Laddie Pearson Bell, Jr.
Laddie Bell, talented conductor, singer and keyboardist, leads the Capitol Hill Chorale in the Capitol Hill Seventh-day Adventist church in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he directs the sanctuary choir at Seabrook SDA Church in Lanham, Maryland, and is minister of music and chancel choir director at the Northeastern Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.
Laddie Pearson Bell, Jr., was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His interest in music started at age five when, surrounded by a musical family, he first felt an overwhelming desire to play the piano. At age ten he began studying organ in Karlsruhe, Germany, when his father, an army officer, was stationed there. He would later continue organ study with C. Warren Becker while attending Andrews University. He has performed as a concert pianist and organist in several cities in the U.S.
Although his education and degrees, including a Ph.D., are all in business administration, he is well known in the D.C. area for his extensive involvement in music, skill as a pianist and organist, and the music he has composed for choirs under his direction.
Prior to coming to the Washington, D.C. area in 1991, Bell, his wife, Sheila, and their two daughters lived in Richmond, Virginia, for 21 years. He served as organist at the Ephesus Church, director of its Ephesonian Choir, and volunteer music teacher in its school.
Bell was a member of the Richmond Symphony Chorus, Chorus of Alumni and Friends of the University of Richmond (CAFUR), and sang as a bass-baritone with the Opera Alliance of Richmond. While living there he conducted two performances of the Messiah with an orchestra and 120-plus member choir at the Mosque Auditorium in that city. Throughout his life, he has conducted the Messiah and other similar works numerous times with differing groups in a variety of venues.
Bell's lifelong commitment was acknowledged in the spring of 2008, when he was awarded a Lifetime of Excellence in Music Award at the first Guild of Adventist Musicians Music Award Ceremony. Still active as performing musician, Bell also teaches piano and organ privately in the Washington, D.C. area. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and American Guild of Organists (AGO).
Sources: Columbia Union Visitor, 1 June 1991, 9; June 2008, 5; "Master Musicians," Laddie Bell, Debra Banks, Columbia Union Visitor, August 2009, 10; Northeastern Presbyterian Church website biography; Other Online Sources.