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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 very active in a variety of areas:
Cable television producer and host
Composer and conductor
Film music critic
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), studying with and assisting ethnomusicoloist, Sam Chianis.
His Master's Thesis was titled: "The Shaker Letteral System: A practical Approach to Music Notation." He also had several of his instrumental compositions performed there, including:
"Variations on a Shaker Marching Tune" for piano (which has been recorded)--
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 Mr. Hall to teach his class on the History of American Popular Music in 1974.
During the 1980s and '90s, he 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 by those 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 other local citizens. These 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 radio stations in the Boston, Massachusetts area, including the very popular program, "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 from his radio programs 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 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, 1762-1987 (2016)
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.
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 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)
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 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).
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 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