Hal got his feet wet in organbuilding in his native Texas with tracker revival pioneer Otto Hofmann. He then spent 8 years in Europe, where he completed the formal German apprenticeship program in the firm of Georg Jann, as well as gaining formative experience in several other shops in Germany and Switzerland. After coming to Canada he worked with Karl Wilhelm as a voicer on 20 new organs, then spent several years as a freelance voicer and pipemaker for well-known North American and European firms, before completing his first organ in 1991.
Hal built 15 organs prior to accepting a position as Organ Curator at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Oberlin OH, where he maintains more than 26 organs used by the Oberlin students and faculty. He has continued working as an organbuilder outside of Oberlin, and specializes in revoicing and restoring organs as well as building them. He also assesses organs, proposes solutions, and consults with church committees about the details of buying, building, or repairing an organ.