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Roger Lee Hall, A.M.P. (American Music Preservationist) has been one of the most productive researchers and producers working to uncover and record music from the past and help preserve it for the future.
Over the years he has been active as --
Cable television producer and host
Composer and conductor
Film music critic
He began writing songs while still in high school and continued as a songwriter in the early 1960s and wrote dozens of songs. Several of his early songs are on this AMRC CD:
Also, he studied piano with a private teacher and received a First Place Certificate for Music Theory from Trinity College of Music in London, England.
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 Master's Thesis was titled: "The Shaker Letteral System: A Practical Approach to Music Notation." Also, several of his instrumental compositions were performed there: "Tricinium" for clarinet, oboe and bassoon, and "Seven Variations on a Shaker Marching Tune" for piano,
which has been recorded on this CD:
CELESTIAL PRAISES CD (AMRC 0017)
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 also arranged several Shaker tunes for chorus and composed a series of hymns for the church year. He was teaching assistant for a well-known Cleveland disc jockey, Bill Randle, who had introduced Elvis Presley on national television in 1956. Randle invited Mr. Hall to teach his class on the History of American Popular Music.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Hall 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 with those adults who attended.
In addition to teaching, he produced and hosted two series of cable television shows: "In Concert" and "Now and Then" - featuring local musicians, actors and local citizens. These are a few of the composers featured in these programs:
William Billings, Dudley Buck, Stephen Foster, Edwin Arthur Jones,
For many years he was a guest on radio stations in the Boston, Massachusetts area, including the very popular program, "Music America" hosted by Ron Della Chiesa on WGBH-FM, where Mr. Hall was a frequent guest talking about and playing popular music and film music.
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 and titled:
"In The Mood" - Remembering Radio.
As musicologist and ethnomusicologist, he has spent many years researching, editing and performing music from two of the oldest singing traditions in the USA:
Music in Stoughton
The Old Stoughton Musical Society (OSMS) is now the oldest surviving choral society in the USA, founded in 1786. As OSMS Historian, Roger Hall 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.
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." To read about this documentary now available on a DVD -- CLICK HERE
His publications includes these titles:
--Music in Stoughton: A Brief Survey (1984)
--200th Anniversary Concert Booklet (1986)
--The Stoughton Songster (1991)
--Ten Town Tunes: Music From Stoughton (1998)
--"Majesty" - William Billings and The Stoughton Musical Society (2000)
--"Dedication" - Singing in Stoughton, 1762-1992 (2017)
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 music by the United Society of Shakers, America's oldest surviving religious communal society. He has written extensively about the Shakers, including his booklet,
Blended Together: Discoveries Along The Shaker Music Trail.
He worked on a recording and accompanying music book titled,
Love is Little: A Sampling of Shaker Spirituals (Sampler Records Ltd.)
In 1999, he edited the recordings and 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)
From the Binghamton University Magazine, Spring 2016, page 39.
As mentioned in that university magazine, he has compiled and edited a multimedia disc titled,
"Give Good Gifts" - Shaker Music in the 20th Century
To read about his Shaker Music Preservation Series -- click here
Lectures and Workshops
He has been a prolific lecturer and has presented over 100 programs and workshops on various music topics.
For a list of his music lecture and workshop topics -- 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).
Because of his considerable accomplishments he has been listed in both Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World -- click here.