Roxbury Union Congregational Church Choir

Roxbury Union Congregational Church

Favorite Hymns and Anthems

CD 1

CD 2

The following notes and comments are taken from the 1988 release of the original recording on double cassette. This new, remastered release is dedicated to Maryann Puerner, who died in September, 2000. The 2-CD set was originally downloadable from, and was unavailable for several years after they closed. As of June 2009, it is now posted here. Since that time tenor John Evans and bass Edward Fisher have also passed on.

The RUCC Choir continued on an occasional basis after the departure of its director in 1990. We hope you will enjoy this recording of our tiny choir of amateur singers aged 20 to 75 who came together in the small community of Roxbury, Vermont, with its mere 350 residents.

About the Roxbury Union Congregational Church Choir

Our choir was born on Easter Sunday 1985, the same day that witnessed the rebirth of the Roxbury Union Congregational Church. Only two of us sang that first day, but we grew in size and enthusiasm: eventually, over twenty people participated in the choir (though no one service saw more than nine of us).

We have worked hard over the past three-plus years, rehearsing weekly (even during the summer, normal church choir vacation times) and before each service. In more than five hundred hours together, we have learned nearly seventy-five musical compositions, of which thirty-two are represented on this recording.

Nearly all our music is unaccompanied part-song, ranging from medieval music of the 1300's to original works composed for the choir. Such a cappella singing reveals the voice in all its beauty, unobscured by piano or organ. It is also demanding, and we have struggled to achieve our sense of ensemble, sensitivity, phrasing and musicality. Yet we make no claims to perfection: our flaws ring out clearly (even on this recording!). Nevertheless, we are proud to share the results with you.

The recording itself was created during the summer of 1988. The microphones were placed midway back in the church, catching the exquisite acoustics of this 1872 wooden frame building. We set aside portions of eight rehearsals for recording, singing multiple takes and stopping for the occasional passing train.

On this recording you will hear Jane Pincus and Maryann Puerner, sopranos; Claire Manfredonia, alto; Susan Hydusik and Judy Lusk, alto-tenors; John Evans, tenor; Tom Tintle, baritone; Richard Danner and Edward Fisher, basses. Susan's daughter Carley joined the sopranos on several hymns, and my own tenor voice can occasionally be heard. The choir's patience and enthusiasm during recording sessions, even during the record-breaking heat wave of 1988, was exemplary. I would also like to recognize soprano Debbie Maloney Evans and alto Andree Frazier, who have sung with us extensively in the past, but who are not heard on this recording. Others who have provided their voices now and then are Susan D'Amico, the Fisher boys, David Gunn, Hannah Morvan, Jane Sevi and Tory Tillson.

So before me each week are eight of so amateur singers -- amateurs in the best meaning of the word: lovers of what they do. Their voices are largely untrained, but they understand music with a very 20th Century instinct.

But what exactly is it they do? How is this music learned? What happens at a choir rehearsal? For the singers, at first, it is learning what notes to sing, when to sing them, and how to attach the words. Concentration crackles on sight-reading nights. Next comes an understanding that each line (even if it repeats a single note) is a melody, expressive in itself. Eventually, the music assumes a whole shape, a contour, an architecture; with familiar styles, this shape is audible early on. Finally, the music becomes an intimate friend in sound and beauty.

For the director, work is initially much different. My learning takes place first with a study of the score as I ask myself: "Where does this melody go? Why are these notes chosen? What picture is being painted? Who dominates the harmony? How are the words expressed? When does the music reveal its shape?" The questions are dry and analytical.

And then, music firmly in my head, I hand out the scores to the choir. As they sight-read, I listen for accuracy, providing cues and sometimes singing the parts (soprano, too!), stopping the reading only when things fall totally apart. Where it is helpful during "woodchopping", I explain what is going on in the composition. We agree; we dispute; we complain and headscratch. But as the music gets more secure, contours emerge. Singers intuitively begin engaging in a kind of musical conversation. Solo voices submit to the humility of being part of a blend of sound, or understand where to rise above the general harmony. Rough parts are worked over and over, rarely with assistance from the keyboard. We perspire.

