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Joel Hall uses violin as expression of his inner being
by Bill Baldowski
June 21, 2012 05:06 PM | 1053 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joel Hall has been playing violin since he was seven and credits the instrument, and its music, for helping turn his life around
Joel Hall has been playing violin since he was seven and credits the instrument, and its music, for helping turn his life around
Lying beneath the work he carries as public information officer for the Clayton County Board of Health, Joel Hall manages to, on many occasions, also carry a black, soft-leather music case covered with patches from different European countries.

Inside that case is what the married, 30-year-old Virginia Beach native said are among his greatest treasures outside of his family, a violin, vintage 1996, beneath which lies folder upon folder of violin music by many of history’s greatest classical violinists.

As a concert violinist who has studied in such international music venues as Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungry, the Czech Republic and others as well as schools throughout the United States, Hall has mastered many of history’s most beloved violin works.

However, as quickly as he can play the works of Beethoven, Bach and Brahams, Hall, who alternates between first and second violin with the Jonesboro United Methodist Church orchestra, can also switch to the more bluegrass sound, such as Charlie Daniels Band and one of his favorite bluegrass pieces from that group, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

Ironically, Hall credits the clear, soothing sound of the violin to actually turning his life around.

“When I was a little kid, I got into a lot of fights,” he remembered, primarily caused by him being one of only three African American students in his elementary school.

His teachers hoped to find something constructive for him to do and looked to music as an outlet.

“When I was seven, I was invited to a music festival at which there were musicians playing different instruments,” Hall said. “I was immediately drawn to the violin because it spoke to me like no other instrument.”

After arriving home from the festival, he told his parents he wanted to play the violin.

“My parents were overjoyed but were emphatic, saying if they were going to invest in a violin for me, I would have to play it for eternity,” he added,” and that was more than two decades ago and I’m still loving it.”

Hall found out later that his grandfather, a Merchant Marine, also played the violin, “so I guess that gene came my way,” he added.

As to one of the reasons he loves the violin, he said it is perhaps the closest to duplicating the human voice.

“It is all in the way you play it,” he said.

“You can use the violin to make the soothing sound of water droplets or use it to almost duplicate someone screaming.”

Saying he has always wanted to be a professional musician, he would like to eventually teach violin.

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