D. Geoffrey Bell made his national debut as a composer in 1981 at the age of 25. His “Missa Brevis” was the centerpiece of a nationwide broadcast on CBC-FM’s “Celebration” program.
Over his 38-year teaching career he wrote a number of works for children’s choirs, many of which were published by reputable choral music publishers in Canada and the United States. Gradually, he began to explore a greater variety of choral ensembles; larger, more serious concert works; and music for instrumental ensembles, including intimate orchestral works. His music has been performed in concert in Canada, the United States and Australia, and of course, on YouTube.
In recent years, Geoffrey’s compositions have been premiered by the Vancouver Chamber Choir and London Pro Musica. Three world premier performances of new works are scheduled for the 2022-23 concert season: “The Cloths of Heaven” by Ensemble Resonance in Calgary; “The Commanded Heart” for the Unison Choruses Canada Festival in Halifax; and “Come With Me to the Sea” by Amabile Choirs in London, Ontario. “Harp Improvisation #1: Introspection” had its YouTube debut by American harpist Danielle Kuntz in December.
Throughout his career, Geoffrey has been an advocate for Canadian composers and their music. Choral Canada’s Anacrusis magazine and the American Choral Directors Association Choral Journal have published two articles: “Dialogue With Three Distinguished Canadian Choral Composers”, and “Dialogue With Five Contemporary Canadian Composers”. Other published and online articles include “How to Commission a New Piece of Choral Music” and “What Happens to My Royalties When I Die?” The ACDA blog published his article, “From India Ink to Digital Bits”, which explores the effect of the electronic revolution on music today, and challenges contemporary choral conductors to experiment with the fusion of electronic and choral music!
Geoffrey is now an Emeritus Member of the Canadian League of Composers.
Recent reviews by prominent Canadian musicians include:
“… A senior figure in the Canadian choral landscape.”
– Michael Zaugg, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Pro Coro Canada
“You are making such an impact on Canadian choral music. Congratulations!”
– Dr. Carol A. Beynon, Founding & Co-Artistic Director, Amabile Boys & Men’s Choirs
“I am so excited by the coolness of this project. I am taking part, too, and have invited some of my university students to join me. This is for everyone – and it is SO timely! This is just the right thing at just the right moment.”
– Dr. Darryl Edwards, University of Toronto Faculty of Music & Centre for
Opera Studies and Appreciation / Centre for Opera Studies Italy