News and Updates


Scholarships at State


Houstonfest Scholarships - winners posted!


What's new for 2019


Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


Tips for Pair Discussion


Arrival at Heights High School


Lunch options


Plays will be performed at Houstonfest


Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list


Photo Gallery 2014



Important Dates


Fri., Mar. 8, 2019 Gail Cope Scholarship applications due.


Tue., April 30, 2019 Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications due.


Fri., Jan. 17, 2020:  Regular deadline to submit registration spreadsheet in order to pay regular price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/27).


Mon., Jan. 27, 2020:  Final deadline to submit registration spreadsheet for late price of $12/student and deadline to postmark payment.


Mon., Feb. 3, 2020 Proof sheet of entries sent to teachers for final verification and changes.


Tue., Feb. 4, 2020: Research Papers due to David Kniess by 11:59 p.m.


Wed., Feb. 5, 2020, 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., Feb. 6, 2020: Videos due to Mark Johnson by 6:00 p.m.


Sat., Feb. 8, 2020 Houstonfest !


x, Feb. x, 2020 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.


x, Feb. x, 2020 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 regular deadline. Also, deadline to submit entries for promotional video contest to State director Jennifer Christianson.


Sat., Feb. 29, 2020:  Leap into the Texas State German Contest !


Sat., Mar. 7, 2020 Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.



Changes to Rules and Procedures Effective for 2019


The changes described below flow from the Houstonfest steering-committee meeting held on May 12, 2018, and the State steering-committee meeting held in Dallas on August 4, 2018.


  • Houstonfest returns in 2019 to its normal location, Heights High School in Houston.

  • We will continue to invite food trucks and have a concession stand to provide lunch.

  • Bubble Soccer will not return this year.  It's fun, but supervising it also takes up valuable teacher and adult-volunteer time that we need in other areas.  It could return in some future year.

  • Incentives for new schools to participate (continued from 2017 and 2018): 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 director Rustin Buck to take advantage of these offers; the registration spreadsheet is not set up to reflect them.

  • Contemporary Music entries can now have anywhere from 1 to 5 students (previously 1 to 4).

  • Duet Acting selections can now be scenes from movies or TV shows; if you choose to use such scenes, you will need to find or create a transcription of the scene to submit as a script to the judges.

  • We are implementing the plan developed at the 2017 "folk dance summit" to start a four-year rotation of different dance genres for the Einzeltanz contest. The prescribed dance had been the Heidauer Plattler since the inception of the contest, but this year (2019), the prescribed dance will be a Schottische. The dance instructions, the music, a video of the dance, and the revised critique sheet have been posted here. Other new genres will be introduced in 2020 and 2021, and we will then start the rotation over with the Plattler in 2022.

  • The event Oral Presentation will advance to State this year! Please, encourage your students to enter. This event is excellent practice for the AP exam. The picture for 2019 has now been posted.

  • Pass auf! updates: Proverbs will be dropped from the Odds & Ends category but idioms will be retained (stay tuned for a list of common idioms to study). This is the third year that we will have an annual theme about which there will be at least one 50-point question per round. The theme for 2019 is German-Americans.

  • The rules for Play were edited to explicitly list operas/operettas as eligible texts.

  • We’re adding an Advantaged Speaker Test for advantaged speakers only, a long written test that will encompass the disciplines covered in all our other tests:  grammar, culture, listening, reading, vocabulary, and spelling. Rules are now posted.

  • For the second year, the State contest invites schools to submit a promotional video (max. 2 minutes) to help us promote the contest system. Other than the time limit, it’s wide-open as to what you put in it. The goal is to motivate someone (student or teacher) who has never been to German contest to want to come, so tell the world why you love German contest! Last year’s winner is posted on the State website. The top videos will be shown and voted on at the State awards assembly, and the winning entry will receive a cash prize (increased to $250 from last year's value of $100). The deadline to submit a video to State director Jennifer Christianson is Friday, February 15, 2019.  Click here for the contest guidelines.

When is the next Houstonfest?



February 8, 2020


Where is Houstonfest?


Heights High School

413 E. 13th Street

Houston, TX 77008


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook