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Roger Lee Hall has been one of the most productive American music specialists working to uncover and restore music from the past and preserve it for the future.
He has compiled and produced many CD and DVD music collections. To see the list in the American Music Recordings Series -- click here.
Because of his extensive accomplishments he has been listed in both Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World -- click here.
Over the years he has been active in these areas:
Cable television producer and host
Composer and conductor
Film music critic
Hel was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey in 1942, but spent his youth in the nearby town of Bloomfield.
In 1968, he attended Rutgers University - Newark College of Arts & Sciences in Newark, NJ and composed his first classical compositions: Piano Variations on an Original Theme (Op. 1a), Percussion Quartet (Op. 2) and six haiku songs (Op. 3) - based on his own poems. He studied conducting and music history with the distinguished musicologist, Alfred Mann; piano with Chester Fanning Smith; and composition with Robert Nagel and George Walker (the first Afro-American to receive a Pulitzer Prize for his music in 1996). Mr. Hall graduated in 1970 with a B.A. degree in Music Theory and Composition.
Two years later, in 1972, he was awarded his M.A. degree
in Ethnomusicology from the State University of New York at Binghamton (now Binghamton University).
His thesis was on Shaker music notation. He also had several of his instrumental compositions performed there.
His Ph.D. studies in Musicology took place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland,
Ohio, where his specialty was Shaker music and
music from early America. He was also a teaching assistant for a well-known Cleveland disc jockey, Bill Randle, who had introduced Elvis Presley on national television in 1956. Randle invited Hall to teach his class on the History of American Popular Music in 1974.
During the 1980s and '90s, hel taught courses in music listening and film music at Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts; and classical music, film music and popular music for the Brookline Adult and Community Education Program (BA&CEP) in Massachusetts, where his classes were equivalent to college-level music courses and were very popular and well received by those who attended.
In addition to teaching, he produced and hosted a series of cable television shows titled, "In Concert" and "Now and Then" featuring local musicians, actors and other local citizens. Here are a few of the composers whose music was performed:
William Billings, Dudley Buck, Stephen Foster, Edwin A. Jones,
For many years he was a guest on several radio stations in the Boston, Massachusetts area, including "Music America" on WGBH-FM. In 1993, he was hired as host of his own radio program featuring popular music from the 1930s, '40s and '50s. He has written about his radio years in a publication with audio excerpts titled, "In The Mood" - Remembering Radio.
As musicologist and ethnomusicologist, he has spent many years researching, editing and performing music from two historic cultures:
Music in Stoughton
There were two choral societies in Stoughton, Massachusetts.
The Old Stoughton Musical Society (OSMS) is now the oldest surviving choral society in the USA, founded in 1786. As OSMS Historian, he organized two music festivals: "Musick in Old New England" (1978) and "Musick in Old Boston" (1980), featuring music scholars and with concerts by local musicians. He also conducted the chorus for several years and composed music for them to perform.
The other choral society had a similar name: The Musical Society in Stoughton (MSIS) , organized in 1802 and disbanded in 1982.
In 1985, he wrote and narrated a 30 minute documentary about the Old Stoughton Musical Society which was shown on local cable television.
Five years later, he produced a one hour video documentary titled, "A Stoughton Musicfest." Read about this documentary available on a DVD -- click here
Also, he wrote several historical plays featuring music from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and they are now available at these links:
To read about his Stoughton Music Heritage Series -- click here
Music of the Shakers
For over forty years, Mr. Hall has researched and edited religious music by the Shakers.
The first recording and accompanying music collection he worked on was titled,
Love is Little: A Sampling of Shaker Spirituals (Sampler Records Ltd.)
In 1999, he wrote the notes for a 72 page booklet which accompanied the largest recorded sessions of the Shakers singing and talking about their music titled,
Let Zion Move: Music of the Shakers (Rounder Records, 2 CD set)
He has also compiled and edited three extensive multi-media discs about Shaker music:
"Give Good Gifts" - Shaker Music in the 20th Century
"The Humble Heart" - A Forty Year Survey of Shaker Music
"Simple Gifts" - Great American Folk Song
To read about his Shaker Music Preservation Series -- click here
Lectures and Workshops
He has been a prolific lecturer and has presented over 150 programs and workshops on various music topics.
For a sample list of his music lectures and workshops -- click here.
His most extensive project to date is a multi-media DVD including information about American classical, folk and popular music and with over 200 music examples titled,
Preserving Our Musical Past (POMP).
Multimedia DVD Collection
"The dark night is ending" - a musical memory collection
Director of the American Music Recordings Archive (AMRA)
Director, New England Music Archive (NEMA)
See the complete catalogue of
AMRC CDs he has produced--
American Music Resource Editions
See the list of his editions in this series
Director of the Center for American Music Preservation (CAMP)
List of sample research articles:
"Shaker Hymnody: An American Communal tradition" in Journal of Church Music, Volume 17/ Number 8 (October, 1975). Reprinted in
The Hymn, Volume 27/Noumber 1
"A Shaker Christmas Song" in Journal of the Shaker Historical Society, Volume 12/ Number 6 (December 1976)
"An Interview with Sir Michael Tippett" in
Journal of Church Music, Volume 20/ Number 4 (April 1978)
"Singing Stoughton" in Journal of Church Music, Volume 22/Number 1 (January 1980)
"Simple Gifts: Shaker simplicity in song" in
The Shaker Messenger, Volume 2/ Number 2 (Winter 1980)
"An Interview with Aaron Copland" in Journal of Church Music, Volume 24/ Number 2 (February 1982)
"For The Record" in The Shaker Messenger:
No. 1: "Lord of the Dance" and "Simple Gifts"
Volume 10/No. 1 (Fall, 1987)
No. 2: "Run, Shaker Life" and
"Come Life, Shaker Life"
Volume 10/ Number 3 (Spring 1988)
No. 3: "The President's March" and
"Rights of Conscience"
Volume 11, Number 4 (Summer 1989)
No. 4: "Animation" and
"While We're Marching"
Volume 14/ Number 3 (1992)
"An Early American Auld Lang Syne"
( We're History - online site)(2016)
For the list of over 50 of his books and music collections --
Roger Lee Hall is a member of ASCAP and the composer-in-residence for American Music Preservation.com and his compositions are available
exclusively from PineTree Music.
Here are CDs with his music:
Celestial Praises - A Celebration of Shaker Spirituals
Arrangements by Roger Lee Hall and Conrad Held
(AMRC CD 0017) - CLICK HERE
Creator God: Sacred Music
(AMRC CD 0023) - CLICK HERE
Gentle Peace: A Sampler of Songs and Instrumentals
(AMRC CD 0024) --CLICK HERE
Gentle Words: A Shaker Music Sampler
(AMRC CD 0016) -- CLICK HERE
Music Lectures and Workshops
See the list of available music topics
Read about the second largest private residence in the USA,
the wealthy financier who built it,
and the military academy cadet
who began his singing career there -- CLICK HERE
"Shake, Rattle and Roll" -
Electric Elvis and Bill Randle