Joby Bell, D.M.A.
Concert Organist; faculty, Appalachian State University
Joby is an active and sought after recitalist, clinician and collaborative organist. His performances have been at the invitation of numerous chapters and conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Victoria Bach Festival, the Houston Masterworks Chorus, the Washington National Cathedral, and the Conferences on Worship and Music at Montreat Conference Center, NC. His concertizing throughout the United States has met with high acclaim, while his performances abroad have been enthusiastically received in Paris, Chartres, London, and throughout Scotland, Romania, and Hungary.
Dr. Bell has served the American Guild of Organists as a faculty member of Pipe Organ Encounters for young people, as dean of the Houston (Tex.) and Boone (NC) chapters, and most recently as director of the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. His work with the Competition was informed by his expertise as a performer and teacher and by his own experience in garnering the Audience Prize and Second Prize in that Competition in 2000. Since 2004, he has served on the faculty of the Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University, where he teaches organ and sacred music studies. His teaching specializes in memorization and practice techniques, service playing, choral accompanying, and maintaining grace under pressure. Dr. Bell currently serves as Organist at the First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir, NC.
Joby Bell attended high school at the 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 dissertation, “The Grand Organs of Notre-Dame and Saint-Sulpice, Paris: The Magna Opera of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and a Critical Comparison of Their Alterations,” explores these important instruments’ tonal relationships and the subsequent changes made to them.
Dr. Bell previously served as Associate Director of Music at the Church of St. John the Divine and as Organist at St. Philip Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church, all in Houston. He also served as a vocal coach/accompanist at St. Agnes Academy, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, and Houston Baptist University.