Featured Recording: Songs of Praise

In 1964 a new church was founded in St. Catharines, Ontario; its name was the Trinity Christian Reformed Church.  By God’s grace, this flock grew into a large and thriving congregation, and in 1989, Trinity celebrated its 25th anniversary.   Along with its other celebrations, the church produced its own complete music recording.  With masterful instrumentation by Stuart Laughton on the trumpet and Christiaan Teeuwsen on the organ, this album shone in its Baroque selections.  The choir and children contributed a variety of psalms and hymns, and the congregational singing was extraordinary.  (“Trinity always sang well,” one of the church’s former ministers told me.)  The entire album was produced on cassette tape by Audiocraft Productions/Crescendo Records.

Another twenty years or so passed.  Trinity Christian Reformed Church became Trinity Orthodox Reformed Church and eventually joined the United Reformed Churches in North America.  Thankfully, the little cassette tape named “Songs of Praise” survived along with the congregation.  In the fall of 2012, a Canadian friend sent me a copy of the cassette, and I received permission from Trinity to digitize it.

That brings us to today’s Featured Recording here on URC Psalmody.  I’ve chosen the Genevan arrangement of Psalm 98, “Sing, Sing a New Song to Jehovah” (Psalter Hymnal #191), to share with you here, but the entire “Songs of Praise” album is completely digitized and available as a YouTube playlist.

Complete “Songs of Praise” playlist here.

“Sing, Sing a New Song to Jehovah” is an exemplary recording of congregational singing for a variety of reasons.  The first thing to notice is Teeuwsen’s confident and complementary organ accompaniment.  The tempo is steady, but not over-rigid; the registrations are carefully chosen to balance brilliance with a fuller mellow sound; and the embellishments and harmonic progressions accent the congregational singing rather than distracting from it.  As to the singing itself—well, you’ll just have to listen for yourself.

What’s even better is that the rest of the “Songs of Praise” album follows right in line with this selection.  Some songs from the 1987 (gray) CRC Psalter Hymnal might be unfamiliar to some listeners, but even these are carefully chosen and beautifully played.  My only complaint, if it can be called a complaint, is that Trinity didn’t record more psalm settings.  The congregation sings this set so beautifully, I can hardly imagine how a more thorough treatment of the blue Psalter Hymnal would sound!

So, if you’re looking for a rating, I give “Songs of Praise” a hearty five stars.  There’s little doubt in my mind that listening to this album will lift your spirits and encourage you to praise God with even louder voices.


(Click here for last week’s Featured Recording)

9 Responses to “Featured Recording: Songs of Praise”

  1. 1 Tony Jelsma January 18, 2013 at 7:41 am

    That’s a beautiful organ. Do you have any details on it?
    BTW, it’s spelled “wohlgetan” 🙂

    • 2 Michael Kearney January 18, 2013 at 10:28 am

      It is quite a beautiful organ–I’ll ask Reita Julien if she has any details on it. Sorry about the misspelling; I just copied off the program. 🙂


      • 3 William Strydhorst January 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        I think that the organ that in Trinity is a 1967 tracker action Casavant, Opus 2965. It was moved there from its original place some time after it was built, but probably before this recording. I am not certain of its present condition; the last time I was there it quite badly out of tune, although the congregation still sings very well.

  2. 5 Reita Julien January 19, 2013 at 12:09 am

    I believe the organ was moved from Quebec. I have not played it in a long time so don’t know about the tuning. If it is not being kept up, it is a shame because it is a really great organ! And William is right about the details. I believe it came out of one of those churches that no longer needed an organ but not sure. The Teeuwsen family were instrumental in getting the organ in the church at that time.

      • 7 tenordave February 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm

        I am a former member of Trinity URC. The Lord blessed Trinity with growth and a new church was started in Vineland. Adoration URC. I do miss the Casavant organ that was always in good tune since the central air was put in. Trinity did produce another 2 disc set in 2003 called Trinity sings! It is a mixture of Psalms and hymns from old blue. I may be able to get a copy for you if you are interested in using some of them for your site.

        • 8 Michael Kearney February 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

          Thanks for this information. I would be thrilled to hear more of Trinity’s singing, and to put it online if possible! Let me know what you can do. If you’d like, you can contact me privately here.


  1. 1 Featured Recording: RP Psalm 100 « URC Psalmody Trackback on January 25, 2013 at 1:03 am

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