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When Mary Hall was just 7 years old her dad made arrangements for her and her sisters first singing performance. With the assistance of their mother, who spent time as a professional singer, the youngsters sang a medley of songs from the popular musical “South Pacific”. A perfect choice for the South Shore Water Frolics, an annual event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that draws over 60,000 people. You would of thought that first taste of live performing in front of such a large audience would have put fear in two little girls, instead, for one, Mary, it was the beginning of a life long passion for the stage. She knew without a doubt, at this early age, that this would be her life work.
As the years went on, Mary Hall sang in school choirs, glee clubs, and formed a few small groups, performing at many parks, the“Kids Club” TV show and parties in her home town. During her high school years she was a part of the “Sundry Singers”, a well received versatile “folk” style group that performed at various schools, parks, recreation centers, churches, weddings and many other venues. When the members dispersed after graduation Mary continued to set her sights on entertaining. After a five minute audition, she was accepted by Artist Corporation of America. One of the nations largest and respected booking agencies in the U.S. She was contracted with them for thirteen years and traveled the mid-west, deep south and Canada, becoming the most requested and highest paid female nightclub entertainer with the agency.
Many opportunities came along including appearing in concert with Frankie Avalon, Avery Schrieber, Rip Taylor, Wanda Jackson, Carl Smith, Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran as well as other notable artists. She was also contracted by Attorney and Author, F Lee Bailey to perform at the Helicopter Convention in Anaheim, CA as well as personal events at his home in Boston, MA.. Appearances on live TV and radio shows were also a part of Mary Hall's itinerary. Many of the towns and cities where she was performing included interviews and short segments of her talents.
An award winning songwriter with Super Jack Records invested his efforts in Mary’s voice, commissioning her to record his songs in studios around the US including RCA in Nashville, TN. They were distributed and received international airplay. A self-titled album, (Mary Ann, her stage name at the time)was completed, in 1978. It has recently been re-mastered and re-released as “Memories”. It has been purchased by people from all parts of the world.
As Mary progressed in her career so did some seemingly great options. In the late 1960’s she was approached by David Geffen, manager of Atlantic Records folk-rock group, “Crosby, Stills & Nash”. A few years later Mary’s uncle encouraged her to meet with his friend, Billy Sherrill. At the time he was Epic Record’s producer and song-writer who represented Tammy Wynette and many other popular entertainers. On another occasion, Mary was sent to Dallas, Texas by interested financial backers to meet and interview with Glen Campbel’s record promoter Ernie Phillips and Pop Group “The Pointer Sisters” talent assistant, Bruce West for a possible contract. . In each of these instances, Mary choose to for-go these choices and pursue a simpler life. Looking back at these prospects she does not regret the decisions she made. She is grateful that her career has not been determined by short lived popularity but rather has stood the test of time and given her the ability to sing and entertain, doing the thing she loves the most, on a daily basis without interruption for so many years.
After making a decision to commit her life to the Lord, Mary Hall ended her traveling days and settled down to raise her children. Even though she has not been traveling great distances, she continues her career, expanding it to include children as well as, her main focus, the baby-boomer and beyond population. Besides entertaining, Mary has released four new albums. Her "Reality" album reaches the church population by including contemporary Christian songs and hymns while the second is geared especially for the child in all of us. It has many "Happy Songs for Pipsqueeks". Some of the musical pieces from this later album have been used by a number of Minnesota educator's as part of their curriculum. "Remember Patsy" consists of some of Patsy Clines most popular songs. Mary presents them in her own intriguing style. Her latest album features her own composition and title song "At Christmas Time". Timeless songs for the season is a favorite of her listeners. A new project is underway which will feature Mary’s own compositions.
Mary Hall has had twelve years of personal musical instruction in voice, piano and guitar. Because of her knowledge of music and love for people, Mary has provided guitar and piano instruction to both children and adults for eight years. She has developed curriculum and teaches for Homeward Bound Theater Company as part of their Community Education Classes and has been commissioned for several Artists in Residence programs at parks and elementary schools. Mary also has been on the roster of the East Central Arts Council's Artist in Schools and Communities programs for a number years. She is also a speaker and music leader at summer camps throughout Minnesota.
Mary involves herself in a variety of organizations, sharing her experiences. She is a speaker for women's retreats and a facilitator for small study groups. The opportunity arose for her to develop and present a workshop on the different learning styles and how music plays and important role in the early years of life. This workshop was presented at the Minnesota Church Ministries Conference. In 1998 Mary received an award of recognition by the Youth Service Bureau for her involvement with youth in the community. She was also recently honored as an asset builder role model in the community by the Families First Organization of Washington and Chisago Counties. Currently Mary was selected to serve on the Advisory council for Crisis Nursery, a branch of the Children's Home Society. She has also been chosen to serve on the Minnesota Arts board representing Chisago County. The last few years, Live at the Library, a summer arts program in Anoka County has invited Mary Hall to be one of their main performers.
For three years Mary was involved in organizing, participating and performing in the Twin Cities Summer Picnic aimed at recognizing and reconciling denominational and racial diversity. The mayors and other public officials in the Twin Cities endorsed this event.
Most recently, Mary was a candidate for the Ms Senior Minnesota America representing Wyoming, MN. She was voted 1st runner-up at the Pageant which was held at Mystic Lake Casino in Chaska, MN.
With years of having one on one contact with people and through personal experience Mary has recognized the need for people to be encouraged in their lives. Through her musical programs for adults and children, Mary has found a way to do just that. Encouraging, educating and entertaining are the strengths that make Mary Hall valuable to young and old.