My own role mutates slowly from keeper of the beat to sculptor of the music. I speak first in terms of a B-flat here, a G-sharp there, Dorian mode or major chords; then terms change to echoes or cascades or crunches, underpinnings or counterpoints; eventually we consider words of expressiveness, of joy or sorrow, fear or beauty, grandeur or desolation.

Five minutes of music may take us five hours or more to learn. The congregation hears a short respite in song; the singers hear their parts in a shell of harmony; I have the unique privilege of hearing it all -- if we have all worked well, I now hear what I heard when I began studying the score.

But the work is not over. Never has the choir been entirely satisfied with its performance, and that is the single element that makes this choir different from any other I have known. If I provide demanding music -- 13th Century motets, Bach, Bernstein, Josquin, Stravinsky, Billings -- the choir members demand still more of themselves. They are remarkable.

I dedicate my work on this album to the members of the Roxbury Choir, who have given me forty months of personal and musical friendship.

-- Dennis Báthory-Kitsz

Program Notes

We begin our musical program with HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING, a beautiful, century-old melody. The simple three-voice arrangement elicits the sound of ancientness and distance, and with it the innocence and purity of song in the face of trouble. DIADEM follows with its ringing assurance and vigor in James Ellor's splendid setting reminiscent of Handel. Johann Cruger composed AH, HOLY JESUS in the rich post-Reformation style; we can hear hints of the illustrious J. S. Bach, who learned his writing from this influential Lutheran school of composition.

With ROCK OF AGES, we reach the era of great 19th Century American hymns which remain popular to this day. These hymns, with their unabashed romantic poetry, frequently use what has become known as "barbershop" harmony. This arrangement of ROCK OF AGES emphasizes the barbershop flavor, with the familiar melody sung by the second tenor. ABIDE WITH ME is a collection of verbal ("Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?") and musical (Gilbert and Sullivan) references that make it one of the richest and most effective of these hymns. BLESSED ASSURANCE, with words by the respected Fanny Crosby, combines an unusually lilting 9/8 meter with a major harmony to produce that feeling of assurance.

NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE is encrusted with the mythology that the doomed Titanic passengers sang this hymn as the ship settled to frigid death, and thus, though a somewhat clumsy and weak hymn, it remains a powerful part of American hymnology. On the other hand, SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER and I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVETH are almost rollicking views of impending death, with lusty rumpity-tum rhythms and hand-clapping energy that acknowledges a gospel influence.

By contrast, HOW GREAT THOU ART is so rich and even quaint that we think it older than it is. The melody is of Scandinavian origin, but it came to America in its present form as recently as 1949, when it gained enormous popularity. It is interesting to note that much of what we think of as folk music is hardly ancient at all, and most of it can be traced back less than a century. My own contribution to that feeling is PSALM 84, which was written in 1986 for the rededication of the Roxbury Church, and is composed in a style originated in Elizabethan England.

We conclude the first half of the program with four European songs. The first, SUMER IS ICUMEN IN, is really secular, but we have sung it in church each spring as a kind of welcome; it is the oldest round in the English language, tracing its origins to the early 14th Century. HAL'LU is a traditional Hebrew setting of Psalm 117 (Praise the Lord, all ye nations) in my own arrangement. I HAVE LONGED FOR THY SAVING HEALTH comes from the England of Shakespeare, and GO NOT FAR FROM ME, O GOD hails from Italy at about the same time.

The second half of our program begins with music of early America, mostly by the remarkable amateur composer William Billings. Billings lived in Massachusetts, was a tanner, and wrote extensively for the singing masters and choirs of the time. He is best known today for CHESTER, the revolutionary anthem, and WHEN JESUS WEPT, a remarkable round which includes a powerfully evocative dissonance as the words "wept", "flowed", "groaned" and "guilty" sound together. By comparison, WAKE EVERY BREATH is a stirring major-chord round of praise from singers.

Largely, though, Billings was a composer of serious character. His setting of the troubling biblical tale in DAVID'S LAMENTATION is short and dramatic, leaving an indelible mark in its brief thirty measures. On the other hand, BE GLAD THEN AMERICA is one of Billings's longest anthems, using Old Testament references to Israel as an analogy to the beset-upon American colonies. Its alternating meters are quite advanced for a composer in the era of Mozart, and its fuging tune on the words "Be glad then America, shout and rejoice!" is nothing short of astounding.

