J. Y. Bell

      J. Y. Bell was a graduate of North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University) and the University of Michigan. He came to High Point from Selma, North Carolina in 1956 to assume the job of band director at William Penn. He led both the marching and symphonic bands at William Penn, as well as the bands at Griffin Junior High, Leonard Street Elementary School, and Parkview Elementary School. This long-term engagement with students enabled Mr. Bell to begin cultivating his musicians as early as fifth grade, and many alumni remember him trying them on different instruments until he found the one that fit them best. The extensive training that he provided enabled his bands to excel not only musically but also with their dance moves. After the closure of William Penn, Mr. Bell continued as the band director at Andrews High School. In memory of his work and legacy, the band room at that school is named after him.

Mr. Bell in1962

Mr. Bell in 1968