William Billings

While Billings is best known as America's first choral conductor and composer, many of his choral compositions were arranged for voice and piano as songs.

Print This Page


Billings was a largely self-taught musician. Most of his compositions were written for four-part choir singing accapella, and because of primitive copyright laws, Billings’ compositions were reprinted in various hymnals and other publications throughout the new nation of America. He achieved great popularity in his lifetime, but his compositions fell out of favor near the end of his life, and he died virtually penniless.

Related Information



Sweet Seraphic Fire

(William Billings, Oliver Holden and Abraham Wood)


George Washington: Portrait in Song

(William Billings, Philip Phile and John Stafford Smith)


Make a Joyful Noise: American Psalmody

(William Billings and Oliver Holden)


An American Journey

(William Billings and Andrew Law)


Paul Sperry Sings an American Sampler

(Samuel Barber, Robert Beaser, William Bolcom, William Billings, Elliott Carter, Celius Dougherty, John Woods Duke, Stephen Foster, Charles Griffes, John Musto, Ned Rorem, May Swenson, Louise Talma, Hugo Weisgall and Kurt Weill)


Early American Choral Music Vol. 2

(William Billings, Oliver Holden and Abraham Wood)


I Am the Rose of Sharon

(Andrew Law and William Billings)


Sheet Music

IMSLP: William Billings Sheet Music

Find via IMSLP

Support us and help us grow

Dear friends, Thank you for helping us build a comprehensive online archive of American song. Your gift is greatly appreciated.