AN ANTHEM FOR THANKSGIVING is actually one of seven Thanksgiving anthems composed by Billings; this one is a musician's ode, replete with references to voices and instruments. With its rhythmic changes and onomotapoeic writing, it is a delight to sing and great fun to hear.

His two settings of portions of the Song of Solomon from the Old Testament (SOLOMON'S SONG and I AM THE ROSE OF SHARON) are Billings at his most ingratiating. These two songs are our only clues to a side of Billings that is seldom heard: tenderness and human love. He treats these Biblical tales as the love songs that they are, and he is eminently successful. SOLOMON'S SONG remains one of our favorites.

The story of AMANDA is worth telling. This song, with its very strange and evocative harmonies, was written by Justin Morgan, Vermont's famous horsebreeder. The text, derived partially from Psalm 90 vs. 5-6, was created by Morgan, together with the musical setting. It was a tribute to his infant daughter Amanda, who died during a trying New England winter. Despite his wonderful music, few people are aware that Morgan was one of the most interesting and adventurous composers of our American Revolutionary period.

Hauntingly composed by Jeremiah Ingalls in harmonic minor, HONOR TO THE HILLS, the title song of this album, is a hymn of particular appropriateness for early New England with its awed, reverential and fearful consideration of the natural wonders which, however daunting or overwhelming, were created "all to praise in their ways a God that ne'er declines His designs."

At this point we turn to the Sacred Harp, a collection of hymn tunes and settings used by the early American singing masters as they traveled from town to town. We have sung the previous early American music with a cultivation and sweetness probably unknown in the 1770's; only the tradition of Sacred Harp singing comes down to us with the roughness and bravado shown by the hard-working amateur singers of young New England. NORTHFIELD and AMERICA are both fuging tunes, opening with strong harmonies, and then breaking into short canons or fugues. DENNIS is a setting with different words and harmonies of what most of us know as "Blessed by the Tie that Binds".

The American portion of our program ends with three spirituals from the 19th Century. Born in the fields of slavery, spirituals arose from the call-and-response chants used during the work day; the chant and rhythm kept the spirit alive. JOSHUA FIT THE BATTLE OF JERICHO and SINNERMAN tell the story in verses, with a choral response. KEEP YOUR HAND ON THE PLOW comes with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different sets of verses -- almost any biblical story of trial and tribulation will do. In one recording by the Hall Johnson Negro Choir, it begins: "Noah, Noah, let me come in! Doors all fastened and the windows pinned! Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!"

We end by turning back to the Europe of another age. O MAGNUM MYSTERIUM is perhaps the most moving sacred setting ever written during the Renaissance. Composed in the mysterious phrygian mode, this motet evokes everything that we imagine as the ancient spectacle of high services in the great stone churches of the Old World. From the moment of musical genuflection at the outset ("O magnum") that connects directly to the phrygian half-tone ("mysterium"), through the uncomprehending but nevertheless joyful "alleluja", Victoria's motet is itself a joyous, great mystery.

-- Dennis Báthory-Kitsz

Song Texts


My life goes on in endless song above earth's lamentation. I hear the real though far-off hymn that hails a new creation. Above the tumult and the strife I hear its music ringing. It sounds an echo in my soul; how can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest loudly roars, I hear the truth -- it liveth. What though the darkness round me close, songs in the night it giveth. No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rack I'm clinging. Since love is lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble sick with fear and hear their death knell ringing, when friends rejoice both far and near, how can I keep from singing? In prison cell and dungeon vile, our thoughts to them are winging. When friends by shame are undefiled, how can I keep from singing?


All hail the power of Jesus' name! Let angels protrate fall; bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all!

Ye chosen seed of Israel's race, ye ransomed from the fall, hail Him who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all!

Sinners, whose love can never forget the wormwood and the gall, go spread your tropies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all!

Let every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball to Him all majesty ascribe, and crown Him Lord of all!

Oh, that with yonder sacred throng we at His feet may fall, join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!

