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Dr. Allen Beck Biography

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Allen E. Beck

Commander, United States Navy Band (Retired)

Commander Allen E. Beck was the seventh leader of the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC. A Defiance, Ohio native, he earned a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music where he performed under the batons of Dr. Frederick Fennell and Dr. Howard Hanson, and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He was a conducting student of Frederick Fennell, Robert Gerle, and Donald Thulean. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Catholic University in Washington, DC, and continued graduate studies at Catholic University and the University of Maryland. Commander Beck began his naval career as a clarinetist with the U. S. Navy Band. He has served as woodwind instructor at the Navy School of Music, leader of the Pacific Fleet Naval Air Forces Band, and with the Music Branch of the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

Following his appointment to Warrant Officer in 1966, Commander Beck directed the Navy band in Corpus Christi, Texas, and returned to the School of Music as Training Officer. After commissioning as Ensign, he served as the U. S. Navy Band’s Assistant Director, and as branch manager of the Bureau of Naval Personnel’s Music Branch with responsibility for the entire Navy Music Program’s management. He became Leader of the Naval Academy Band in 1979, and in 1983 was the first Navy Bandmaster to earn promotion to the rank of Commander through the Navy’s selection board process. He was selected Leader of the U. S. Navy Band in 1984.

He has marched in the Inaugural Parades of Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Bush, and performed for the Inaugural Balls of Presidents Reagan and Bush. He has performed for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and for the Heads of State of India, Israel, Pakistan, Japan, Turkey and the former Soviet Union. He brought music to 49 of the 50 states, in Canada, South America, the Philippine Islands, Guam, China and Italy, and at such sites as the Kennedy Center, Baltimore Maryland’s Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and at the Rose Bowl. He opened the National Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, and the opening ceremonies of the 1989 Inaugural festivities at the Lincoln Memorial, and has conducted for such celebrities as Shirley Jones, Wayne Rogers, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Bob Hope.

Commander Beck is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity. The Defiance College honored him with a Doctor of Music degree in 1988. Recent positions include Director of Bands at Defiance College, Associate Conductor Music Director of the Lima, Ohio ,Symphony Orchestra and clarinet instructor at Ohio Northern University. He is Past President of the Association of Concert Bands, and Executive Director of the Festivals at Sea Program for Straight A Tours and Travel. He resides in Melbourne, Florida and continues to serve as adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor throughout the United States.


Dr. Allen Beck

Effective Communications on the Job

Jul 18, 2011 by Dr. Allen Beck

Top tips for a tight run band

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