Richard Noel, originally from Portland, Oregon, is a retired Professor of Psychology from California State University, Bakersfield. He played in numerous accordion contests as a youth, culminating in a first-place solo trophy at the American Accordionists' Association contest in New York City at age 18. During his career as a professor, music took a back seat. Teaching, family and tennis occupied most of his time and energy during a 30-year teaching career. Tennis is still an important part of his life as he continues to compete in tournaments and club play. He played in a dance combo during his teaching career which was enough to maintain some of his skills and to further his musical knowledge.
After retiring, the Roland digital v-accordion provided the impetus to expand his career in creative ways. His YouTube channel at “Bakersfieldaccordion," devoted exclusively to digital accordions, has garnered over 7 million hits. He plays often to various audiences in L.A., Fresno, San Jose, Phoenix, and Dallas along with many Bakersfield area gigs. The digital accordion even led to an invitation to spend a month in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia where he performed at several events and met some wonderful accordionists.
His programming of the V-accordions has received world-wide use and acclaim. He frequently works one-to-one with owners to be sure they understand how the programming can be used to best effect. Some of his more creative efforts include "Thus Spake Zarathustra," “Malaguena,” "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," "Phantom of the Opera," "The Swan," "Harlem Nocturne," and "Pink Panther." All of his YouTube videos utilize his programming that allows him to instantly change styles as needed. Daily he corresponds with numerous accordionists in countries on every continent.
He has a website at www.noelaccordion.com where you can find numerous links to his music as well as information of interest to digital accordionists.
He enjoys taking every opportunity to promote the accordion to various audiences, and he experiments almost daily with new ways of using the accordion to express musical ideas. Most recently he has joined a Bakersfield Country/Rock group where he functions as the bass player, the violinist, banjo player, pianist, and accordionist. He emphasizes the use of the internal capabilities of the V-accordions to create whatever is needed for almost any song or style, and that will be a primary focus of his sessions at the November IDEAS Symposium.