R.B. Hall Day Proclaimed by the Governor
L.D. 1920... An act to establish an R.B. Hall Day to honor and commemorate a great Maine composer by the Governor May 11, 1981.
“The last Saturday in June of each year shall be designated R.B. Hall Day and the Governor shall annually issue a proclamation inviting and urging the people of the State to observe the day with appropriate ceremony and honor R.B. Hall, an internationally recognized composer. Recognized primarily as a composer of marches, he was an accomplished conductor and cornet soloist, whose creative talent and native ability marked him as one of Maine’s outstanding citizens.”
Dennis Harrington of the R. B. Hall Memorial Band with Hall's Cornet
Maine has produced an impressive list of famous sons and daughters in many fields. Lombard whose log hauler was the prototype of the World War One tank, Maxim and his machine gun, the Stanley brothers and their steam powered auto, Emma Eames and Lillian Nordica of operatic fame are but a few. One name that has not received the attention truly deserved is that of Robert Brown Hall. R.B. Hall produced music that rivals, and in some opinions, surpasses the works of John Philip Sousa.
R.B. Hall was born into a musical family at Bowdoinham, Maine on June 30 1858. He started playing cornet at sixteen and became very proficient and by the age of nineteen he was conductor of the Richmond Concert Band. His first three marches written for that band were simply known as RCB 1, RCB 2, and RBC 3.
Plagued by lameness that required the use of a cane or crutch, Hall nevertheless marched in parades with cane hooked over his arm. When he marched everyone knew when his band was approaching as he often played the cornet part an octave higher than written.
Besides the Richmond Band, Hall was associated with the Cherryfield Band, Bangor, Chandler’s, Waterville Military, Olympia Band of Augusta, and the Colby College Band.
Except for the Hall family stone bearing his name and a carved cornet, there is no lasting monument to R.B. Hall. His gold cornet is preserved in Waterville. One author has suggested that “The best tribute to him would be simply hearing An exceptional band playing such pieces as NEW COLONIAL or OFFICER OF THE DAY.”
Some of the bands from around the state that participate in the annual R.B. Hall Day:
Hallowell Community Band
Bath Municpal Band
Brewer Hometown Band
R.B. Hall Memorial Band
Centennial Brass Band
Casco Bay Concert Band
Penobscot Wind Ensemble
Castine Town Band
Westbrook City Band
Sabasticook Valley Community Band
Bridgton Community Band
Old Crow Indian Band
Boothbay Region Community Band
Italian Heritage Center Concert Band
Every R.B. Hall Day all musicians are invited to participate in a massed band that plays R.B. Hall marches for an hour beginning at 12 noon. It is quite a sound and sight to behold!
Be sure to put R.B. Hall Day on your calendars for this year, June 27, 2009, at the Westbrook Senior High School, Westbrook, ME. The Bridgton Community Band will be playing at 4:30 p.m. For more information about the 2009 R.B. Hall Day including a complete performance schedule, directions, etc. please visit: http://rbhallday.wordpress.com/.
Bridgton Community Band at 2007 R. B. Hall Day held in Fairfield, Maine