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News Release

Jan. 29, 2019

Bell named outstanding music educator for Missouri

By Tara Garcia, communication assistant

John Bell

John Bell

John Bell, director of bands and orchestra and artist-in-residence at Northwest Missouri State University, was honored Jan. 23 at the 81st annual In-service Conference in Tan-Tar-A with the 2019 Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) Outstanding Educator Award.

The MMEA membership is comprised of more than 3,000 music educators at all levels in Missouri.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by the MMEA in this way,” Bell said. “There are many of my colleagues at Northwest I can think of who are just as deserving of this kind of recognition, as well as across the state. We all share tremendous knowledge with students on a daily basis. I’m the fortunate one to have been chosen.”

Dr. William Richardson, a professor of music and the assistant chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, nominated Bell for the award. He says Bell’s contributions to Northwest’s music program, the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and the entire University are immeasurable.

“He is an outstanding teacher, musician, mentor and colleague,” Richardson said. “I do not know anyone more deserving of the 2019 MMEA Outstanding Educator Award. John recruits music students from all majors across the Northwest campus and I am proud to call him a friend and colleague. This award is well-deserved and, in my opinion, long overdue.”

Bell says teaching at Northwest has been a great experience because of the students he interacts with in the music program.

“The students at Northwest are truly desirable of effective and informative direction,” he said. “I’m provided with the opportunity to share my knowledge and experiences with many who will one day become colleagues in the field of music education and it’s a responsibility I take very seriously.”

Bell also was recognized as a high-performing faculty member during Northwest’s annual Spring All-Employee Meeting on Jan. 9. He was recognized as a highly involved recruiter who creates significant professional opportunities for students in his ensembles to grow as musicians and future teachers.

Bell joined the Northwest faculty in 2013. In addition to conducting the Wind Symphony at Northwest, his duties include teaching instrumental conducting, string methods and methods in secondary school instrumental music. He also serves as a co-director of the Northwest Summer Music Camp.

Bell is a member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Legion of Honor. He also is a recipient of the Park Hill School District Teacher of the Year award, the University of Central Missouri Department of Music’s Distinguished Alumni Award and the Charles Emmons Outstanding Band Director Award from the Missouri chapter of Phi Beta Mu. In 2016, he was awarded the Collegiate Educator Award by the Missouri Chapter of the American String Association.

His professional memberships and affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, Missouri Music Educators Association, Nebraska Music Educators Association, College Band Directors National Association, College Orchestra Directors Association, Missouri Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu, Phi Delta Kappa, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi.

Bell completed his bachelor’s degree in music education at the University of Central Missouri and received his master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215