Massachusetts music
Music from Stoughton
Lectures and Workshops




New England Music Archive


The New England Music Archive (or NEMA) is a large private library of recordings and resources intended to help preserve rare and historical vocal music from New England's past. The aim is to make available rare music and related information for educational use, for research, performance, and recordings.

The NEMA Director is Roger Lee Hall.

For questions or comments write to:

New England Music Archive




America's Oldest Choral Society

Civil War Songs and Hymns

Patrick Gilmore and the Great National Peace Jubilee

Massachusetts Composers

New England Song Series

New England Music CDs

New England Music DVDs

Lectures and Workshops




America's Oldest Choral Society


The Old Stoughton Musical Society,
founded in 1786



Civil War Music

Songs and Hymns of the Civil War Era




Great National Peace Jubilee


The above illustration is from Patrick S. Gilmore's History of the National Peace Jubilee and Great Musical Festival (Boston, 1871), and shows the promotional flyer for the National Peace Jubilee, held in Boston in 1869.




This five day music festival was organized by bandleader, Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, to commemorate the end of the Civil War, and U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant attended the opening ceremonies. Not known for being very musical, when asked which music he liked best, President Grant replied: "the cannons!"

The Peace Jubilee featured a band and orchestra of about 1,000 musicians plus soloists and members from 103 choral groups totaling over 10,000 singers, with several huge cannons used as sound effects for some of the music. It was one of the first and best known "monster concerts" and a forerunner of today's massive concerts with thousands participating.


The Boston Peace Jubilees

Read about Patrick Gilmore's popular Civil War song,

"When Johnny Comes Marching Home"







"Angel of Peace" -
The Boston Peace Jubilees

by Roger Lee Hall


Angel of Peace, thou hast wandered too long!
Spread thy white wings to the sunshine of love!
Come while our voices are blended in song
Fly to our ark like the storm-beaten dove!
Fly to our ark on the wings of the dove,
Speed o’er the far-sounding billows of song,
Crowned with thine olive-leaf garland of love;
Angel of Peace, thou hast waited too long!

Joyous we meet, on this altar of thine
Mingling the gifts we have gathered for thee,
Sweet with the odors of myrtle and pine,
Breeze of the prairie and breath of the sea,--
Meadow and mountain and forest and sea!
Sweet is the fragrance of myrtle and pine,
Sweeter the incense we offer to thee,
Brothers once more round this altar of thine!

Angels of Bethlehem, answer the strain!
Hark! a new birth-song is filling the sky!--
Loud as the storm-wind that tumbles the main
Bid the full breath of the organ reply,--
Let the loud tempest of voices reply,--
Roll its long surge like the-earth-shaking main!
Swell the vast song till it mounts to the sky!
Angels of Bethlehem, echo the strain!

-- written for the National Peace Jubilee
by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1808-1894)

This commemorative hymn was written by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes especially for the occasion and premiered on June 15, 1869 on the first day of the Grand National Peace Jubilee. It was sung to the "American Hymn" composed by Matthais Keller in 1866. This hymn received the first modern day concert performance in celebration of the 350th anniversary of the City of Boston in 1980, sung by the Old Stoughton Musical Society Chorus under Roger Lee Hall's direction at the Old West Church in Boston. The first performance is included on this DVD:

"Angel of Peace" - The Boston Jubilees


Massachusetts Composers


Composers Born in Massachusetts before 1920


George Whitefield Chadwick


Edwin Arthur Jones




New England Song Series

No. 1:
(Glory, Hallelujah)

No. 2:
(Dvorak's Largo theme)

No. 3:
(Jingle Bells)

No. 4:
('Tis the gift to be simple)

No. 5:
(Auld Lang Syne)

No. 6:
(Yankee Doodle)


New England Music CDs

Best of William Billings

"New Bethlehem" - Christmas Music in New England

"A Dedication Concert" (1981)

Five New England Composers:
O. Shaw, D. Buck, E. A. Jones, C. E. Ives, G.W. Chadwick

Gentle Words - A Shaker Music Sampler

Concert: "Musick in Old Boston" (1980)

"Chester" - Music in Old New England, 1778 - 1878

The New England Harmony:
Six Early New England Composers

Old Stoughton Music Sampler



New England Music DVDs

A New England Music Miscellany


Singing Meetings and Concerts, 1762-1962



"Millennial Praise"
Singing New Englanders:
From The Pilgrims to The Shakers



Lectures and Workshops


New England music programs listed at

Lectures and Workshops


Music from early New England is listed on the

American Music Timeline




Return to top of page









© 2010-2014 PineTree Productions. All Rights Reserved.