Keith Brintzenhoff presented PA German international award
German- Pennsylvania Association recognized Brintzenhoff for outstanding PA German activities in 2017
PA German musician Keith Brintzenhoff, Kutztown, received an international award for outstanding Pennsylvania German activities in 2017.
The German- Pennsylvania Association award was presented to Brintzenhoff for his life- time achievement in the field of Pa German culture and language. He was recognized by German- Pennsylvania Association President Frank Kessler of Belgium, Brussels and association vice president Dr. Michael Werner of Germany.
The award reads, “The German- Pennsylvania Association and the entire Pennsylvania German community are grateful for his great dedication and commitment.”
“Totally amazed and extremely thankful,” said Brintzenhoff.
There was a surprise award presentation during a November BCTV PA German Hour with Patrick Donmoyer, Director of Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center in Kutztown.
“To me, it’s really a great honor because it’s an international organization,” he said.
Brintzenhoff performs PA German music on guitar, banjo, mountain dulcimer and the autoharp at various venues, including the Kutztown Folk Festival and Oley Fair for many years. He is also the music coordinator, band leader and MC for the Lyons Fiddle Festival. He is also a member of the band Toad Creek Ramblers.
A retired teacher with a master’s in elementary education f rom Kutztown University, Brintzenhoff teaches PA German language classes, most recently at the Berks County Heritage Center in Bern Township. For a second year, he is teaching a three- credit course on PA German language, culture, history and music at the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center’s one- room schoolhouse. The KU course, which brings in experts on various PA German subjects, is open to KU students and free to senior citizens except for a small state fee.
“Debunking a lot of myths about PA Germans and I get to meet a whole lot of interesting people and make a lot of new friends. That’s a lot of what keeps me going,” he said.
When asked the importance of keeping the PA German language and culture alive, Brintzenhoff said, “Languages sooner or later, if they’re not taken up by lots of people, lots meaning thousands and thousands, will die out. But there’s a lot of interest in this language yet, and especially culture, folklore, music and so on. I try to promote all of that. So far I’ve made a lot of friends and informed a lot of peo- ple about accurate things about the Pennsylvania Germans.”
He hopes people gain more general knowledge and appreciation of the culture, folklore and music, “Help people look back and appreciate their own culture, which to me is very important.”
Brintzenhoff will be teaching Beginner PA German language classes at the Berks County Heritage Center in Bern Township for eight weeks on Tuesdays at 6: 30 p. m. starting April 17. Register at 610374- 8839. For more information about Brintzenhoff and performance dates, visit www. toadcreekmusic.com.
Keith Brintzenhoff, Kutztown, received an international award for outstanding Pennsylvania German activities. He is pictured standing in the one- room schoolhouse at the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center in Kutztown, where he teaches a PA German course.