-- Edward Perronet


Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended, that man to judge thee hath in hate pretended? By foes derided, by thine own rejected, O most afflicted!

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee? Alas, my treason, Jesus hath undone thee! 'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee; I crucified thee.

For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation, thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation; thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion, for my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee, I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee. Think on thy pity and thy love unsweving -- not my deserving.

-- Johann Heermann, tr. Robert S. Bridges


Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee! Let the water and the blood, from Thy riven side which flowed, be of sin the double cure, cleanse me from its guilt and power.

Not the labor of my hands can fulfil Thy law's demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone -- Thou must save and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling; naked, come to Thee for dress, helpless, look to Thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Savior, or I die!

While I draw this fleeting breath, when my eyestrings break in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see Thee on Thy judgment throne; Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.

-- Augustus M. Toplady


Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide! When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight and tears no bitterness. Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom and point me to the skies: heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

-- Henry F. Lyte


Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight, visions of rapture now burst on my sight; angels descending, bring from above, echoes of mercy, whispers of love. This is my story...

Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest; watching and waiting, looking above, filled with His goodness, lost in His love. This is my story...

-- Fanny J. Crosby


Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Even though it be a cross that raiseth me, still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

There let the way appear steps unto heaven; all that Thou sendest me in mercy given; angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.

Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky, sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I fly, still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee.

-- Sarah F. Adams


Shall we gather at the river where bright angel feet have trod, with its crystal tide forever flowing by the throne of God? Yes, we'll gather at the river, the beautiful river, gather with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God.

Ere we reach the shining river, lay we every burden down; grace our spirits will deliver, and provide a robe and crown. Yes, we'll gather... Soon we'll reach the shining river, soon our pilgrimage will cease; soon our happy hearts will quiver with the melody of peace. Yes, we'll gather...


I know that my Redeemer liveth, and on the earth again shall stand; I know eternal life He giveth, that grace and power are in his hand. I know that Jesus liveth...

I know His promise never faileth, the word He speaks, it cannot die; though cruel death my flesh assaileth, yet I shall see Him by and by. I know that Jesus liveth...

I know my mansion He prepareth, that where He is there I may be; O wondrous thought, for me He careth, and He at last will come for me. I know that Jesus liveth...

-- Jessie B. Pounds


O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee; How great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees, when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur, and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze. Then sings my soul...

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in, that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. Then sings my soul...

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration, and there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art. Then sings my soul...

-- Carl Boberg, tr. Stuart K. Hine


How lovely is Thy dwelling place, o Lord of hosts. My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the Lord. My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. How lovely...

Even the sparrow finds a home, the swallow a next, where at Thy altars she may lay her young. Blessed are those who dwell in thy house, O God. How lovely...


Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu. Groweth sed and bloweth med and springth the wde nu. Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteth after lomb, lhouth after calve cu; bulloc sterteth, bucke verteth, murie sing cuccu. Cuccu, cuccu!

Wel singes thu cuccu, ne swik thu naver nu.


Hal'lu et Adonai kol goyim, shabahu hu, kol ha umim. Ki gavar no lei nu has do, v'emet Adonai l'olam. Hal'luya.


I have longed for thy saving health, O Lord; Thy law is my delight. O let my soul live and it shall praise Thee, and Thy judgments shall help me.


Go not far from me, O God. Cast me not away in the time of age. Forsake me not when my strength faileth me. O let my mouth be filled with Thy praise that I may sing Thy glory and honor all the day long.


Let tyrants shake their iron rods, and slavery clank her galling chains. We fear them not, we trust in God. New England's God forever reigns!

The foe comes on with haughty stride; our troops advance with martial noise. Their veterans flee before our youth, and generals yield to beardless boys.

What grateful offering shall we bring? What shall we tender to the Lord? Loud hallelujahs let us sing, and praise God's name on every chord.


Mourn! Pharaoh and Ahab prevail in our land. Mourn! Achans abound and trouble the land. Mourn!

Darkness and clouds of awful shade hang pendant by a slender thread, waiting commission from God the upholder to fall and distress us.

Great God, avert the impending doom, we plead no merit of our own; for mercy, Lord, we cry. Bow down thine ear to our complaint, and hear from heaven, Thou king of saints. O let thine aid be nigh.

