I first met Mr. Bill Bell when I was 12 years old, at my audition for the Young Musician’s Program at UC Berkeley. I played Solfegietto in C minor by CPE Bach. I had only started piano lessons the year before, but felt confident that I’d done a good job in my audition. Mr. Bell was kind, but stern, encouraging me to try again the following year. Alas, I didn’t get in that year. I kept practicing, and the following year I was accepted into the program.
This was only the first of many lessons in tenacity that Mr. Bell taught me; I learned to believe I could turn “no” into “yes”.
Over the course of my musical life, Mr. Bell was ever present as a mentor, advisor, friend and teacher. He always praised my work and encouraged my musical journey, but always left me with words of wisdom about what I could do better, how I could be stronger, more musical, more thoughtful, become a greater musician. “Yes, that’s beautiful, but what if you…”
Thank you Mr. Bell for always holding me to the highest of standards, never tolerating complacency and for showing me how to be an effective teacher, performer and determined, focused, creative musician.
I’m grateful that I was able to attend the beautiful Home Going service, filled with other people whose lives were touched by Mr. Bell, including many of my fellow Young Musician’s Program Alumni. The service was filled with music, all curated by Mr. Bell himself (of course!). Not a dry eye in the house…
My deepest condolences to the Bell family. Thank you for sharing him with all of us. We will all miss him.