Grenville Hall (1930-2015) was a fiddler and amateur fiddle maker and repairman from Huntsville Ontario. My friend Joan Weed used to play music with him sometimes. After his death Joan ended up with a few boxes of his fiddles, fiddle parts, luthiers tools and music. She passed them on to me. That is where these tunes came from. Shane Cook is currently playing a fiddle from this legacy.
Here is a recollection by his son Barry Hall.
My folks (my Mom was the part of the duo – chording on the piano) attended many fiddle music events – mostly in Ontario – especially in the 80’s and 90’s after he retired. They were part of a local fiddle music group in Huntsville and made connections with fiddle friends in places like Nobleton and St Catharines.
Quite often at these get-togethers he would hear a tune new to him or perhaps one he didn’t have sheet music for and someone would provide a copy.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he picked up some music from Joan when they got together. Dad didn’t have any formal music education but he learned enough sight-reading over the years that he could pick out the melody and get started.
As he was self-taught (so was his father) he learned mostly at the local house parties in the Huntsville area in the 1940’s That’s how he met my mom – she went to these parties with her father who called for the square dances. Later on he learned tunes from recordings he collected - mostly “Down East” or “Ottawa Valley” style – Don Messer, Graham Townsend - were particular favourites.
Mom and Dad played a few places around town but their main gig was the weekly afternoon square dances at the local senior center – Club 55 There were several other players that joined in - most of them have also passed on. Their group also played by invitation for private parties or retirement homes One time, the group was asked to play for a foreign tour group passing through town. They hosted their own house parties - which Joan and friends attended several times. Other times someone else would host a music weekend and mom and dad would take their RV and park there. I don’t think they ever had a paid gig – maybe a free meal but not much else – they just liked an excuse to play. In fact, he was getting ready to play at a local family reunion on the day he died. (he didn’t show so they went to check on him)
|Title||About Grenville Hall|
|Subject||Grenville Hall Collection|
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