Joby Bell

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Main Title: 
University Organist and Professor of Music
Coordinator, Sacred Music curriculum
Office Location: 
Room 420, Broyhill Music Center
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Since 2004, professor Joby Bell has served on the faculty of the Hayes School of Music, where he teaches organ and church music studies. His church music teaching emphasizes the practical knowledge needed for a solid undergraduate foundation toward successful work and further studies in sacred music. His organ teaching specializes in practice techniques, memorization, service playing, choral accompanying, and maintaining grace under pressure – lessons always best taught by example.

Dr. Bell brings to his performances a contagious affability and a keen sensitivity toward increasing an audience’s appreciation for organ music. His recital programming demonstrates a varied and interesting repertoire, always enhanced by illuminating program notes designed to embrace all audiences. His acclaimed blog at <> deals with a comprehensive range of organ-related topics including teaching philosophies, recital preparation, church music, and professional concerns.

Dr. Bell is featured on several recordings. In 2019 Volume 1 of American Classic Widor, a recording series of the complete solo organ works of Widor, appeared on the Centaur label. Six more volumes will appear in the coming months. American Classic English is an all-British program recorded on the landmark Aeolian-Skinner instrument at First Baptist Church, Longview, Texas, available on the Centaur label. Sonatas and Variations features large works by Jongen, Brahms, and Reubke, recorded on the Fritts organ at St. Philip Presbyterian, Houston, and available on the Centaur label. Music City Mixture is recorded on mechanical-action organs of Nashville. Live Performances is a compilation of works played live at Appalachian State University, Rice University, Houston Baptist University, and the Washington National Cathedral. Dr. Bell is also featured on let the rain kiss you, a collaborative recording with acclaimed soprano Melissa Givens.

Born in 1968, Dr. Bell attended high school at the [University of] North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied piano with Marian Hahn and Robert McDonald. He earned the Bachelor of Music degree in organ and piano from Appalachian State University and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in organ from Rice University. His teachers include H. Max Smith and Clyde Holloway, organ, and Rodney Reynerson and Allen Kindt, piano. His church posts have been served in Houston and throughout North Carolina.