Graydon Beeks is Director of Music Programming & Facilities and Professor of Music. He received his B.A. from Pomona College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Music History and Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, where his principal teachers were Philip Brett, Edgar Sparks and Vincent Duckles. After undertaking research in England and teaching at Vassar College and Kenyon College, he returned to Pomona in 1983 to succeed his teacher William F. Russell as the conductor of the Pomona College Band. Beeks has taught courses in “The Development of Western Music to Beethoven,” “Advanced Topics in Music History,” and “Musical Theater in America.” He also supervises the scheduling and operation of the concert halls, edits the departmental newsletter, and serves as departmental librarian.
A specialist in the music of George Frideric Handel, Beeks has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Huntington Library and the Houghton Library at Harvard University to support his research. He has published numerous articles on the music of Handel and his contemporaries, especially William Croft, Attilio Ariosti, and Johann Christoph Pepusch, and prepared editions of their works. He regularly presents papers at conferences in the United States and Europe and has contributed articles to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the New Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Beeks is a member of the Editorial Board of the Hallische-Hande-Ausgabe, the Vorstand of Georg Friedrich Handel Gesellschaft, and the Board of Directors of The American Handel Society, which he also serves as President.
Beeks was active for many years as a singer, appearing as soloist at venues in the United States and Europe and singing in choruses under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Colin Davis, Seiji Ozawa, Helmuth Rilling, Richard Bradshaw, Michael Deane Lamkin and William Hall. He also has extensive experience as a church organist and choirmaster, and in recent years has played harpsichord as well, joining several of his colleagues at Pomona to form the Cornucopia Baroque Ensemble which specializes in unusual 17th- and 18th-century chamber music.