Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Barbara Lewis


The purpose of this study was to describe and compare the music programs at Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI) founded in 1889 and Steinbach Christian High School (SCHS) which has its origins in Steinbach Bible College founded in 1936. The Kanadier, Mennonites who came to Manitoba in 1874 (e.g., Kleine Gemeinde and Bergthaler), had previously rejected part-singing in Russia. However, they became more open to part-singing after they came to Manitoba. The Bergthaler in Gretna helped establish MCI. The Mennonite Brethren (MB) and Evangelical Mennonite Brethren (EMB) were influential in promoting choral music among the Kleine Gemeinde in Steinbach. Steinbach Bible College became a joint effort of the MB, EMB, and Kleine Gemeinde (now the Evangelical Mennonite Conference or EMC). The Rußländer (or Russlaender) who came to Canada in the 1920s, many of whom were MB, were culturally more progressive than the Kanadier and influenced both MCI and SCHS. The researcher interviewed teachers, administrators, a museum curator, visited archives, and attended a Sängerfest (or Saengerfest) at MCI and a concert at SCHS. Both schools are known for their choral programs and do similar repertoire. Regarding the religious musical heritages of the two schools, MCI is more deliberate at including German hymns and traditional favorites known as Kernlieder in their programming whereas the emphasis at SCHS is sacred music in general.