Simon Bell was appointed Assistant Organist of Southwell Minster in April 2003, having previously held posts at Westminster Abbey and St Albans Cathedral. During his time at Westminster he played at a number of important civic and state occasions, most notably the funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Simon was educated at Queen's College, Taunton and Leeds University where he graduated with first class honours. During his time at Leeds he was director of the University Chamber Choir, and held the University's Organ Scholarship. In addition, he holds a Master of Music degree in Advanced Performance from the Royal College of Music. In 1997 Simon won the coveted Limpus prize for the highest marks in the FRCO diploma examination, and was presented with a Silver Medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He is the third successive member of his family to hold this diploma.
At Southwell Minster, Simon is responsible for directing the Minster Girls' Choir and the Minster Chorale, the Minster's Voluntary Choir, in addition to playing for the many choral services. He also maintains a busy freelance career in the area, not least as musical director of Grantham Choral Society, and accompanist to Nottingham Harmonic Society.
As a solo recitalist, Simon has played in venues throughout the country, and has broadcast for radio and television. He was a prizewinner in the St Albans International Organ Competition Organ Competition in both 2001 and 2005. Engagements this year include recitals at Westminster Abbey, and the Cathedrals of Blackburn, Chester, Hereford and Bristol, as well as at Southwell. Recently, a second solo CD recording has been released by Amemptos records. Simon is a former holder of the prestigious W T Best memorial organ scholarship, awarded triennially by the Worshipful Company of Musicians, which enabled three years of study with the celebrated Dutch organist Ben van Oosten.