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Posted on March 10, 2014 | 5:24 p.m.

David Gell of Santa Barbara

Source: Gerald Carpenter

We note with great sadness the passing of David Gell, beloved music minister and organist of Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara who died suddenly in his sleep on March 2.

David Gell
David Gell, devoted servant of God and music.

While the personal loss felt by David’s family, his parishioners and his broad tapestry of close friendships is exponentially greater, the loss to the community at large, particularly Santa Barbara’s thousands of music lovers, is considerable. He was a tireless servant — of God and Saint Cecilia.

David’s reputation as an organist was international, and his recitals were worth canceling other plans to hear. His institution of the Music at Trinity series was typical of his quiet genius. It needn’t be sacred music, just classical. Once you have people coming into the church to listen, their thoughts will naturally turn upwards. You don’t even have to nudge.

David was also one of the founders of the outstanding choral ensemble, the Oratorio-Chorale — now known as the Santa Barbara Master Chorale.

We will miss David Gell terribly, but missing can also be a motive for action. What better memorial for him than to carry on his musical evangelism as he would have wished.

There will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15 in Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State St., where he was organist for 30 years. Those who want to make some contribution to his memory should begin there.

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