From the inspiration of a singing school given in Stoughton in 1774 by Boston composer, William Billings, a group of male singers in town decided to form a singing society. There were 25 names and all of them listed in the membership journal with the date of the organization being November 7, 1786. Their first President was Elijah Dunbar, 1740–1814, from Canton. He was also their conductor and a singer.
According to the musical society's 1929 history book, the Stoughton singers met a chorus from the nearby First Parish Church in Dorchester about the year 1790. This is believed to be the first singing contest held in America.
One of the Stoughton Musical Society's greatest achievements took place at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The Stoughton Musical Society's 100 musicians performed two concerts in the Music Hall. Both the singers and orchestra wore Colonial costumes. At the first concert on August 14, there were 2,000 people in attendance. The music performed by the musical society consisted of 24 pieces by such 18th century New England composers as William Billings, Oliver Holden, Jacob French, and Daniel Read. Some of these composers were later recorded by the Stoughton Musical Society on their LP album in 1975 titled "An Appeal to Heaven."
In 1908, when incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the name was changed to Old Stoughton Musical Society and it has retained that designation.
According to en.wikipedia