Mr. Regnal Hall, 1926-2010

A few weeks ago, we went into an art gallery at Aloha Tower Marketplace and I saw an especially striking and memorable painting. The artist depicted scenes in which real people are “shadowed” by important figures in their history. I remember one particular painting in which there is a young child with her teacher at the piano. There are “outlines” of the child’s mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and so on behind the young girl, each figure increasingly becoming more faint. Then there are “outlines” of people behind the music teacher, her teacher, her teacher’s teacher and so on.

Regnal Hall, 1926-2010

Regnal Hall, 1926-2010

That painting came to my mind today as I was notified of the passing of Mr. Regnal Hall, my choir teacher from Burbank High School. I was the accompanist for four of the choirs while I was a student (unpaid labor!) but Mr. Hall’s classes and teaching made a huge impact on me. Not only did I learn to accompany choirs, but I learned so much about choral singing, proper breathing, and good choral literature . . . “the shape of a musical phrase.” He was the person who introduced me to Victoria’s “O magnum mysterium,” and other great works. Yes, I went to a public high school and we sang great choral music. I know Mr. Hall had a profound influence on many, many people and for myself, I cannot go into a choral rehearsal of any kind without knowing that I was a benefit of his tutelage.

Burbank High School, in the days before it was extensively rebuilt.

Burbank High School, in the days before it was extensively rebuilt.

When I was in college, Mr. Hall offered me an organist position at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Glendale, where he was the choir director, but circumstances did not allow for me to go through with it.  I found out later that he left Burbank High School shortly after I graduated and had a new musical career with the Walt Disney company.

Mr. Hall died after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s, and was pre-deceased by his wife, Barbara, who died of Parkinson’s in 2007. About twenty years ago Carl and I were fortunate enough to be guests in their home for a brunch, and I was able to update him on my musical activities and introduce him to Carl. We gave him a CD of our “Ceremony of Carols” by Britten and he was especially complimentary of the LCH Choir’s singing, and our “being able to sing a musical line.”

I’m so glad I had this opportunity to convey my thanks to him for his tremendous help in starting my musical career.

Aloha, Mr. Hall. You made a difference in my life.

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
This entry was posted in Choral Music, Katherine Crosier and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Mr. Regnal Hall, 1926-2010

  1. Carol Wood says:

    I’m going to guess I am considerably older than you. Mr. Hall also had a huge impact on my life and the lives of my 3 older sisters. I graduated from Burbank High in 1972. And was in choir all 3 of my HS years. Mr. Hall was a voice of compassion, encouraging hard work in the most tucked in way, with music as the conduit. He also embodied passion for music and teaching. My sisters and I were together just last week and, is usually the case, his name came up with fondness, admiration, and respect for all he meant to each of us. He lives on in wonderful memories, and his impact on shaping us all in personhood, and in our love for music. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write my appreciation as well.

    Carol Wood

    • Lynne DeMille Fitzgerald says:

      Katherine…thank you so much for posting re:Mr. Regnal Hall. I too was in many of his choirs all 3 years of Burbank High School..and again, as Carol stated, I too, am much older than the both of you…hahaha. I graduated in 1961 and was so hoping that he would be in good health so he would join us at our 50th reunion in 2011. I am saddened to hear of his passing, but think of the great music and education he will be giving to the choirs of Heaven. He was a great Teacher. His compassion, understanding and teaching ethics have always stayed with me. He was a great example of how to be a human being. His humor and insight were awesome. He touched so many and I’m sure many will remember him for the rest of their lives, as will I.

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  3. I must add my love and appreciation for this great man, Mr. Hall. I was in his choirs for 3 years at BHS too. Lynne was my bestest friend. Thank you Lynne. Mr. Hall made coming to school, hanging out in the choir a memorable time in my life. I loved being directed by him and Miss Wolfson in the two Operetta’s that were done in 1959 and 1961. Rose Marie and The Mikado. He gave his all to his students. He imparted good advice kinda like a Dad. He was not only a great teacher but a great friend to his students. I felt very fortunate to have him in my life for those years. I have thought many, many times about him, but only went back to BHS once to see him after graduation in 1961. I agree with Lynne on his humor….he was truly an awesome man and friend. He made High School years fun and memorable…I’d go back in a heart beat if he could be there in the choir room that felt like home. Thank you Mr. Hall for all the memories. You will never be forgotten. My prayers, love and comfort go out to his family. His sons, Steve and Mark were little guys when I was at BHS. Mr. Hall would bring them to rehearsals sometimes. Cute little blonde headed boys. Sorry to say I never met his daughter, Leslie. Your Dad was the greatest!

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