Members of the 2004 class of the DCI Hall of Fame were announced back in April, were recognized during World Championships and will be formally inducted at a ceremony this coming January. We'll be profiling each new Hall of Fame inductee over the next few days.
Barry Bell became musical director of the Toronto Optimists in 1958 and went on to write the drill, design the uniform and the logo for that corps.^ "Throughout my drum corps career I strove to convince a great number of young people that extreme effort and dedication are required to achieve extreme rewards. It certainly resulted in many of them becoming overachievers in many different fields," said Bell. "They all, of course, learned to play instruments and appreciate music as well as experiencing the pleasure and excitement of performing before audiences. Many have since become professional musicians, instructors, arrangers and judges." Bell noted that his favorite drum corps memory is from the Optimists' inaugural year in 1958. "Having the corps, which was newly created, go on to win the Canadian national title in just one year was incredible," he said. Bell recently became an instructor again for the Toronto Optimists Alumni Corps, which began rehearsing in 2003. "A close second as my favorite drum corps moment was the wonderful feeling when the alumni corps had its first rehearsal. I was constantly reminded of all the reasons I was so fond of all those people from back then." Ray Roussel, who supported Bell's nomination, said, "For myself and many others, Barry was a teacher, an inspiration and a hero. He had the deft ability to inspire and draw from you more than you thought you had, to take you beyond what you thought your talents and abilities could achieve." Outside of drum corps, Bell has a wide variety of interests. He currently owns an art gallery and framing business, enjoys trips with his wife in their vintage Corvette and is learning brass instrument repair as a retirement vocation. Visit Barry Bell's page in the DCI Hall of Fame