Singing the Songs of Zion
Soldiers' Hymn Collections and Hymn Singing
in the American Civil War

Mark D. Rhoads

"Every night the holy songs of Zion go up on this balmy spring air, a sweet incense, I think,
to the throne of the Eternal.
" Rev. William Hauser, chaplain of the 48th Georgia

Home | Soldier's Hymn Collections


Mark D. Rhoads

Much of my time from September to May is taken up with teaching in the music department at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. I teach in the areas of choral music, music education, and sacred music. I have a special interest in American hymnody, especially the music reform movement in the American Protestant church in the early 19th century.

Before coming to Bethel University I taught choral and general music in a Los Angeles-area middle school and was a professor at Judson Baptist College in Oregon. I have been active in church music for 45 years.

My undergraduate degree is from Biola University. I have a master's degree from California State University, Fullerton and a doctoral degree from the University of Oregon.

My interest in the American Civil War started in earnest after viewing the Ken Burns video series in the 90's. The music of the civil war is a little corner of this fascinating piece of American history that interests me a great deal. I attend Civil War reenactments in Minnesota portraying a delegate of the United States Christian Commission and I enjoy sharing the results of my research with other reenactors or anyone else who is interested.

When I'm not engaged in teaching or research, I'm writing poetry or gardening or learining some new tunes on my fretless, gut-string, mid-19th banjo from a method book published in 1855.

My wife and I have three grown daughters and six grandsons.



Anthology of American Hymn Tunes

Amazing Grace: Some Early Tunes

Connecting Ritual and Worship (pdf)

Reformers and Resisters: Changing Tastes in American Protestant Church Music, 1800-1860 (pdf)

Mark D. Rhoads
Bethel University
3900 Bethel Drive
St. Paul MN 55112