News and Updates


NEW: Changes and updates for 2025


Houstonfest Scholarships: Winners Announced


Scholarships at State


NEW: Houstonfest history


Contest promo video #1 (students from one school tell why they love contest)


Contest promo video #2 (one student tells why she loves contest)


State promo video contest


Teacher-to-teacher tips


Tips for Pair Discussion


Arrival at Kingwood High School


Lunch options

Photo gallery


Daily log of changes to State-qualifier list


Important Dates


on a rolling basis but no later than Wed., Apr. 30, 2025 for payment during the 2024-2025 school year: submit Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications.


Mon. Jan. 13, 2025, 4:00 p.m.: (IF THEY ARE OFFERED AT ALL) Application for transportation grants from the Houston Saengerbund opens (teachers will be sent a link to a Google Form).


Tue., Jan. 21, 2025, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for regular price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/27).


Mon., Jan. 27, 2025, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for late price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark Houstonfest payment.


Sat., Feb. 1, 2025, 9:00 a.m.: Submission of entries in the 7 virtual Houstonfest events due (get link to Google Form from your teacher).


Tue., Feb. 4, 2025, 11:59 p.m.: Remote judging of the 7 virtual Houstonfest events ends.


Wed., Feb. 5, 2025, 10:00 p.m.Houstonfest changes (adds, drops, substitutions) due. After this point, no more changes will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 8, 2025 Houstonfest, Kingwood High School, Houston.


Fri., Feb. 14, 2025, 11:59 p.m.State online registration due for "early bird" price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 2/19).


Wed., Feb. 19, 2025, 11:59 p.m.State online registration due for regular price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark your State payment.


Sat., Feb. 22, 2025, 9:00 a.m.: Submission of entries in the 7 virtual State events due (get the link to a Google Form from your teacher). Also, Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship and Sandra Dieckman GTHS Memorial Scholarship applications due (to submit the application, get the link to a Google Form from your teacher).


Mon., Feb. 24, 2025, 8:00 p.m.: Entries in State promotional video contest due to State director.


Tue., Feb. 25, 2025, 11:59 p.m.: Remote judging of the 7 virtual State events ends.


Sat., Mar. 1, 2025 Texas State German Contest, Texas State University, San Marcos.


Sat., Mar. 8, 2025, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


x., Mar. x, 2025Gail Cope State Scholarship applications due.



Changes and Updates for 2025


The following changes taking effect in 2025 flow primarily from the State steering committee meeting held on May 4, 2024, in Dallas:

  • No new events, no discontinued events, no price increases!

  • Because the first Saturday of February 2025 falls on February 1, we will bump the regional contests and the State contest one week later than tradition would dictate: Houstonfest will be on Saturday, February 8, at Kingwood High School (also a new location!) and State on Saturday, March 1, at Texas State University in San Marcos. However, the default for future years remains: regionals on the first Saturday of February and State on the last Saturday of February.

  • We will no longer require parent-signed consent forms for the virtual events. (But there will still be a consent/release form for the promotional video contest.)

  • We have added a new general rule to address the practice of "up-entering" students in certain events above their true level, e.g., entering a German II student in Grammar 3 or a non-advantaged German III student in Poetry Memory Advantaged. In a nutshell, we strongly discourage the practice, but if a teacher nevertheless chooses to up-enter a student in 1 event, the student must be up-entered in ALL events that year and then continue to be entered "up the ladder" of levels in subsequent years. If the up-entering involves putting a non-advantaged student in Advantaged events, then the student must be entered as Advantaged for all events that year and in all subsequent years. There is an exception for drama events. This is explained in more detail here.

  • Each school may now have 2 entries (instead of previously 1) in these events: Digital Logo Design (virtual), Einzeltanz, Poster Design, Research Paper (virtual), and Shirt Design. As with the other art events that allow 2 entries per school, a student may not work on more than 1 of their school's 2 entries in these events. In particular, because having participated in the Research Paper contest at least once is now the eligibility gateway for the Sandra Dieckman GTHS Memorial Scholarship, we wanted to expand the number of students who can do that event. Please note that 1 or 2 (but no more than 2!) students may work on each research paper.

  • There will be further changes to the rules of Research Paper. The State steering committee approved the changes in broad outline but the final wording is still pending. The gist is that papers will need to be originally written in Google Docs (not in Word or other word-processing programs, and also not written elsewhere and copied/pasted into Google Docs). A link to the Google Doc (with editing permission) will need to be included with the virtual submission. This is part of our attempts to ensure academic honesty in this event. Stay tuned for the official revision of the rules/critique sheet.

