At the time of his retirement in 1993, Major Malcolm Bell was the Officer Commanding and conductor of the Australian Army Band (Melbourne) one of Australia’s finest symphonic wind ensembles. Prior to this he was responsible for all music training in the Australian Defence Force.
His career as a musician has seen him in demand as a performer, conductor, arranger/composer, adjudicator and educator throughout Australia.
Malcolm Bell began his music career as a drummer and bassist in rock and jazz bands. In this capacity he has performed with many top local and overseas performers including Normie Rowe, Doug Parkinson, Chelsea Brown, John Paul Young, Daryl Braithwaite and Marvin Holladay (Saxophonist with Count Basie).
He was called up for National Service in 1970 and served in the Australian Army Band Corps performing on tuba, bass guitar and percussion.
A highlight of his performing career was a solo performance on the stage of the Sydney Opera House.
During his 23 years with the Australian Army Band Corps he studied and later taught arranging and conducting. In 1985 he was posted to the Defence Force School of Music where he assumed the duties of Senior Instructor (Advanced Training) and later was responsible for the design and implementation of all promotion courses. For this work he was presented with a formal commendation from his commanding general.
In 1990 he undertook a year of advanced conducting tuition with Robert Rosen, former conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and the Australian Ballet. After his retirement Malcolm Bell joined Education Queensland as a multi instrumental instructor and conductor. He continues to be in demand as an adjudicator, guest conductor and performer, regularly holding conducting seminars and workshops.
Malcolm was QWAB's conductor (Musical Director) for over 10 years until mid-2004.