Charles John Hall

1925 - 2004

Charles Hall, music educator, award-winning composer, and published author, enjoyed a music career that spanned over forty years. He taught in five academies and at Andrews University, where he also served as chair of the music department.

Hall was born in Houston, Texas, on November 17, 1925, the son of John Eugene and Helen Ogarita Watters Hall. He graduated from Reagan High School in Houston in 1942 and served in the U.S. army as a medic from 1944 to 1946. Following his discharge, he attended Union College before transferring to Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University, where he completed a B.Mus. degree in 1952.

He taught at Battle Creek Academy for a year and then worked as an IBM data processor for a large company in Houston before returning to music teaching at Sandia View Academy in New Mexico, where he completed an M.Mus. at the University of New Mexico in 1960. He subsequently taught at Sunnydale Academy and Kansas City Junior Academy in Missouri before going to Michigan in 1962, where he taught at Southfield Junior Academy and Cedar Lake Academy, now Great Lakes Adventist Academy, until 1970.

While he had taken graduate work earlier at the University of Missouri and Central Michigan University, during his time at CLA, he completed a Ph.D. in music theory and composition in 1970 at Michigan State University. He began teaching at Andrews University that year.

Hall was an award-winning composer as well as a published writer. He received the Sigvald Thompson Award in 1970 for Five Microscopics for Orchestra and special mention in a Delius Competition. His works have been performed by orchestras in Houston; Indianapolis; Fargo-Morehead, North Dakota; Elkhart and South Bend, Indiana; and by the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. There have also been numerous performances of his music for band and choir.

From 1981 to 1986, Hall served as chair of the music program at AU. Following his retirement in 1991, during and after teaching for 21 years at AU, Hall authored six books on music chronology. The books, all published, grew out of notes he had researched and written for a radio program, Hall's Musical Years, that he hosted for many years on WAUS, Andrews University's radio station.

Hall's published chronologies include three by the Greenwood Press, Eighteenth Century Musical Chronicle, Nineteenth Century Musical Chronicle, and Twentieth Century Musical Chronicle; one by Schirmer Books, A Chronicle of American Music, 1700-1995; and two by Routledge, Chronology of Western Classical Music, volumes I and II.

Hall had married Mary Quedens in 1948 and they would have four children. The oldest, Stephen John Hall, was interested in music from his earliest years and became a French horn player, singer, and band conductor who would teach music for nearly thirty years at three academies and two colleges in the Seventh-day Adventist school system.

Hall was living in Berrien Springs, Michigan, when he died while visiting in Ohio on September 20, 2004, at age 78.


Sources: Information provided by Charles Hall in 2003 and Stephen John Hall, June, 2012; Lake Union Herald: 3 November 1959, 2; 20 July 1971, 16; May 1979, 6; 29 September 1981, 7; 15 January 1985, 5; July 1990, 21; Obituary, Mount Vernon News, (Ohio), 21 September 2004; Taber Family Tre and Social security Death Index, 1935-2007, both at; Personal Knowledge.

Charles John Hall

Selected Compositions


Scherzo, Just for Fun - standard orchestration - fully romantic style - manuscript.

Port Royal - symphonic poem in romantic style - standard orchestration - manuscript

Recitative for Orchestra - standard orchestration - contemporary harmony - manuscript

Five Microscopics for Orchestra - large orchestra - modified twelve-tone harmony - winner of the 1970 Sigwald Thompson Award of the Fargo-Moorhead SO - final judge, Elliott Carter – manuscript.

The City in the Sea - tone poem with large orchestra with a small chorus - contemporary harmony - manuscript

Symphony - standard orchestra with saxophone added - modified twelve-tone tonal language - still looking for a premiere - manuscript

Celebration Overture - commissioned by South Bend SO for their 50th Anniversary Concert - standard orchestration - composer’s tribute to the Romantic Period - romantic tonal language - contains many excerpts from "friends" who drop in for the performance.


Babylon, the Great (reworking of the composer’s Babylon Suite) in four movements - standard band - 20th Century romanticism personified. Can be used as sacred number with provided texts for each movement.

The Four Beasts of Daniel Seven (incomplete at the time of his death).

Several arrangements of various works for band.


The Coming King - based on melodies of the 19th Century Advent movement - can be used with organ only, but works much better with either brass and percussion arrangement or by orchestral arrangement – both available for hire.

A Psalmic Symphony - a capella chorus - in four movements (4 psalms) - contemporay romantic harmony.

The Ninety and Nine - a new a capella choral version of an old favorite.

We’ve No Abiding City Here - new a capella arrangement of an early advent hymn

The Evergreen Shore - a capella arrangement of another early advent hymn of triumph


Five Short Pieces - five short excursions in various contemporary styles

Rondo Caprice - a romp on the keyboard in a modern romantic voice