Dr. Vicki Bell, Professor of Music Theory, joined the faculty of the Music Department at Asbury University in the fall of 1993. Dr. Bell serves as coordinator of music theory, and teaches freshman and sophomore music theory classes, sight singing / aural training, and upper-level counterpoint. In addition to her theory responsibilities, Dr. Bell directs the Asbury University Chorale, which is the primary SATB choral ensemble, open to all students by audition.
Dr. Bell is a native Kentuckian, and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Doctor of Philosophy in Music in 1998. During her Ph.D. coursework, she was awarded the Brumfield Choral Conducting Scholarship, and studied choral conducting with Dr. Roger Wesby. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on the notational style of 19th century American Shaker songs.
Dr. Bell’s current research interests center on the use of dissonance in 16th century sacred choral music. In the fall of 2005, sabbatical studies took her Rome, where she was granted admission to the Vatican Library. She received special permission to view the manuscript scores of the Pope Marcellus Mass, written in the mid 16th century by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Dr. Bell’s research interests extend to the performance realm as well; in the summer of 2007, Dr. Bell attended the Tallis Scholars Summer School led by Peter Phillips, conductor of the Tallis Scholars, and an eminent figure in the performance of Renaissance choral music. The school was devoted to the study and performance of the music of the Sistine Chapel.
Dr. Bell has led Asbury students and alumni in two international performance tours, and a choral residency at Gloucester Cathedral in England. Highlights of the tours include performances in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Christ Church, Oxford, and Bath Abbey in England.
In 2004, Dr. Bell also assisted in the creation of a Pipe Organ Performance Series at Asbury University, established to make organ performances more accessible to the university and community, and to provide local organists with additional performance venues. She is now the coordinator for "P.O.P.S." (Pipe Organ Performance Series).
Dr. Bell sings with the Lexington Chamber Chorale, a professional ensemble in the Lexington area, and is the music director for ECCO, a chamber choir comprised largely of Asbury alumni. She holds memberships in the Society for Music Theory, the American Choral Directors Association, the College Music Society, and the American Guild of Organists.