Choral Stream

Listen as Lumina sings rare, early-American hymns

Lumina sings early-American hymns at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown St. Paul. The singers are, from left, Clara Osowski, Linda Kachelmeier and Angela Grundstad.MPR

Lumina: Marlon


March 18, 2021

Listen as Lumina performs three rare, early-American hymns during a recent recording session with Classical MPR at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown St. Paul.

These church songs, which were published before 1861 and then largely forgotten, borrowed melodies from European composers who were popular at the time. The hymns are among a few hundred being revived and archived thanks to the work of University of Minnesota professor Peter Mercer-Taylor and his American Classical Hymns project.

Vocal ensembles such as Lumina are helping to bring these once-neglected hymns back to public awareness.

"As a church choir director, as well as a singer, it was a privilege to be able to give these hymns new life," says Linda Kachelmeier, artistic director for Lumina. "And recording them in such a grand space as Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul was an extra bonus!"

Early-American hymns live again thanks to University of Minnesota professor
American Classical Hymns project seeks choirs to revive 'lost' pre-1861 music


"Marlon" was published in The Young Ladies' Choir in 1846 by George F. Root. The tune, which includes piano accompaniment by Jennifer Anderson, comes from Franz Schubert's Trauerwalzer. Download the sheet music


"Bromley" was published in The Musical Reader in 1819 by Thomas Hastings. The tune comes from Franz Joseph Haydn's Psalm LXIX. Download the sheet music

Lumina: Bromley
by MPR


"Howell" was published in The Psaltery in 1845 by Lowell Mason and George James Webb. The tune comes from Felix Mendelssohn's Three Motets. Download the sheet music

Lumina: Howell
by MPR


Performers: Lumina (Linda Kachelmeier, Angela Grundstad and Clara Osowski) Pianist: Jennifer Anderson

Music: American Classical Hymns project

Filmed March 1, 2021, at Central Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, Minn.

Thanks to Prof. Peter Mercer-Taylor, University of Minnesota, and Jennifer Anderson, Central Presbyterian