Dr. John Bell

Dr. John Bell

Professor of Music and Director of Bands
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


Dr. Bell’s experience encompasses extensive conducting and teaching at the community, public school, and university levels. He directs all aspects of the wind and percussion program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting, arranging, marching band techniques, research, music supervision, and administration and music education.In addition, he has directed graduate research in wind/literature studies and music education/pedagogy. Ensembles under his direction have performed at the 2011 international conference of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Chiayi City, Taiwan, the 1984 national convention of the Music Educators National Conference, divisional conferences of the Southwest and North-Central College Band Directors National Association, the state conferences of the Illinois Music Educators and Colorado Music Educators, and twice in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. The SIUE Wind Symphony has mounted eight recording projects under his direction, with all recordings available on the Mark Masters label. Dr. Bell also currently serves as the music director for the St. Louis Brass Band, a community ensemble based in St. Louis, Missouri. This ensemble was recently honored to place second at the US Open Brass Band Championships and has performed with noted artists Patrick Sheridan, Grammy award-winning soprano Christine Brewer, Tim Meyers, Karin Blisnik and Gerry Pagano.

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. Bell’s research interests lie in the work of famed choreographer Rudolph Laban, and the application of his Movement Theory to conducting pedagogy. His workshop, The Choreography of Conducting, has been well received. He is Director of the Illinois Ambassadors of Music for their 16-day tours of Europe and will lead this 250-member band and choir tour again in the summer of 2018. Dr. Bell studied conducting with L. Bruce Jones, Harry Begian, Kenneth Singleton, Paul Vermel and James Keene, and has conducted honors and all-state bands throughout the United States, Europe, and Taiwan (ROC). He has judged pageantry and symphonic championships in the US, Canada, Japan, and Thailand, as well as championships events for Drum Corps International, Bands of America, and US Bands.

  Session Titles

Guest Conducting


Invite a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician to conduct a rehearsal, honor band, or All-State Festival to engage your students and help your community reach new musical heights.

Rehearsing the Band - Priorities and Pedagogies


A workshop designed for young teachers to help develop the ability to prioritize and maximize rehearsal time.

The Choreography of Conducting


The application of famed choreographer Rudolph Laban's Movement Theory to conducting pedagogy.