  • In all Poetry/Prose events, we have deleted the line from the rules stating that you must list the title and author of the selection on your registration/alpha list. Hardly anyone was doing that anyway, and the directors don't really need that information.

  • This year's Einzeltanz is the Zillertaler Ländler (first used in 2020). The dance notes, the music, and a video are posted here.

  • Pass auf! will see some changes. 1) A new rule states that high schools may enter a Novice team only if they are also entering a Varsity team. The "meat and potatoes" of this event is the Varsity level, and having a Novice team should be seen as "dessert" that we don't indulge in unless we've already taken care of the meat and potatoes. Middle schools are exempt from this rule; they may entire Novice only, Varsity only, or both Novice and Varsity. 2) The special topic for this year is Die Wende (in observance of the 35th anniversary of German Reunification in 2025). 3) Furthermore, we have added a 5th category for Pass auf!: Current Events & Special Topic, which joins the 4 existing categories History & Politics, Arts & Letters, Odds & Ends, and Erdkunde (questions in Erdkunde are always asked and answered in German). A game will still consist of 25 questions as in the past, but now there will be 5 questions from each of the 5 categories. (The past few years, ever since we did away with the Grammar category, we had been doubling up the questions in 1 of the categories in each game in order to have 25 questions, so now it's cleaner: 5 categories x 5 questions each = 25 questions.) The 5 questions per game in the new Current Events & Special Topic category will be about a mix of current events (things that have happened in the German-speaking countries since January 1 of the prior year through the date of contest) and that year's special topic, which will reward students for keeping up with the news and for studying up on the special topic. In the past, there tended to be only 1 question per game on the special topic, but now you can count on 2-3 questions per game about the special topic. 4) Other minor clarifications have been made to the Pass auf! rules. If you haven't reviewed the rules in a while, you might want to take a look. 5) Finally, Houstonfest director Rustin Buck is now the co-coordinator of Pass auf! statewide, replacing Beth Smith, who had chaired it since the death of her husband Terry, who originally created the entire event. This means that Rustin is leaving his long-time role of co-coordinator of the State written tests, and our colleague Heinz Schmidt will be replacing him in that role, joining long-time co-coordinator J. J. Melgar from the Sprachfest region.

  • As previously announced, the Gail Cope Teacher Grants (awarded statewide to help schools purchase items for contest preparation) are now awarded on a rolling basis throughout the school year. There is no longer a particular application window or deadline, but applications received after April 30 of a given year will not be funded, if at all, until the following school year. Grants are still limited to a maximum of $500 per school year for any particular school.

  • We had an unfortunate snafu with the Houston Saengerbund transportation grants in 2024. We hope to offer them again in 2025 but promise that we will make sure to have final confirmation from the HSB board that the grants will be funded before we conduct an application process.

  • The seven virtual events are working well and will continue with no changes in 2025 (except that Digital Logo Design now allows 2 entries per school). Submissions will be due one week before the date of contest (for Houstonfest, virtual events will be due on Saturday, February 1, 2025, 9:00 a.m., and for State, they will be due on Saturday, February 22, 2025, 9:00 a.m.).

  • We will continue to use online Google Sheets to register for Houstonfest, as we have done the last 3 years. As soon as you know for sure that you will be entering Houstonfest (or even suspect that you might), email Rustin Buck to request a link to a Google Sheet registration spreadsheet that will be unique for your school. Please do not wait until the last minute to request a link. As of this writing in May 2024, the template for 2025 is already finalized, so you may request the link at any time, even if you don't intend to fill out the form right away, so that you'll have it when you do get ready to fill it out. Since the Google Sheet is a shared document, there is no particular moment when you "submit" it, but the director requests that you send him a quick email when you deem the form to be substantially complete. However, you may continue making updates (drops, adds, changes) in the Google Sheet on a rolling basis up to Wednesday, February 5, 2025, at 10:00 p.m. After that point, your editing access will be changed to "view only" and your registration will be finalized.

When is the next Houstonfest?



February 8, 2025


Where is Houstonfest?


Kingwood High School

2701 Kingwood Dr.

Kingwood, TX 77339

(new location in 2025!)


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook


Texas State German Contest 40th Anniversary Facebook Group