates


Houstonfest Scholarships - winners posted!


Scholarships at State


Special Rules and Procedures for the 2021 Remote Contest


Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


Tips for Pair Discussion


Photo Gallery 2014


Arrival at Heights High School


Lunch options


Plays will be performed at Houstonfest


Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list



Important Dates


Sat., Mar. 6, 2021 State online awards ceremony posted. Also, Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


Fri., Mar. 12, 2021:  Gail Cope Scholarship applications due.


Fri., April 30, 2021:  Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications due.


The rest of this will be updated for 2022 some time soon:


Sat., Jan. 16, 2021:  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).


Mon., Jan. 25, 2021:  Final deadline to submit registration spreadsheet for late price of $12/student and deadline to postmark payment.


Wed., Feb. 3, 2021, 8:00 p.m.Deadline to submit changes (adds, drops, substitutions). After this point, no more additions or substitutions will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 6, 2021 Houstonfest (100% remote): some events conducted "live" (online) that day, all others submitted digitally by 9:00 a.m.


Thur., Feb. 11, 2021 Houstonfest online awards show emailed to teachers.


Wed., Feb. 17, 2021:  State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. for "early bird" price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed yet). Also, deadline to apply for the Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship.


Mon., Feb. 22, 2021:  State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. at regular price of $12/student. Also, entries for promotional video contest due to State director Jennifer Christianson by 8:00 p.m. and deadline to postmark payment.


Sat., Feb. 27, 2021:  Texas State German Contest (100% remote): some events conducted "live" (online) that day, all others submitted digitally by 9:00 a.m.



Below are the "normal" rules for Houstonfest in a non-pandemic year.  To preserve a record of the normal rules, alterations to the rules for the 2021 remote contest will not be reflected here but rather documented at this link: Special Rules and Procedures for the 2021 Remote Contest.


Main Rules Page Arts Declamation Drama Music
Oral Tests Pass auf! Research Paper Scavenger Hunt Written Tests


Advantaged Speakers




Special Rules and Procedures for the 2021 Remote Contest


All rules in one six-page document (for non-pandemic years)


Show your love for the Texas German contest system by producing a promotional video and entering our contest.  You could win $250!  Click here for the contest guidelines.


General rules:

  • All participants in Houstonfest are responsible for taking care of and keeping up with their own belongings.  Neither the host school (Heights High School), its German teacher Mark Johnson, Houstonfest, Houstonfest director Rustin Buck, the Houstonfest steering committee, nor the umbrella organization Texas State German Contests, Inc. is responsible for items lost or left behind at the contest.

  • Only German teachers may register students for Houstonfest; we do not accept registration from individual students.

  • Any German teacher who registers one or more contestants must attend Houstonfest and serve as a judge (unless the director grants an exemption, which will be done only in extremely extraordinary situations).

  • Teachers should follow their school district's policy regarding student eligibility to participate in contests.
  • Each contestant...

    • must be in grade 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12;

    • must be a student at a school where the registering teacher works;

    • must be currently enrolled in a German course at that school, or if not, must have previously completed at least two years of German instruction AND be a current member of that school's German Club or German NHS.  There are two exceptions to this:  A Classical Instrumental Ensemble may contain one "wild-card" student who is not currently taking and has not previously taken German.  A Polka Band may contain up to two such "wild-card" students.  "Wild-card" entries are allowed only in these two events.

The spirit of the foregoing rule is to prevent a school from stacking its entries with "mercenary" artists, dancers, musicians, writers, etc. who have no real connection to the school's German program in order to bolster the team's entries.  On the other hand, we do not want to exclude the occasional student who loves German and who took two or three years of it and who wants to continue participating in Houstonfest but who, for whatever reason, is not currently taking German.  Please note, however, that any contestant not currently enrolled in a German course should be entered in the level he/she would be in if he/she had continued taking German.  For example, if John stops taking German after completing German III but still wants to enter Houstonfest the next year, he should be entered in Level 4 events.

  • For liability reasons, video recordings are not allowed in any room where students are competing or performing. If parents and/or teachers wish to record a performance, they should plan on doing it during a rehearsal or performance at their respective school.
The contest director may assign a designated contest photographer to take pictures or video footage throughout contest for informational or publicity purposes. This will be immediately submitted to the director on contest day. No student faces may be used from this footage.

However, the contest director will accept video segments as well as still photos from individual schools after contest has occurred (to be used for promotional purposes, e.g., on the website). By submitting these, teachers give permission for Houstonfest and Texas State German Contests, Inc. to use them for informational or publicity purposes. Before submitting such photos/videos, teachers must make sure that students have permission forms on file at their school allowing for photos/videos to be used on the website.

When is the next Houstonfest?



February 5, 2022


Where is Houstonfest?


Due to COVID-19, the 2021 contest was conducted entirely REMOTELY. We hope to be back at our usual venue, Heights High School in Houston, in 2022.


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook