Historical Audio Recordings

Vocal music has been important to the Deep Run East community for many decades. Around 1950 Howard Rice began to record services, first with a wire recorder and then with reel-to-reel recorders.

One of the big musical events of the year was the annual Hymn Sing, held on New Year's Day. These usually featured six to eight choristers and one musical group from the larger community plus vocal ensembles from Deep Run East. These services attracted large crowds despite snow or ice and were often recorded, sometimes by more than one individual. Over the years some of these recordings were donated to the collection at the Mennonite Heritage Center and have been digitized. They appear here with permission from the Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania.

Those of you who may be able to identify musicians or other participants in these services could make a significant contribution by contacting Wes by phone or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Vocal Ensemble at wedding of Howard and Anna Rice


Here are three excerpts from the 1957 hymn sing recorded by Roy Kolb of Spring City, PA

Deep Run East Girl's Trio
Blooming Glen Chorus directed by Sam Rittenhouse
DRE Congregational Singing (sorry, some distortion)


New Year's Hymn Sing


Here is a service from a week-long series at Deep Run East with preaching by George Brunk II of Virginia. George Brunk II conducted two extended tent meeting campaigns in our community in 1952 and 1954 which had a large impact on our church.

New Year's Hymn Sing



New Year's Hymn Sing
New Year's Hymn Sing, second half


Here is a service including a sermon by Wilson Overholt, entitled "What is man?". The date is uncertain but probably sometime within 1963

Here is the New Year's Hymn Sing recorded by Howard Rice. A highlight is the devotion message by Paul Minninger, President of Goshen College, giving his personal testimony on "What Jesus Christ means to me."

New Year's Hymn Sing
New Year's Hymn Sing, second half
Joint Song Service at Deep Run June 30


New Year's Hymn Sing
Joint Song Service at Souderton, Feb 3


New Year's Hymn Sing
New Year's Hymn Sing, second half


New Year's Hymn Sing


The guest for the New Year's Hymn Sing was Prof. Mary Oyers from Goshen College, an editor of the Mennonite Hymnal. The recording of the congregational singing is not of high quality but Dr. Oyer's comments are fascinating.

New Year's Hymn Sing
New Year's Hymn Sing, second half

Church and Sunday School Hymnal (1902)

John Ruth, pastor at Salford Mennonite Church, invited several musicians to come to his home in 1980 to record hymns from the Church and Sunday School Hymnal and Supplement, edited by J. D. Brunk and first published by Herald Press in 1902. Click here for the recordings.