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Guide to the Marcus Hall Papers
MS 22  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Bibliography
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Marcus Hall papers
    Dates: 1927-1977
    Collection number: MS 22
    Creator: Hall, Marcus, 1904-1977
    Collection Size: .5 linear feet (1 box)
    Repository: African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
    Oakland, CA 94612
    Abstract: Baritone singer Marcus Hall (1904-1977) was born on September 8, 1904 in California to William M. and Susie Hall. Papers include concert programs, correspondence, a scrapbook, newspaper clippings, and photographs documenting the life and career of baritone singer Marcus Hall. The papers are organized into five series: concert programs, correspondence, photographs, biographical, and printed materials.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.

    Access Restrictions

    Materials are for use in-library only, non-circulating.

    Publication Rights

    Permission to publish from the Marcus Hall Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.

    Preferred Citation

    Marcus Hall papers, MS 22, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Sean Heyliger 02/20/2013.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Baritone singer Marcus Hall (1904-1977) was born on September 8, 1904 in California to William M. and Susie Hall. Hall was raised in Bakersfield, California until 1923, when the family moved to Berkeley, California where he completed his final year of high school at San Francisco's Polytechnic High School in 1924. Shortly thereafter he enrolled at the Musical Art Institute of San Francisco and he began taking voice lessons to become a professional singer. When the famous African American singer Roland Hayes heard Hall's voice, he made arrangements for him to study with his mentor Sir George Henshell in London, England. Hall travelled to London in the fall of 1929, where he spent two years as Hayes' protégé and student. Hall was the first African American singer from California to make his debut in London, and he performed in concerts in England over the next two years. In 1931, Hall returned to San Francisco, California to continue his singing career and in 1934 joined the theatrical group The Brown Skin Models, touring the U.S. over the next three years. In 1937, he returned to Berkeley and during World War II was employed by the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond to sing at the official launching of every ship built in the shipyards between 1943-1945. Following the war, he moved to New York City to further his singing career and opened a voice studio and in 1947 took over Harry T. Burleigh's position as soloist at St. George's Episcopal Church in Stuyvesant Square. The following year Hall joined Leonard De Paur's Infantry Chorus as a voice coach and over the next five years traveled throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Central and South America. Hall left the chorus in 1953 to return to teaching in his New York City studio and three year later returned to Berkeley where he continued to sing and was active in several area churches until his death in 1977.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Papers include concert programs, correspondence, a scrapbook, newspaper clippings, and photographs documenting the life and career of baritone singer Marcus Hall. The papers are organized into five series: concert programs, correspondence, photographs, biographical, and printed materials. The bulk of the collection are concert programs and photographs related to Hall's career as a singer and include programs of Hall, Roland Hayes, the 1939 theatrical production of The Swing Mikado, and De Paur's Infantry Chorus. Most of the photographs in the collection are related to Hall's work as a singer during the launching ceremonies of newly-built ships at Kaiser Shipyards during World War II. The biographical material includes Hall's passports, newspaper clippings, his obituary, and a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings, correspondence, concert programs and schedules, and photographs early in his career between 1929-1942. The scrapbook also includes a broadside advertising a concert featuring Paul Robeson and Lawrence Brown in 1927 at the Maison Gaveau in Paris, France.

    Arrangement

    Series I. Concert programs Series II. Correspondence Series III. Photographs Series IV. Biographical material Series V. Printed material

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    De Paur Infantry Chorus.
    Kaiser Shipyards (Richmond, Calif.).
    African Americans--Music--1930-1950.
    Baritones (Singers).

    Marcus Hall baritone hall died at 72, The Independent and Gazette 12 March 1977.

    Related Material

    Faricita Hall Wyatt Papers, African American Museum & Library at Oakland. Tarea Hall and William Pittman Papers, African American Museum & Library at Oakland. Clarice Isaacs Papers, African American Museum & Library at Oakland.