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Jay L. Beck is a pianist and composer. He taught music with young children at the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah, for 29 years. Waterford awarded him the Educator Prize in 2003 and in 2018 he was named the distinguished Nancy and Dustin Heuston Endowed Chair.
Mr. Beck studied piano performance with Paul Pollei and Richard Anderson, music composition with Robert Manookian and Merrill Bradshaw, and graduated with a Master of Music Degree in Piano Pedagogy from Brigham Young University in 1983. His research book “The Compositional Process of Charles Ives’s First Piano Sonata, First Movement” is a monumental study of the compositional process.
He worked with the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation for 15 years. He was president of the Utah Music Teachers Association for four years, directed the recital/lecture series of the Alpine Community Arts Council for 20 years, and served as president of the Utah Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
His compositional works include many pieces for solo piano, a piece for two pianos/eight hands, pieces for string and wind ensembles, a piece for symphonic band, songs for solo voice, arranged and original songs for children’s voices, two original concert dramas, songs for educational software, and music for eight theatrical productions–one that toured throughout Utah at over 130 schools and at Sundance Institute’s Summer Theatre, and another produced in New York City.
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