Then will the Lord be jealous for His land, and pity His people and say, Behold! Your Pharaohs and Achans and Ahabs are no more.

Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto His people, Behold! I send you corn and wine and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith.

Be glad then America, shout and rejoice! Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice. Hallelujah!


Death, like an overflowing stream sweeps us away. Our life's a dream, an empty shell, the morning flower cut down and withered in an hour.

Through every age, eternal God, Thou art our rest, our safe abode. High was Thy throne ere heaven was made, on earth Thy humble footstool laid.


David the king was grieved and moved. He went to his chamber and wept, and said, O my son, would to God I had died for thee, O Absalom my son, my son.


When Jesus wept, the falling tear in mercy flowed beyond all bound. When Jesus groaned, a trembling fear seized all the guilty world around.


Wake every breath and every string to praise our great redeemer King. His name in every clime adored with joy and gratitude and love. Through all the notes of music rove, and Jesus sound on every chord.


I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice, I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey, I have drank my wine with my milk.

Eat, O friends, drink O friends abundantly.

I sleep, but my heart waketh. It is the voice of my beloved saying, open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled, for my head is filled with dew and my locks with the drops of the night.

I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and he was gone. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love.

Make haste my beloved, and be like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains.


I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, his banner over me was love.

Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love.

I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and by the hinds of the field, that you stir not up nor awake my love till he please. The voice of my beloved! Behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountain, skipping upon the hills.

My beloved spake and said unto me, rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.


O praise God! Praise Him in His holiness. Praise Him propagation, praise Him vegetation, and let your voice proclaim your choice and testify to standers by, with ardent fire, your firm desire to praise the Lord.

Let the leading bass inspire, let the tenor catch the fire, let the counter stil be higher, let the treble join the choir; let all agree and join with me to praise the Lord.

Shout ye hills and sing ye plains; tell the earth: Jehovah reigns. Sound the trumpets, beat the drums, tell the earth Jehovah comes to judge the world in righteousness, and every injured saint redress. Let all agree and join with me to praise the Lord.

O praise the Lord with one consent, and in this grand design, young men and maids, old men and babes, unanimously join; let all agree and join with me to praise the Lord.

Let the organ strike a chord and sound the praise of Jubal's God. Praise Him on the harp and lute and let not any string be mute, but all agree and join with me to praise the Lord.

Hark, hear the sheep, how they bleat and sound their maker's praise, their voice for shame and catch the flame of universal praise the Lord.

Let the hearers fill their part, though mute in voice yet join in heart and praise the Lord.


Through all this world below, God we see all around. Search hills and valleys through: there He's found. In growing fields of corn, the lily and the thorn, the pleasant and forlorn, all declare, "God is there". In meadows dressed in green, there He's seen.

See springing waters rise, fountains flow, rivers run, the mist beclouds the sky, hides the sun. Then down the rain doth pour, the ocean it doth roar and break upon the shore, all to praise in their ways a God that ne'er declines His designs.

The sun with all his rays speaks of God as He flies; the comet in its blaze, "God!" it cries. The shining of the stars, the moon when she appears, His dreadful name declares, see them fly through the sky and join the silent sound from the ground.

Then let my station be here in life where I see the sacred Trinity, all agree. In all the works He's made, the forest and the glade, nor let me be afraid, through I dwell in the hill where nature's work declares, "God is there."


How long dear Savior, oh, how long, shall that bright hour delay? Fly swiftly round, ye wheels of time, and bring the promised day.


My soul, repeat His praise, whose mercies are so great, whose anger is so slow to rise, so ready to abate. God will not always chide, and when his strokes are felt, his strokes are fewer than our crimes, and lighter than our guilt.


In every trying hour, my soul to Jesus flies; I trust in his almighty power when swelling billows rise.

His comfort bears me up, I trust a faithful God; the sure foundation of my hope is in my Saviour's blood.

Loud hallelujahs sing to our redeemer's name; In joy or sorrow, life or death, His love is still the same.


Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and the walls come tumblin' down.

You may talk about your man of Gideon, you may talk about your man of Saul, there's none like good old Johuay at the battle of Jericho. That mornin', Joshua fit the battle...

