It is with the greatest sorrow that we announce that Albert Hall, principal tuba, passed away peacefully on Sunday afternoon 6th September, probably around the time of our concert in Bognor. He was 85.
Albert was one of our founder members and rarely missed a concert or rehearsal. Musically, of course, he had impeccable credentials following a distinguished career in the Royal Marines Band Service having joined in March 1946 and achieved the rank of Bandmaster by the time of his retirement from the Corps. During training at the Royal Naval School of Music at Burford he was awarded the Cassel prize for his instrument and all-round musicianship, and in Newsletter No 8 there is a lovely photo of him on parade with his tuba serenading Noel Coward, who paid a visit to the school in 1948. Some time ago someone asked Albert what he had played on that occasion. “Coward’s own composition Mad About The Boy’ of course!” said he with a smile and chuckle!
In his second career Albert served as a civil servant in the Naval Pay and Pensions Division at HMS Centurion but he continued to play in various bands and was the Music Director of the Gosport Operatic Society. He was also a member of HMS Sultan’s Volunteer Band, coordinator of the Gosport Silver Band and principal bass in the Hampshire Ex Servicemens’ Concert Band. He was a committed member of the Royal Marines family and a considerable inspiration to all members of his immediate family particularly his grandson Dale who joined the Corps in 2009 – but as a non-musician!
We all have affectionate and happy memories of Albert which will remain with us for years. We will miss him enormously. For me he stood out as a tower of strength and stability in our band and in his very quiet and determined way was a highly respected friend and colleague to all of us.
Paddy Dunn MBE
Chairman RMA Concert Band