Thanksgiving service draws on early music

Wilton Congregational Church will celebrate an Early American Thanksgiving on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 10 a.m. Music heard by the early settlers, including the first chamber music composed by an American, Trio in E flat for two violins and cello by John Antes (1740-1811), will be presented.

A great wealth of choral music developed during the Colonial period, nurtured by the popular social institution known as the singing school. According to Richard Glafke, the church's minister of music, an itinerant singing master led the singing school, which by 1770 was a permanent feature of town life from Maine to the Carolinas. Composer William Billings (1746-1800) of Massachusetts emerged from this singing school tradition.

The adult choir and guest singers will sing his "An Anthem for Thanksgiving." The ensemble will also sing selections from The Bay Psalter, the first book published in North America (1630), with harp accompaniment.

The church is at 70 Ridgefield Road.