"Tara Hall" was the name of the house at 17 Grice Crescent Essendon,
a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, where my grandmother,
Alicia Maud Bendall (neè Bartlett), lived and taught music until
she died peacefully at home on 3rd September 1954. So intense was the
dedication to music in the family that there was a piano in every room
.... (well almost).
Maud Bendall was the accompanying pianist for the Royal Victorian
Institute for the Blind, which used to put on concerts around the country
to raise money for the society.
Her brother, Charles Bartlett, had suffered blindness from the age of eight
due to an accident, so she was involved with the Institute from a family as
well as a musical level. Seeing as how she died when I was four years old
I am unable to ask her any further questions, but there has been a fair
list of professional musicians through the various generations of her
family and their descendants:-
Maud Bendall - Piano & Harp, R.V.I.B. (1880 -1954)
Charles Bartlett - Vocalist & Flautist, R.V.I.B. (1875-1945)
Adrian Bendall - Principal Harpist, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1914-1990)
Rosalie Bendall - Principal Harpist, J.C. Williamson's Theatres
Mary Anderson - Principal Harpist, Victorian State Orchestra
Gavan Anderson - Guitarist & Vocalist, Melbourne Recording Industry
Richard Anderson - Bass & Keyboards, Sydney Pop Music Fraternity
So far the family's musical history can be traced back to the harpist,
"Elizabeth Butcher", from the late eighteenth century (circa 1795), who
would become Jabus Bartlett's mother. At one stage she was a member of the
English Royal Court's harp ensemble in London.
As children we are impressionable and "The Harps that played in Tara Hall"
was a phrase that used to be bandied about the house when I was
young (and probably before that as well), so when I needed a trading name
for my business, which at the time was being a professional musician,
record producer, session musician, teacher, and general 'dogsbody' provider
of musical related services, not surprisingly I chose a name with some
relevance to my family's history.
Thus "Tara Hall Productions" was born and registered in 1984 and
proffered "An Affair of the Harp" as its first recorded release on
an extremely minimalist budget. There has been a great deal of water
go under the bridge since then but the budget has not really changed
a great deal.