Norumbega Harmony

New England Singing


New England Singing – School Music
from the Norumbega Harmony
Stephen Marini, Singing Master


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New England Singing – School Music from the Norumbega Harmony, Stephen Marini, Singing Master (2001)

Sweet Seraphic Fire brings together two unique bodies of American sacred song: choral compositions from the New England singing-school tradition and the most popular Evangelical Protestant hymn texts in historic American use. In the late eighteenth century the New England singing-school movement produced America’s first great sacred-music style, employing several genres of unaccompanied four-part choral compositions with the melody in the lead (tenor) part. The enormous popularity of singing-school music also promoted a canon of hymn texts shared across America’s competing Evangelical Protestant denominations.

This recording contains neglected masterworks from the New England singing school that also helped to create the American hymn canon. Marking a more recent turn in this process, we have also included some new settings of traditional Evangelical lyrics written by leaders in the revival of singing-school music that has blossomed in the Northeast since 1976. Selection of pieces (35) for this recording was determined by correlating The Norumbega Harmony — our collection of one hundred six historic New England singing-school compositions and thirty contemporary works in traditional style —with a list of the three hundred most frequently printed hymn texts in America from 1737 to 1960.         —Stephen Marini


  1. New Canaan, Oliver Holden
  2. Maryland, William Billings
  3. Bethlehem, William Billings
  4. Lynn, Oliver Holden
  5. Funeral Hymn, Oliver Holden
  6. An Anthem For Easter, William Billings
  7. Walpole, Abraham Wood
  8. Beauty, Jacob French
  9. Happiness, Jacob French
  10. Woburn, Jacob Kimball
  11. Montague, Timothy Swan
  12. Newport, Daniel Read
  13. Hatfield, Thomas Baird
  14. Attention, Asahel Behnam
  15. Crucifixion, M. Kyes
  16. Mechias, James Lyon
  17. St. Paul’s, Supply Belcher
  18. Transition, Supply Belcher
  19. Jubilant, Supply Belcher
  20. The Lilly, Supply Belcher
  21. Buckfield, Abraham Maxim
  22. Pennsylvania, Nehemiah Shumway
  23. Sounding Joy, J.P. Storm
  24. Redemption, Jeremiah Ingalls
  25. Consolation, Lucius Chapin
  26. Liberty-Hall, Lucius Chapin
  27. The Babe Of Bethlehem, Anonymous
  28. Convoy, M.L. Swan
  29. Hallelujah New, Roland Hutchinson
  30. Nativity, Bruce A. Randall
  31. Cortona, M.R. Truelsen
  32. Great Divide, Stephen Marini
  33. Arinello, Dennis O’Brien
  34. Ev’ry String Awake, Glen Wright
  35. Ten Thousand Charms, Hal Kunkel