New England Composer Series No. 2:

Supply Belcher -
"The Handel of Maine"

Born: Stoughton, Massachusetts, 1751
Died: Farmington, Maine, 1836


Portrait and signature of Supply Belcher from
A History of Farmington, Franklin County, Maine

Because of his choral compositions and musical knowledge,
Supply Belcher was known as "The Handel of Maine."

He was one of the important early New England composers
and he compiled one tunebook of his music,

The Harmony of Maine (Boston, 1794/ Reprint, 1972)

A research article written by musicologist, Roger Lee Hall, is titled:

"The Handel of Maine:
The Musical Life of Supply Belcher"

and included as a document on this multi-media DVD,

"OLD STOUGHTON" - Singing Meetings and Concerts, 1762-1962

Stoughton Music Series


A series of DVDs and CDs
prepared by musicologist, Roger Lee Hall,
with documents, picture galleries, video programs,
and music performed by Stoughton singers.

For more information, click this link:

Stoughton Music Series



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Books and Articles

Billings, Edward Adams

Roger Billings I of Sharon, Massachusetts: A Family Tree.
Barre, Vermont: L. Brown & Sons, 2001.

Includes brief information about composer William Billings who is incorrectly identified as a "musicologist." It is stated that William was not from the Roger Billings family line in Sharon. Also included is the tune STOUGHTON, edited by Roger Hall, incorrectly listed as from Canton.

Flynn, John E.

Beyond the Blew-Hills: A Short History of the Town of Stoughton, Massachusetts. Stoughton: Stoughton Historical Society, 1976. Originally published in 1956.

Hall, Roger L.

Huntoon, Daniel T.V.

History of Canton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts
, Cambridge, MA: John Wilson and Son, 1893. Includes a chapter on music in Canton and Stoughton.

Jones, Mary (Swan) and Frank W. Reynolds

History of the Musical Society in Stoughton, no date.
Note: The sub-heading on the cover --"Formed in 1762"--is incorrect. This society was formed on January 1, 1802.

Standish, Lemuel, editor

The Old Stoughton Musical Society: An Historical and Informative Record of the Oldest Choral Society in America
. Stoughton, Massachusetts, 1929.




Music Collections



PART ONE: William Billings - His Life and Music
1. Family Tree
2. Parents
3. Wife and Children
4. Occupations
5. Revolutionary Patriot
6. Singing Master and Composer

PART TWO: William Billings and Old Stoughton
7. The Singing School
8. The Stoughton Musical Society
9. First Tunebook
10. Second Tunebook
11. Chicago World's Exposition Concerts
12. Billings Tunes in Stoughton Concerts (1876-1986)



THE PLEASURES OF VARIETY (Text: William Billings/
Music: Roger Hall)

COME LET US SING (Text: William Billings/ Music: Roger Hall)

MAJESTY (music by William Billings, 1778)

STOUGHTON (music by William Billings, 1770, edited by Roger Hall)

Music Activities in Stoughton (1980-1999)

This monograph is in very limited supply and single copies may be ordered if still available by writing to:





Special Offer!

Learn about one of the oldest singing traditions
in the United States.



Music in Stoughton: A Brief Survey

This pamphlet, written by Roger L. Hall, covers the years from the first recorded singing meetings in 1762 to the Bicentennial of the Old Stoughton Musical Society's Constitution in 1987. It also includes other major music events such as: Oldest choral society in America organized (1786); Second musical society organized (1802); First oratorio by a local composer (1887); Only musical group representing early New England music at World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893); George Washington Bicentennial Concert (1932), Old Stoughton Musical Society Bicentennial (1986).

At the back of the pamphlet are lists of Most Performed American Tunes (1879-1979) and Most Performed American Composers (1976-1986).

Also included is the song titled, "Peace," specially composed by Roger Hall in 1981 for the Centennial of Stoughton Town Hall. This song is based on an anti-war poem written by a Stoughton teenage girl in 1814 about the War of 1812.


The Stoughton Songster

A collection compiled and edited by Roger L. Hall which includes the lyrics for 12 songs performed in Stoughton concerts between 1980 and 1990.

Included are songs by Stoughton composers:

Edwin A. Jones, Frank W. Reynolds, F.William Kempf, and Roger Hall.

Also there are original lyrics to "Yankee Doodle" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

All the songs are available on the accompanying CD, along with a radio special about the 200th anniversary of the Old Stoughton Musical Society in 1986.

The 12 song and hymn lyrics included in
The Stoughton Songster

I. Pilgrim Poet:

1. "O Boston!" (poem: William Bradford/ tune: OLD HUNDRED) -- edited and arranged by Roger Hall for the 350th anniversary of the City of Boston in 1980.

II. George Washington's Time:

2. "Stoughton" (music by William Billings, 1770/ edited by Roger Hall) -- for the Bicentennial of the Old Stoughton Musical Society in 1986.

3. "Father and I Went Down to Camp" (tune: YANKEE DOODLE, ca. 1775)

4. "The 'Vention did in Boston meet" (tune: YANKEE DOODLE, 1788)

5. "Ode to George Washington" (text: Samuel Low/ tune: GOD SAVE THE KING, edited by Roger Hall,1982) -- sung at the Inauguration of the First U.S. President in 1789.

III. Abraham Lincoln's Time:

6. "My Country 'Tis of Thee" (text: Samuel Francis Smith, 1831/ tune: GOD SAVE THE KING)

7. "John Brown's body lies a-mould'ring in the grave " (text printed by C.S. Hall, 1861/ tune: GLORY, HALLELUJAH,1861)

8. "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (text: Julia Ward Howe, 1862/ tune: GLORY, HALLELUJAH)

IV. Stoughton Songs:

9. "Old Stoughton" (music by Edwin Arthur Jones, 1886)

10. "Lullaby" (words and music by Frank W. Reynolds, 1922)

11. "Barbara Allen" (folk song arranged by F. William Kempf, 1942)

12. "Peace"(poem by Esther Talbot, 1814 / music by Roger Hall, 1981)

Both Music in Stoughton and The Stoughton Songster,
are available together for a specific donation of $25 to help support
American Music

To receive both publications with Free Bonus CD with music examples
make your donation and

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After you have made your donation,
please send your mailing address to:

Two Stoughton Music Booklets



Other CDs also available:

A Dedication Concert (Centennial of Stoughton Town Hall in 1981)

Old Stoughton Music Sampler

To order any of these CDs write to:

Stoughton Music CDs






To read about Roger Lee Hall's preservation efforts, click on this link:

Saving Local Music


A few of his many programs, all presented at the Stoughton Public Library:

"The Lore and Legends of Christmas Carols" (1982)

"E.A. Jones: His Life and Music" (1984)

"Old Stoughton and The Grand Constitution" (1987)

"A Stoughton Musicfest: A Celebration of Local Composers and Musicians" (1990)

"Lincoln and Liberty" (2009)

"Runnin' Wild: Molasses and Music Merriment" (2009)

Mr. Hall is available to present his entertaining and educational programs for colleges, schools, libraries, historical societies or other organizations. See his sample music programs at this link:

Lectures and Workshops




For questions or comments, write to:

Supply Belcher - "The Handel of Maine"



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