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Upcoming Performances

December 1
3:00 pm Eastern

Messiah organist, First Presbyterian Church, Statesville, N.C.

December 3
8:00 pm Eastern

Haydn Creation organist, Rosen Concert Hall, Appalachian State University

December 13
12:15 pm Eastern

Music at Midday, National City Christian Church, Washington, D.C.

February 9, 2020
3:00 pm Eastern

Inaugural recitalist, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Columbia, S.C..

February 16, 2020
5:00 pm Eastern

Evensong recitalist, Church of the Ascension, Hickory, N.C..

March 6, 2020
7:30 pm Eastern

Guest recitalist, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tenn.

April 5, 2020
2:00 pm Eastern

Guest recitalist, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Macon, Ga.

April 18, 2020
7:30 pm Eastern

Concerto organist, Milligan College

May 12, 2020
12:35 pm Central

Tuesday Series recitalist, Church of St. Louis, King of France, Minneapolis, Minn.

June 21-26, 2020
Worship Organist, Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, Lake Junaluska, N.C.

Saturday
Oct052019

Super Tour 2019

My school of music has just completed their first-ever "Super Tour," publicly named "Mountaineer Music Tour." This was a recruiting tour undertaken in the Asheville area, where our major ensembles visited seventeen high schools across three days. Meanwhile, our poor keyboard faculty had little to do. So we played our own concert at First Presbyterian in Asheville, home of a beautiful Holtkamp in an equally beautiful space inhabited by a welcoming, affirming congregation. See a candid shot below, plus another shot with our trumpet Professor James Stokes sporting his ASU colors as well. Who wore it better?

 

Thursday
Sep192019

Odds 'n' ends

Widor Volume I has arrived! Look for it in the usual outlets in the coming months.

I launched a professional Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/JobyBellOrganist/

My personal FB is still there, but the above "Organist Version" has all the professional engagements plus the wit of this website, without rantings about traffic, stingy tippers, terrible wardrobes, and an increasing societal inability to make change when the computers are down.

I'm teaching my first-ever Honors course in music for non-majors. We have done everything from testing the acoustics of churches and restrooms to listening to the Tchaikovsky Fourth to talking about the state of musical literacy in our country to finding all the base-3 numerology in the Duruflé Sanctus. We have the B-A-C-H motive and many other fun things left to do.

I'm playing all manner of recitals this season. Apparently this is the season of the half recital, with bookings at Third Baptist in St. Louis, National City Christian in D.C., and St. Louis, King of France in Minneapolis.

I'm also having the most fun I have ever had in teaching -- having taken two sections of first-semester Theory. Thirty-six papers to grade each class meeting day is a lot. But those kids are doing so well, and they make my long days shorter.

Meanwhile, the recitals keep coming, and my 51-year old body does not tire. I am fortunate, and so I hope I will be able to make my audiences fortunate to have taken the trouble to come and listen.

Sunday
Apr282019

Widor coming to earbuds near you

It has been two years since I posted in this particular area of the site, but I haven't been idle!

I have just sent off the final liner notes and photos to Centaur Records for my complete Widor series. My engineer has sent off the masters. Now we wait. Preparing a seven-volume CD series takes time.

Volume 1 will be Symphony I recorded at First Presbyterian, Houston, and the Suite Latine recorded at First Presbyterian, Wilmington, NC.

Volume 2 will be Symphonies II and III recorded at First Presbyterian, Wilmington, NC.

Volume 3 will be Symphonies IV and VII recorded at Providence United Methodist, Charlotte.

Volume 4 will be Symphony V recorded at First Presbyterian, Houston, and the Bach's Memento recorded at Providence United Methodist, Charlotte.

Volume 5 will be Symphony VI and the Symphony romane recorded at St. Mark's Cathedral, Shreveport.

Volume 6 will be Symphony VIII recorded in The Auditorium, Community of Christ World Headquarters, Independence, Missouri.

Volume 7 will be the Symphony gothique and the Trois Nouvelles Pièces recorded in The Auditorium, Community of Christ World Headquarters, Independence, Missouri.

If you're paying very close attention, you'll see the common thread among all these instruments. But no need to be a detective -- just visit this link!

Wednesday
Sep132017

So, what did you do this summer?

 

Honestly, I can't remember it all. Better write it down:

May 12: Played for Commencement

-- Continued to serve on the Board for the Friends of Music at St. Mary’s Church in Blowing Rock, N.C.

May 27: Played for a wedding, which is rare for me

June 4: Watched my students perform a splendid studio recital at the chapel at The Citadel, on the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto l’Organo series

June 7: Played a recital in the Hall of Philosophy in Mt. Gretna, Penn.

June 11: Played a recital and Evensong at St. Mary’s Church in Blowing Rock, N.C.

June 12-15: Recorded two more Widor Symphonies at First Presbyterian Church, Houston

June 25-29: Served on the faculty and performed for the Pipe Organ Encounter (Advanced) at the University of Alabama

June 29-August 3: ate, hiked, and performed my way across the south of France. The Pyrenees are breathtaking at 8000 feet.

August 5-11: Attended the Organ Historical Society convention in St. Paul and environs.

August 12: Played for the Salem Presbytery meeting in Statesville, N.C.

August 17-20: Performed on two Viscount organs in the Dothan/Enterprise, Ala., area

August 22: Classes began

Meanwhile, the Widor series continues to chug along. Symphonies II and III and the Suite Latine are up in October on the E.M. Skinner at First Presbyterian in Wilmington, N.C. From there, it’s on to the Aeolian-Skinner in the Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, in January. Then on to a TBD venue in the Spring, and we’ll be DONE.

Then may I go on summer vacation?

Monday
Mar062017

Birthday gigs

My 49th birthday was this past weekend, on March 4. As usual, I was working. But also as usual, I was working on MUSICAL matters, a happy occurrence for someone who was trained in MUSIC. I thought I would list the various ways I have spent a few birthdays:

2017: judge and accompany two students in the annual Hayes Young Artist Competition, which seeks to award $7500 annually, renewable, to an incoming Freshman to the ASU Hayes School of Music;

2016: Lenten recital, Corinth Reformed Church, Hickory, N.C.;

2012: accompany the Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1 with our Tuba (yes, Tuba) professor at ASU.

In other years, I have been on recital trips during my birthday. I celebrated two birthdays -- 30 and 43 -- on recital trips to San Antonio. Mexican food, birthdays, and recitals are a winning combination, almost better than a margarita made in Texas. Can't wait for the next one there.