Digby Bell Memorial Recital to Feature Pianists March 8

OBU music faculty and guest pianists will present the eighth-annual Digby Bell Memorial Recital on Thursday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Yarborough Auditorium, located in the lower level of Raley Chapel on the OBU campus. The community is invited to attend the performance.

The recital will feature Dr. Mary Chung and Dr. Michael Dean, both OBU assistant professors of music, as well as musical guests Dr. Edward Gates and Dr. Jeongwon Ham.

The program will include selections by Chopin and Landestoy, performed by Chung; Mozart and Schumann, performed by Gates and Ham with four hands; and Respighi, Debussy and Prokofiev, performed by Dean.

Dr. Digby Bell is the late husband of Dr. Carol Ann Bell, retired professor of piano at OBU. Trained in music as a child, Digby Bell discovered his love for piano performance around age 9. His passion for the piano led him to study at schools such as the Julliard School in New York. Bell received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Michigan. Soon after graduating from Michigan, he began teaching at the University of Oklahoma. While there, he earned his doctorate from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Digby Bell

Bell taught and performed at OU for more than 40 years during his time in Oklahoma. For 25 of those years, he served as the chairman of the OU keyboard department. He was named professor emeritus upon his retirement in 1990. Bell performed many times with the Oklahoma City Symphony and, as a result, had several of his performances broadcast worldwide through the Armed Forces Radio and the Canadian Broadcast Company.

Digby and Carol Ann Bell were well known in Oklahoma as a duo pianist team. Digby Bell passed away on March 5, 2004. Carol Ann Bell retired from OBU in 2010 after 20 years of service.

Chung earned a bachelor’s degree at North Greenville University and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is an active soloist and collaborative artist, having performed both nationally and internationally in Canada, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Brazil.

Dean serves as coordinator of keyboard studies at OBU. He also serves as East District co-president of the Oklahoma Music Teacher Association. He earned bachelor’s degrees from Minnesota State University Moorehead and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He is an active workshop clinician, adjudicator, solo performer and collaborative artist, as well as a faculty member at summer music camps throughout the United States and Canada. He is a member of the Manno-Dean Piano Duo.

Gates is professor emeritus of piano at the University of Oklahoma. He teaches undergraduate and graduate piano performance as well as graduate seminars in piano literature. He is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University. He also studied at the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria, and at the Hochshule für Musik in Vienna. Hailed as a “splendid pianist” by The New York Times, he has performed in solo recitals and chamber music concerts in the United States, China and the United Kingdom.

Ham is associate professor of piano at OU. She earned degrees from the Hochshule der Künst in Berlin and the University of Kansas. She won the Bartók/Kabalevsky Internatuional, Paul Hindemith, Simon Belsky and Folkwang piano competitions. She has been a featured pianist at national and international conferences and festivals, including the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities and Festival Internationale Incontri Musicali di Sorrento in Italy.