It’s a name that is synonymous with music in Southwest Washington. On Sept. 28, Clark College will re-dedicate its music building, naming it in honor of educator, musician and arts supporter Dale Beacock.
The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. on the east side of the music building, near the Royce E. Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden. A reception will follow. Clark College is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. Driving directions and parking maps are available at www.clark.edu/maps.
After graduating from Clark College in 1950, Dale Beacock earned a master’s degree in music performance and education from the University of Portland. He started teaching in 1956.
After six years at La Center, Beacock spent two years at Vancouver’s former Lewis Junior High and six years at Fort Vancouver High School. He then returned to Clark College, where he remained until 1982, serving in multiple roles including department chair, band director and musical director for many of Clark’s theatrical productions. He also served as musical director for community musical productions, earning nominations for excellence from the Clark County Theatre Alliance.
In 1970, Beacock brought high school musicians to Clark College for the first time for what is now known as the Clark College Jazz Festival. The competition, which had been established in 1962, had been held at local high schools on a rotating basis before Clark College became its permanent home. Since its inception, the festival has showcased thousands of high school musicians. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in January 2012.
With an extensive background in jazz, Beacock often served as adjudicator for musical competitions and, after his retirement, continued to give clinics at local schools. He also gave private music lessons. In 1998, he was honored as one of the first inductees into the Washington Music Educators Hall of Fame.
In 1976, Beacock and his wife Susan established the Beacock Music and Education Center, which his son Russ and daughter Gayle continue to operate. Beacock took part in countless community events, performing with the Southwest Washington Wind Symphony and serving as director of the New Horizons Band, which has performed at the Luekpe Center and other venues across the region. He died in Aug. 2011.
Clark College President Robert K. Knight said, “If you look through our college newsletters – especially those from the 1970s – you will see that Dale was everywhere. He was the director of our concert band, jazz band and brass sextet. Under his leadership, those groups performed and competed across our region and in other states. Dale could also be seen leading a pep band during pep rallies for our athletic teams.”
Knight added, “Dale Beacock had a lasting impact – not only at Clark College but across our region. That is the lens through which other buildings at our college have been named. They have included college and community leaders such as Dr. Paul Gaiser, Dr. Dwight Baird, Dr. Lewis Cannell, Deloyce Frost, Joan Stout, Chick Scarpelli, Skeet O’Connell and many others. We are proud to add Dale Beacock to that illustrious list.”