Berniece Hall, soprano, was born in Philadelphia on July 2, 1920. She considered herself a New Yorker however, as she was raised in New York from the age of 10. Hall was introduced to the world of music through the glee club and school productions. She also studied voice with Hortense Love, Robert Tabori and William Hermann. After she won an amateur contest at a local club her singing career took off. In the 1940s and early 1950s, she sang in clubs and with concert groups and choral ensembles such as the Eva Jessye and the Hall Johnson concert choirs. From 1956 to 1958 she performed in De Paur’s Opera Gala (1956) which featured notable soloists Lawrence Winters, Inez Matthews and Luther Saxon. Hall made her Broadway debut in Finian’s Rainbow (1953) performing the role of Sharon Lonnergan to high acclaim. She also performed in summer stock versions of the show in theatres around the United States.
In the 1960s, Hall worked in the editorial department of the Negro Heritage Library, New York. She joined Voices Inc., a musical theatre group from Newark, New Jersey, which was invited to perform Trumpets of the Lord (1963) in Paris at the French National Festival of the Arts from May 13-26, 1966 under the auspices of the Association pour la rencontre des cultures. After the Festival she toured Italy with Gino Bramieri performing at many venues. She then joined the Folk Studio Singers in Rome and appeared in concerts and performances in Italy, Greece, Paris, Sweden, Germany and Denmark from 1966 to 1969. Hall returned to the United States in 1968 on an invitation to perform in another Trumpets of the Lord tour, a National Education Television version of which was taped in Ontario, Canada. After living in Italy for 4 years, she returned to live permanently in the United States in 1970.
Hall’s professional career slowed down in the mid 1970s, and in 1978 she began working for the New York City Housing Authority, retiring from there in 1994. Throughout her life Hall continued to perform at church events, community concerts and celebratory events for various organizations. She participated in numerous programs of the Memorial Baptist Church and Mother A.M.E Zion Church in New York City. Berniece Hall passed away on February 20, 2004 while at the Dewitt Rehab and Health Care Center in New York City.
|Actor||Hot Dishes! (A Black Retrospective 1)||1978-79 Season|