Up to the walls of Jericho he marched with a spear in his hand. "Go blow them ram-horns," Joshuay cried, "'Cause the battle is in my hands." That mornin', Joshua fit the battle...

Then the lamb-ram-sheep-horns begin to blow and the trumpet begin to sound. Joshua commanded the children to shout and the walls come tumblin' down. That mornin', Joshua fit the battle...


Oh sinnerman, where you gonna run to, all on that day?
Run to the moon: "Moon won't you hide me?"
Run to the sea: "Sea won't you hide me?"
Run to the sun: "Sun won't you hide me?"
All on that day.

Lord says: "Sinnerman, the moon'll be a-bleedin'"
Lord says: "Sinnerman, the sea'll be a-sinkin'"
Lord says: "Sinnerman, the sun'll be a-freezin'"
All on that day.

Run to the Lord: "Lord won't you hide me?"
All on that day.
Lord says: "Sinnerman, you should've been a-prayin'"
All on that day.


Mary wore three links of chain, every link was Jesus name. Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!

Paul and Silas bound in jail, had nobody for to go their bail. Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!

Paul and Silas began to shout, jail doors opened and they walked out. Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!

Peter was so nice and neat, wouldn't let Jesus wash his feet. Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!

Jesus said, "If I wash them not, you'll have no father in this lot." Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!

Peter got anxious and he said, "Wash my feet, my hands and head." Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!

Got my hands on the gospel plow, wouldn't take nothin' for my journey now. Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!


O magnum mysterium et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio. O beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Jesum Christum. Alleluia.

(Translation: O great mystery and wondrous sacrament, that animals should see the Lord born, lying in a manger. O holy Virgin, whose womb deserved to carry the lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia.)

HONOR TO THE HILLS will available again after a 12-year hiatus on two CDs in late 2000. Please email through the contact form for an update.

HONOR TO THE HILLS: Favorite Anthems
Roxbury Union Congregational Church Choir
directed by Dennis Bathory Kitsz
(P)1988 by Malted/Media

Roxbury Union Congregational Church: Anthems and Choruses, 1985-1989


** = Repeated

1April 7Easter2/O Death, Where is Thy StingHandel
2April 213/How Can I Keep From Singingtrad., arr. dbk
3May 53/Psalm 134LeJeune
4May 194/DiademEllor
5June 24/I Sing as I AriseSt. Patrick, arr. Eddy
6June 164/I Have Longed for Thy Saving HealthByrd
7June 304/When Jesus WeptBillings
6/Wake Ev'ry BreathBillings
8July 144/Rock of Agestrad., arr. dbk
9July 284/NorthfieldSacred Harp
4/Be Glad Then AmericaBillings
10August 116/Amazing Gracetrad., arr. dbk
11August 254/Go Not Far From MeZingarelli
12September 86/Final Chorus from JephteCarissimi
13September 224/Sleepers, WakeBach
14October 61/Sia Laudato San Francescoanon.
4/Honor to the HillsIngalls
15October 204/Psalm 139Eddy
16November 34/Jesu, Meine FreudeBach
17November 174/Ride the Chariottrad.
18November 28Thanksgiving6/Wake Ev'ry Breath **Billings
4/Solomon's SongBillings
19December 11/Let All Mortal Fleshtrad., arr. dbk
20December 154/O Magnum MysteriumVictoria
21December 24Christmas4/PsallitePraetorius
4/Lo How a RosePraetorius
7/Trim the Cruisie's Failing LightEddy

