Dr. John Bell

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Music Director Dr. John Bell is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he conducts the Wind Symphony and Chamber Winds, teaches conducting and music education courses, and coordinates recruiting and auditions for the Department of Music.  Dr. Bell earned Doctors and Masters degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Louisiana State University where he served on the LSU Golden Band From Tigerland staff.  Under Dr. Bell’s direction, The Southern Illinois Wind Symphony has premiered 16 works for wind band, appeared as the only US collegiate wind ensemble to perform at the 2011 WASBE conference in Chiayi City, Taiwan, toured Europe, performed twice in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, state meetings of the Illinois Music Educators Association, and divisional conferences of the North Central and Southwest Divisions of the College Band Directors National Association.  Additionally, they have mounted eight compact disc recording projects.  Prior to his present appointment he was Associate Director of Bands at the University of Northern Colorado, where he founded and directed the university’s marching band, the Pride of the Rockies and the UNC Brass Band.  While in Colorado, Dr. Bell was appointed the Music Director and conductor for the Rocky Mountain Brassworks in Denver.  Seven years of Dr. Bell’s career were spent in the public schools of suburban Chicago, where he was Assistant Director of Bands at Rolling Meadows High School and Director of Bands and Chair of the Department of Music at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, Illinois.  The Willowbrook Wind Symphony performed at the opening general session of the Music Educators National Conference and was named Grand Champion of the University of Illinois Super State Concert Band Festival.

Dr. Bell is an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and the American School Band Directors Association.  Additionally, he holds memberships in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, National Association for Music Education, and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.  He has received the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence and is a contributing author to the acclaimed series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.  He is Director of the Illinois Ambassadors of Music for their 16-day tours of Europe, and will lead this 250-member band, orchestra and choir tour again in the summer of 2016.  Dr. Bell was Brass Caption Head for the Cavaliers and the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps and has conducted honors and all-state bands throughout the United States.  He has judged pageantry and symphonic championships for many states in the US, Canada, Japan and Thailand, as well as championships events for Drum Corps International, Music for All, and US Bands.