David Beeby began his musical career as a Chorister, then later as Assistant Organist at St James the Greater Church, Leicester. During his time in the Choir, he toured the USA twice, in 1980 and in 1984. He gained extensive experience as a singer in those formative years and began a career encompassing organ playing, choral singing, conducting and teaching. Also during this period, his choral experience was enhanced as a member of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, as well as other choral groups. He also developed skills as a piano accompanist, rehearsing and performing with local singers and instrumentalists.
He studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Sanger and Arthur Wills, graduating in 1988 with a prize for organ improvisation and a first in his final organ exam.
He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, and a prizewinning holder of the RCO’s Choir-Training Diploma.
St Peter’s Church Bournemouth
David was Organist and Master of the Choristers at St. Peter’s Church, Bournemouth from 1993 until July 2002. He took the Choir to sing annually at cathedrals and they were also involved in many concerts and recordings. These included BBCTV “Songs of Praise” and BBC Radio 4 “Morning Worship”. An experienced recitalist, David has given solo performances at many venues and has performed many times with orchestras, including several performances of the well-known Organ Concerto by Poulenc. In March 2005, he performed the Organ Symphony by Saint-Saens on the newly restored organ at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Poole Grammar School
David is Head of the Music Department at Poole Grammar School and combines this post with some teaching and playing in a freelance capacity. September 2011 saw the opening of expanded facilities for the Music Department within the new Ashley Thorne Building, with rooms for teaching, rehearsing, recording and performing; David had a substantial input in the design of these new spaces.
In a career at Poole Grammar School spanning nearly twenty years, David has led students in countless performances and workshops both at school and in the wider community. In recent years he has directed PGS musicians annually in performances at the Lighthouse Concert Hall, Poole, in addition to five highly successful Gala Concerts in the last ten years. He has taken musicians to perform at the Royal Albert Hall and in 2000, he directed memorable performances by the Poole Grammar School Big Band at the iconic Millennium Dome. In 2014 and 2015, he took the PGS Concert Band to perform in the National Festival of Music for Youth at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. More recently, in July 2018, Poole Grammar School Big Band performed in Birmingham Town Hall.
Another highlight came in November 2018 with the PGS Concert Orchestra taking part in a fantastic project, sponsored by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and SoundStorm and involving around 600 young musicians from the South Coast; “Symphony 125” took place in the Royal Albert Hall, London, at the Music for Youth Proms.
In addition to busy and rewarding regular teaching schedule, David has directed the music for three musical shows in recent years; in 2014 “Little Shop of Horrors”, 2016 “Our House” and most recently in October 2018 the well-loved classic show “Oliver!” All these shows involved students from Poole and Parkstone Grammar Schools and David has much enjoyed working with large numbers of talented students and with PGS Drama Department.
As a member of the Executive Committee of the Poole Schools Music Association, he shares in the responsibility of promoting music events and training amongst music teaching colleagues in Poole.
In 2009 he covered the interregnum at Christchurch Priory as Acting Director of Music. In recent years he has performed recitals on the organs of Portsmouth Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, Bournemouth, Christchurch Priory and SS Peter & Paul, Godalming, adding to his repertoire, whilst maintaining a full-time commitment at Poole Grammar School.
On Christmas Day 2014, David’s arrangement of “I saw three ships” was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 by Portsmouth Cathedral Choir. Copies of this are available from David – please send him a message, if you wish to order copies.
In May 2015, David performed the Poulenc Organ Concerto at Winchester Cathedral, in a concert with Bournemouth University Choir & Orchestra, conducted by Ian Davis.
In July 2017, David accompanied the Choir of Christchurch Priory on their Tour of Venice & Padua, playing the five-manual organ at St Anthony’s Basilica, Padua and the one manual organ at the beautiful Chiesa Sancta Maria di Miracoli in Venice.
His most recent compositions are a set of Preces & Responses, written for Simon Earl and the Choir of Christchurch Priory, and a new piece “Hodie, Christus Natus est” commissioned by the Choir of Derby Cathedral and first performed there on Christmas Eve 2017.
In October 2018, his arrangement of “I saw three ships” was recorded and released on a new Christmas CD by Portsmouth Cathedral Choir – “Verbum caro factum est”.
David is currently working on another possible commission for May 2020 – more news later!