22January 58/Joseph Lieber, Joseph MeinPraetorius
23January 194/Audivi VocemTallis
24February 24/Going Home, and another Gospel Quartettrad.
25February 161/Sheep May Safely GrazeBach
26March 24/AmandaMorgan
4/David's LamentationBillings
27March 164/Ah Holy JesusCruger
28March 23Rededication & Palm Sunday4/Psalm 84Kitsz
3/How Can I Keep From Singing **arr. dbk
29March 28Good Friday4/Four Passion ChoralesBach
30March 30Easter4/Praise the LordBach
31April 64/I Know that My RedeemerFillmore
32April 204/Shall We Gather at the RiverLowry
33May 44/O Vos OmnesVictoria
34May 184/The Dove DescendingStravinsky
35June 14/David's LamentationTomkins
36June 154/DiademEllor) **
37July 65/Movement 2 from Chichester PsalmsBernstein
38July 204/How Great Thou Arttrad.
39August 34/Go Not Far From MeZingarelli **
40August 174/I Have Longed for Thy Saving HealthByrd **
41August 313/What Wondrous Lovetrad.
42September 74/Simple Giftsarr. Manfredonia
43September 212/BiciniasLassus
44October 54/Honor to the HillsIngalls **
45October 194/Solomon's SongBillings **
46November 24/Ride the Chariot ** trad.
4/Keep Your Hand on the Plowtrad., arr. dbk
4/Joshua Fit the Battle of Jerichotrad., arr. dbk
47November 164/O Lord, Increase My FaithGibbons
48November 27Thanksgiving4/Be Glad Then...Billings **
49December 74/O Magnum MysteriumVictoria **
50December 213/Night PrayerEddy
51December 24Christmas7/Trim the CruisieEddy **
4/Lo How a RosePraetorius **
4/PsallitePraetorius **
4/Break Forth O Beauteous LightSchop

52January 44/O Thou Who By a StarVaughn-Williams
4/O Morning StarBach
53January 184/Audivi VocemTallis**CELEBRATION
54February 14/O Vos OmnesVictoria **OF EARLY
55February 154/O Vos OmnesObrechtCHURCH
56March 14/Ave Regina CaelorumObrechtMUSIC
57March 154/The Lord is My Shepherdhymn
58April 54/Caution, America, Northfield **, DennisSacred Harp
59April 12Palm Sunday4/Zion's JoySacred Harp
1/Song of the Assanon.
60April 16Holy Thursday4/Four Passion ChoralesBach **
60AApril 16St. John's Church4/Four Passion Chorales **Bach **
61April 19EasterPraise the LordBach) **
62May 33/How Can I Keep From Singingtrad., arr. dbk **
63May 174/DiademEllor **
64June 74/I Have Longed for Thy Saving HealthByrd **
65June 216/Sumer is Icumen Inanon.
66July 54/Returning FaithHoover
67July 194/Sinnermantrad., arr. dbk
68August 24/Song of SolomonBillings **
69August 164/Go Not Far From MeZingarelli **
70September 65/Lamentations of Jeremiah ITallis
71September 204/Ode to ScienceSumner
1/Psalm 137Kitsz
72October 44/Honor to the HillsIngalls **
4/Psalm 148Billings
4/Let Us Break Bread Togethertrad. **
73October 184/Rock of Ages **trad., arr. dbk
74November 14/Shall We Gather at the RiverLowry **
75November 155/Hymn to St. CeciliaBritten
76November 25Thanksgiving4/An Anthem for ThanksgivingBillings
77December 64/O Magnum MysteriumVictoria **
78December 203/Night PrayerEddy **
79December 24Christmas4/PsallitePraetorius **
4/Lo How a RosePraetorius **
4/Carols Medley
4/Puer Natus in BethlehemOchslein

