Another one of Jamaica’s stalwart musicians and educators has gone to join the angelic choir in the heavens. Lloyd Hall died yesterday evening at about 7:30pm. While he had suffered a heart attack some time ago, his death came as a great shock to me, his colleague.
A true patriot, Hall contributed unselfishly to Jamaica’s musical and educational scene for close to 60 years, from the time he graduated from college in the 1940s to the present. He was a quite, compassionate, genteel and very kind individual who taught all levels of students, from small children to adults.
Hall’s contribution were recognized on several occasions through several awards, including the prestigious Order of Distinction in 2005 from the Jamaican government, and the FRCM from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), England in 1999. The latter award represents ABRSM’s highest award given to a West Indian.
Perhaps Lloyd Hall is best remembered for his simple yet beautiful song “Jamaica, Land of Beauty,” a perennial favorite sung during Independence celebrations in Jamaica.
The video below features a group of school children singing Hall’s song. While it isn’t a professional recording, the purity and innocence of these voices fit the song admirably.