Graydon F. Beeks

Lecturer in Music; Conductor of the Pomona College Band; Emeritus Professor of Music
With Pomona Since: 1983
  • Expertise


    A widely recognized specialist in the music of George Frideric Handel, Graydon Beeks has also published numerous articles on the music of Handel’s contemporaries, especially William Croft, Attilio Ariosti, and Johann Christoph Pepusch, and prepared editions of their works. His research has been supported by grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Houghton Library of Harvard University.

    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 Händel-Ausgabe (Halle Handel Edition), the Vorstand (management board) of the Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Gesellschaft, and the Board of Directors of The American Handel Society, which he also serves as president.

    Research Interests

    • Music of George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
    • English Sacred Music from 1660-1760
    • 18th-Century English Theatre Orchestras
    • American Music
    • Music of the English Renaissance

    Areas of Expertise


    • Music History
    • Conducting
    • Baroque Performance
  • Work



    "'Thy Hand, Dalinda': Characterization, Contrast and Maturity in Ariodante," Händel-Jahrbuch, Jg.65, 2020

    "John Langshaw as a Handel Copyist," Newsletter of The American Handel Society, xxxv/1, Spring 2020

    “Sir George Smart’s Performances of Messiah,Händel-Jahrbuch, Jg. 65,  2019

    Edition of George Frideric Handel’s “Cannons” Te Deum in B-flat Major, HWV 281, Hallische Händel Ausgabe, Ser. 3 Vol. 7, 2018

    “Performances of Handel’s Cannons Anthems and Te Deum in his Lifetime,” in D. Vickers, ed., New Perspectives on Handel’s Music: Essays in Honour of Donald Burrows, forthcoming

    “Handel’s Borrowings from his Italian Psalms in his Cannons Anthems,” in Händel-Jahrbuch, 2018

    “’These Delights if Thou Canst Give’: A Preliminary Survey of the Performance History of L’Allegro ed il Penseroso in England from Handel’s death to the end of the 18th century,” in Händel-Jahrbuch, 2017

    “’Sweet Bird’: The Story of Nellie Melba’s 1907 Recording,” in Händel-Jahrbuch, 2016

    Featured Performances

    Conducted the Pomona College Band in a concert of music by Carolyn Bremer, George Whitefield Chadwick, Oliver Dubon ’20, Gustav Holst, David Maslanka, Thea Musgrave, and Roger Nixon in Bridges Hall of Music, Pomona College, May 4 & 5, 2019.

    Conducted the Pomona College Band in a concert of music by Robert Russell Bennett, Leonard Bernstein, Robert Dickow, Miyoshi Feliciano, Percy Grainger, John Philip Sousa and Eric Whitacre in Bridges Hall of Music, Pomona College, November 16 & 18, 2018.

    Harpsichordist in performance of chamber music by George Frideric Handel with the Cornucopia Baroque Ensemble consisting of Aki Nishiguchi, baroque oboe and alto recorder; Alfred Cramer, baroque violin; Roger Lebow, baroque cello, and guest soprano Melissa Givens in Lyman Hall, Pomona College, November 9, 2018.

    Conducted the Pomona College Band with tuba soloist Stephen Klein in a concert of music by Samuel Scheidt, Michael Brand, Karl Kohn, Percy Grainger, Robert Russell Bennet and Richard N. Loucks, Jr. in Bridges Hall of Music, Pomona College, April 28 & 29, 2018

  • Education


    1981, Ph.D.
    University of California, Berkeley

    1971, Master of Arts
    University of California, Berkeley

    1969, Bachelor of Arts
    Pomona College

    Professional Experience

    After undertaking research in England and teaching at Vassar College and Kenyon College, Beeks returned to his alma mater, Pomona College, in 1983 to succeed his teacher William F. Russell as the conductor of the Pomona College Band. 

    Recent Courses Taught

    • History of Western Music
    • Lab, Music Theory I
    • Lab, Music Theory II
    • Musical Theatre in America
    • Opera
    • Pomona College Band
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    The American Handel Society, President, 1991-1993, 2003-present; Member of the Board of Directors, 1991-present

    Member of the Editorial Board of the Hallische Handel Ausgabe, 1993-present

    Member of the Vorstand of the Georg-Friedrich-Handel Gesellschaft, 1999-present

    American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-Aid; National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship; National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend

    W. Jackson Bate/Douglas W. Bryant, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Fellowship 2011-12