80January 37/Trim the CruisieEddy **
81January 175/David's LamentationTomkins **CELEBRATION
82February 75/Salve ReginaJosquinOF EARLY
83February 214/Ave Regina Cael.Obrecht **CHURCH MUSIC
84March 63/Four 13th Century MotetsNotre Dame SchoolNUMBER 2
85March 206/When Jesus WeptBillings **
4/David's LamentationBillings **
86March 27Palm Sunday4/Psalm 84Kitsz **
3/How Can I Keep From Singingarr. dbk **
87March 31Holy Thursday4/Four Passion ChoralesBach **
88April 3Easter4/Praise the LordBach **
89April 174/Christ the Lord is RisenHymn
4/Thine is the GloryHymn #193, Handel
90May 15/Round Our SkiffEddy
4/Hal'luarr. dbk
91May 154/I am the Rose of SharonBillings
4/The Dove DescendingStravinsky **
92June 54/DiademEllor **
93June 194/Sumer is Icumen InAnon. **
4/How Great Thou Arttrad. **
94July 34/Rock of Agestrad., arr dbk **
95July 174/Go Not Far From MeZingarelli **
96August 74/Spirituals Medley: Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho ** , Sinnerman **, Keep Your Hand on the Plow **trad., arr. dbk
96AAugust 14Randolph Center Church4/David's LamentationBillings **
5/David's LamentationTomkins **
97August 215/David's LamentationTomkins **
98September 44/Be Glad Then, AmericaBillings **
99September 183/Psalm 134LeJeune **
100October 24/Jubilate DeoKitsz
101October 161/Lord's PrayerHarry Belafonte
102November 63/Quam Pulchra EsDunstable
103November 204/I Have Longed For Thy Saving HealthByrd **
104November 23Thanksgiving3/What Wondrous Lovearr. dbk
105December 44/O Magnum MysteriumVictoria **
106December 183/Night PrayerEddy **
107December 24Christmas4/Jesu Smit in Closer UnionBach
4/My Lord, What a Morningtrad.
1/Song of the Assanon. **
4/Infant Holy, Infant Lowlyarr. Willcocks
2/Nowell Sing Weanon.
4/Lo, How a RosePraetorius **
4/Shout the Glad TidingsAvison
4/PsallitePraetorius **
1/Orientis Partibusanon.

108January 14/Amazing Gracetrad., arr. dbk
109January 154/Shall We Gather at the RiverLowry **
110February 54/Ave MariaJosquinCELEBRATION
111February 192/BiciniasLasso **OF EARLY
112March 5[Choir canceled due to ice & sickness]
113March 194/Ave Regina CaelorumObrecht **CHURCH MUSIC
114March 23Holy Thursday3/Tournai Mass Agnus Dei14th C
4/Four Passion ChoralesBach **
114AMarch 24Sts. D&R Church4/Four Passion ChoralesBach **
114BMarch 24Bethany Church3/Tournai Mass Agnus Deianon. **
114CMarch 24St. John's Church4/Four Passion ChoralesBach **
115March 26Easter3/Tournai Mass Agnus Deianon. **
4/Dona Nobis PacemBach
116April 23/Agmina-Agmina-Agmina13th CNUMBER 3
117April 163/How Can I Keep from Singingarr. dbk **
4/Thine is the GloryHandel **
118May 73/O Lord Increase My FaithGibbons **
119May 214/The Dove DescendingStravinsky **
4/O Spirit of the Living GodWebbe
1/Eternal Father, Strong to SaveDykes
120June 44/Turn Your Radio On(?)
4/I Am the Rose of SharonBillings **
121June 184/I Know That My Redeemer LivethFillmore **
4/Audivi VocemTallis **
122July 24/DiademEllor **
4/Be Glad Then AmericaBillings **
123July 163/Quam Pulchra EsDunstable **
4/Go Not Far From MeZingarelli **
124August 64/Shall We Gather at the RiverLowry **
3/Sancta MariaDunstable
124AAugust 6Braintree Hill Church4/AmandaMorgan **
4/Song of SolomonBillings **
4/I Am the Rose of SharonBillings **
3/Agmina-Agmina-Agmina13th Cent. **
125August 204/I Have Longed for the Saving HealthByrd **
4/Returning FaithHoover **
126September 34/My Lord, What a Morningtrad. **
3/What Wondrous Lovetrad., arr. dbk **
127September 174/Bring Them InHymn
4/Ride the Chariottrad. **
128October 13/What Wondrous Lovearr. dbk **
4/Jubilate DeoKitsz **
4/Psalm 84Kitsz **
129October 15[dbk away]
130November 5[dbk away]
131November 194/When Jesus WeptBillings **
4/Wake Every BreathBillings **
4/Be Glad Then AmericaBillings **
132November 23ThanksgivingThanksgvng AnthemBillings **
133December 34/O Magnum MysteriumVictoria **
134December 173/Night PrayerEddy **
135December 24Christmas4/PsallitePraetorius **
4/Puer Natus in BethlehemOchslein **
4/My Lord, What a Morningtrad. **
4/Infant Holy, Infant Lowlyarr. **
4/Lo, How a Rose E'erbloomingPraetorius **

MaltedMedia Home Page