Musical Director

Simon Bell

Simon took over as Musical Director and Conductor of Stroud Choral Society in March 2020. Since then he has conducted successful performances of Haydn The Creation, Handel Judas Maccabaeus, Messiah and Bach St John Passion.  Most recently, in summer 2023, he conducted a thrilling performance of Chilcott and L'Estrange contemporary music. Last summer he led members of the choir on a tour to the Netherlands, performing a programme celebrating Queen Elizbeth II's Platinum Jubilee.

Simon has been Director of Choral Music and Organist at Dean Close School, Cheltenham since 2012. He directs the choristers and lay clerks of Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum in the weekday services at the Abbey. Schola Cantorum broadcast regularly on BBC Radio 3 and in recent years have given concerts in France, The Netherlands and Sweden. Their 2020 album of anthems by Sir Edward Bairstow was nominated as the coveted Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine.

Prior to his current role, Simon held posts at Winchester Cathedral, Southwell Minster, Westminster Abbey and St Albans Cathedral. A graduate of Leeds University and the Royal College of Music, he studied the organ with Gordon Stewart, Margaret Phillips and Ben van Oosten. Simon was twice a prize winner at the St Albans International Organ Festival and is also a past prize winner in the FRCO diploma examination. He is a former holder of the WT Best Memorial Organ Scholarship, awarded by the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

Simon was also accompanist to the Waynflete Singers in Winchester and taught the organ at both Southampton University and Winchester College.

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