United Percussion and Arts, Inc. is thrilled to announce that Colin Bell will be a part of our 2020 Staff as Front Ensemble Caption Head and Arranger for United Percussion 2.
Colin Bell is an arranger, composer, music educator and percussionist. As a native of New Jersey, he continues to reside there today, and work in various musical disciplines.
As a marching percussion arranger and teacher, Colin is best known for his work at Old Bridge High School, where he arranged/taught front ensemble music for the marching band and indoor percussion programs from 2009 - 2018. During this time, Old Bridge established itself as a NJ percussion dynasty with numerous state and national percussion championships in their local marching band circuit. As the indoor percussion program evolved, Old Bridge cemented itself as a WGI PSO mainstay, earning a bronze medal in 2012, and a silver medal in 2018. Colin continues to arrange for several New Jersey and Pennsylvania band and indoor programs, and has also arranged for several drum corps, including the Jersey Surf, Raiders, Fusion Core, and Bushwhackers.
Colin has recently joined the Tapspace publications team as a composer. His marimba duet “Friends” was written for a single marimba, allowing anyone with a single 4.3 marimba in their band room to make music together. Shortly after, his vibraphone solo “Lament for Shirley” was published.Aside from marching arranging, Colin has several unique music projects. In 2015, he was the arranger and music director for the Janina Gavankar music video of “Don’t Look Down”, featuring the Jersey Surf. Featuring a cover of the song that was just released prior to the video by Martin Garrix and Usher, Colin collaborated with Janina on the score and video. In a span of 4 weeks, the project went from notes on a page, to 3 separate studio recording sessions and a music video shoot. Colin currently composes and arranges Celtic music through two unique mediums. As a project manager for social media marketing at the Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming, he composes soundtracks for video advertisements that combines traditional Celtic music with band and orchestral instrumentation. Colin also serves as the director of Balmoral’s Celtic Instrumental Music program, where he arranges traditional Celtic music for modern band, orchestral, percussion and rhythm section instruments. The program is a first of it’s kind in putting Celtic traditional music in wind and orchestral ensembles, in combination with the traditional instruments of bagpipes, small pipes, fiddle, and recorder.
Colin is currently an elementary band, orchestra and percussion director in the Old Bridge School district. He played an integral role in the unprecedented growth of Old Bridge’s elementary instrumental music department, which now boasts over 600 participating students. He is also the author of their unique elementary percussion curriculum, which continues to raise the standard for classroom percussion education. Colin also arranges unique band and orchestral music for these programs, which enables 4th grade students to perform along high school seniors in large combined ensembles. He is also the creator of the Old Bridge District Drum Solo: an annual percussion performance featuring all percussion students (100+ students), grades 4-12, playing an annual drum solo that he writes.
His career dedication to elementary instrumental music has led to international collaboration, and the creation of the Old Bridge Elementary Drumline. As a guest educator and arranger of Motif Music in Shanghai, Colin recently enjoyed traveling to China to present an in-depth look at his elementary percussion curriculum at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. The trip also included touring many schools, working hands on with the Shanghai No.3 Girls School drumline, and judging a DrumLine Battle competition. He is also the co-director of the Old Bridge Elementary Drumline, which is an audition-based program available to all 5th grade percussion students. The drumline has a unique non-competitive philosophy, with a dedication to unique performance opportunities. In their first year, they teamed up with Pearl and Vic Firth artist Amanda Muse to make a music video together. In their second year, they will travel to DCI World Championships and participate in the DrumLine Battle event.
Colin is a percussionist, who currently plays in numerous pit orchestras across many NJ theaters, as well as the entertainment company Elegant Music Group. He was a recording and touring member of reggae band Echo Movement, which released 3 full length albums, and went on numerous North American tours, including 3 Vans Warped Tours.
Colin has his BA in Music Education from Kean University. He grew up in Old Bridge, NJ, where he played snare drum with his father in Scottish pipe bands, as well as the Old Bridge High School drumline. He was a member of the Boston Crusaders from 2001-2003, where we was a snare drummer during their competitive surge of the early 2000’s.
2020 Auditions are getting closer! Don’t forget! Our audition fee discount ends THIS FRIDAY. Get the packet and get the discount here. Stay tuned for more announcements coming soon!