It is my sad duty to report that Professor Emeritus Thomas G. Hall passed away the morning of Thursday, March 9, 2023, at his home. Prof. Hall had been in declining health for several weeks and he was with his wife Willy when he passed. Prof. Hall was an important part of Chapman’s history and of the success of the Conservatory.
Tom joined the Chapman faculty in 1968 and retired from teaching in 2001. He was professor of viola performance and music history, and also taught advanced theory courses and chamber music. Tom founded the Early Music Ensemble, beginning with performances given by his music history students. He left a legacy of generations of students who benefitted from his knowledge and his wisdom. A holder of various administrative posts including Chair of the Music Department (1974–1983, 1990–1991), and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the School of Music, he also represented Chapman to the National Association of Schools of Music, a post he left in 2004.
Until COVID struck, Prof. and Mrs. Hall came regularly to Chapman events and especially to orchestra concerts. They they loved supporting our students and staying involved. Among other things, they have been generous donors to the Conservatory, always wanting to foster its success. On a personal level, Tom (although long retired by then) actually came to my presentation to the faculty when I interviewed for the dean’s position in spring 2015 and he and I talked afterwards. Tom and Willy were particularly helpful to me and my wife in our transition to Orange and I will always be grateful for that.
Prof. Hall was principal violist of the Carmel Bach Festival (1970–1992), and was a freelance violist in the Los Angeles area for many years. A long-term member of the American Viola Society, he was a regular contributor to the organization’s Journal as chronicler of viola events in Southern California and as reviewer of new viola literature. In his retirement he produced performance editions of viola music found in manuscript at the Primrose Archive, Brigham Young University. Dr. Hall held B.M., M.M., and DMA degrees from the University of Southern California.
We offer our sincere condolences and love to his wife Willy. Information about any public memorial service will be announced at a later date.