John Ness Beck was born on November 11, 1930 in Warren, Ohio. After graduating from Warren High School in 1948, he enrolled at The Ohio State University. In 1952 he graduated from Ohio State with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees with a major in English. After working for a year in Student Union activities at the State College of Washington, he spent two years in the U.S. Army. During this time, he became increasingly involved in arranging for various musical groups. After his discharge from military service, he returned to Ohio State and completed Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts degrees in music with composition as his major.
John was a faculty member of The Ohio State University School of Music for seven years, teaching harmony and theory. He left the university to become owner and manager of The University Music House, a retail sheet music store in Columbus. In this capacity, he was able to observe the business side of the music industry, gaining insight into the complexities of music publishing and merchandising. As his compositions found their way into print and popularity, he joined forces in 1972 with John Tatgenhorst in the creation of Beckenhorst Press. His reputation as a composer and his experience as a choral director soon led to an increasing demand for appearances as guest conductor and lecturer at various musical clinics and festivals throughout the country. John has left a wonderful legacy of music to be enjoyed by all.
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