Each year, on the last Saturday in June, the State of Maine recognizes one of its most esteemed composers, R. B. Hall. Born in Bowdoinham on June 30, 1858, Hall became an internationally celebrated marching bandleader and composer throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century. Though he rarely left his beloved home state, many of Hall’s original compositions are still popular choices among bands across the nation and beyond. Hall dedicated his life to bringing music to the entire state by ensuring that nearly every region in Maine had a marching band of its own. He would travel from community to community, forming bands and teaching them his energetic compositions.
The 2018 R. B. Hall Day celebration will be particularly exciting! Not only will it coincide with Hall’s 160th birthday, it is also set to be hosted by the historic Waterville Opera House, a theater that Hall was no stranger to. Constructed as the centerpiece of Waterville’s centennial celebration in 1902, the Opera House has a rich history that spans 116 years. Hall’s own band performed throughout the course of the centennial festivities and were the first musicians on the stage at the theater’s dedication ceremony on June 23, 1902. This year, bands from across the state will gather at the Opera House to perform popular marches, some of Hall’s own compositions, and to celebrate his legacy. The R. B. Hall Day activities are all free of charge and family-friendly. Come join the fun at the Waterville Opera House on Saturday, June 30, to honor the life of a true Maine treasure!