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The Live Music Venue of the Year award, a belt buckle and a bottle of whiskey sit atop a table for the winners. (contributed photo)

Goliad County has many historic landmarks, venues and buildings throughout the area. One such venue, Schroeder Hall, was awarded Live Music Venue of the Year at the Texas Country Music Awards on Nov. 14.

Schroeder Hall is the second oldest dance hall in Texas, according to the Schroeder Hall website. Schroeder Hall was constructed and opened for business in 1890 as a combination store and hall in Germantown. Germantown would later change its name to Schroeder in 1918 as a result of anti-German sentiments caused by the First World War. Schroeder Hall has seen many renovations and reconstructions in its lifetime.

Aric and Christine Krause are the current owners of Schroeder Hall. Aric mentioned that when they helped the previous owner, Aric’s mother, Linda Krause, they changed the way they operated.

“A lot of times in the past,” said Aric, “(artists) would basically show up. They wouldn’t have anyone to help load. There wouldn’t be anyone to talk to them. It was a mess. ... They just weren’t treated well.”

Aric and Christine took ownership of the hall after Linda passed in 2020. Aric and Christine managed to bring the venue back to life while also fixing the reputation Schroeder Hall had developed under previous owners.

With the work Aric and Christine put into Schroeder Hall, artists and fans began to view Schroeder Hall as a favorite venue to play at and attend. When Aric and Christine found out they had been nominated for Live Music Venue of the Year, they could hardly believe it. Aric admits they did not have any experience running a venue like Schroeder Hall when Linda first bought the venue.

“When I saw the email come out about the TCMA Awards, I actually didn’t read down to see who the nominees were,” said Aric. “I just thought one year we were going to get nominated ourselves.”

The next morning, Christine informed him that they were among the nominees, a fact Aric did not believe at first.

“That was a huge surprise in the first place,” Aric continued. “We were not expecting that the first year we got into this.”

Despite being nominated, Aric did not think they would win. He lamented not having a speech prepared after hearing that they won.

Christine was equally surprised regarding the award, believing they would try to get nominated for 2023.

“(Getting nominated) was the biggest shock in the world,” Christine said. “... We were really thrilled to be nominated among the other nominees that are all great venues across Texas. ... When we did win, I started tearing up and crying. It just really took my breath away.”

Both Aric and Christine were honored and excited to accept the award. They put much of their effort into keeping Schroeder Hall open and active through the pandemic and through the changes they implemented to improve the venue.

“The award is amazing,” said Christine. “We had put so much of our heart and our effort and our time, just everything physically, emotionally and financially ... to be able to see that hard work pays off, and see that people are recognizing that, is probably one of the greatest rewards or benefits from getting that award.”

In light of this victory, Aric talked about expanding on the different genres of music they bring into the venue. The new genres would include Tejano and rock.

“It’s kind of funny ... it has gone through bad times,” said Aric. “Rough and rowdy times. A lot of people have negative viewpoints. Some of the dance hall crowd does not want any changes. So when we implemented these changes, we got a lot of negative feedback; a minority, but very loud.”

At this point, Aric and Christine feel they know what they are doing and they are proud to bring a music venue to Goliad and Victoria that people can be proud of. They are proud and honored to have been recognized with such a prestigious award and look forward to what they can bring to the community going forward.

•mtamez@mysoutex.com•

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