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Vocal Gala’ to Honor Late Musician Digby Bell

February 26, 2009

This year's recital will feature many members of the OBU music faculty, including Dr. Carol Ann Bell, Dr. David DeSeguirant, Dr. Paul Hammond, Dr. Lee Hinson, Rhetta Hudson, Dr. Louima Lilite, Dephanie Lilite, Dr. Jennifer McQuade, Dr. Mark McQuade, Dr. Keith Whitmore, Dr. Ron Lewis and Dr. David Carter.

Dr. Digby Bell is the late husband of Carol Ann Bell, associate 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 undergraduate and masters 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.

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.

"[Music] was his pastime, his avocation, and his career all wrapped up into one," Carol Ann Bell said. "When he wasn't practicing piano, he was reading about music and studying."

This year's recital marks the fifth anniversary of Digby Bell's death on March 5, 2004, a fitting honor to his life's work in music.

"It's a wonderful tribute to him," Carol Ann Bell said. "Of course it always brings up lots of memories when we do this recital and helps me to recall lots of programs in which he played."