Composer, Pianist, Organist, and Teacher

Composer/musician Sean Beachy wins Massachusetts anthem competition

Article 19.04.2011 18:53

April 1, 2011 For the Cumberland Times-News

GRANTSVILLE — Sean Elliot Beachy of Grantsville won the fifth annual an-them competition of the First Baptist Church of Worcester, Mass.

The winning anthem, titled “A New Birth” and based on the assigned competition text from I Peter 1:3-6, garnered the $1,300 prize.

Beachy, who holds a doctor of musical arts degree, was raised in Grantsville. He attended Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, W.Va., where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in applied piano. In May 2002, he earned a master of music degree in composition from Shenandoah University, studying with William Averitt, who also holds a doctorate. Beachy recently graduated from West Virginia University with a doctorate in composition. While at WVU, he studied composition with John Beall and electronic music composition with David Taddie, both of whom hold doctorates.

Between 2007 and 2009, Beachy taught freshman written and aural theory at WVU as a graduate assistant. He also received one of 15 university-wide dissertation fellowships for the 2010 spring semester while completing his dissertation at WVU.

 Beachy has had pieces premiered and performed throughout the United Sates. In 2007 his commissioned work “Suite for Tuba” was premiered by Logan Lindsey at the Hawkeye Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference at the University of Iowa. That same year, he won the first anthem competition sponsored by First Baptist Church of Worcester. “Then I Saw a New Heaven …”  for soprano, alto, tenor, bass choir and organ was premiered by the FBC Worcester Chancel Choir during the Annual Music and Arts Weekend in April, 2007. In 2009 his piece for soprano and electronics titled “Stretch of Time” was chosen to be performed at the SEAMUS Annual Conference at Sweetwater Sound, Inc., in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Beachy is currently a freelance composer and accompanist. He is the church organist at Frostburg United Methodist Church. He is also the accompanist for various local high school choral programs and instructors at Frostburg State University and WVU In addition, he is a staff accompanist at FSU. Beachy resides in Grantsville with his wife Debi, 7-year-old son Evan, and 1-year-old daughter Ella.

Judges for this 2011 Competition were Michael Bedford, organist/choirmaster at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Tulsa, Okla.; Eleanor Daley, director of music at Fairlawn Avenue United Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Howard Helvey, compo-ser/choirmaster at Calvary Episcopal Church, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Beachy’s anthem will be premiered by the Chancel Choir under the direction of William Ness, minister of music and arts, at First Baptist Church on May 1 in the 10 a.m. worship service as part of the Music & Arts Weekend.



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