Doug Beach, director of jazz studies at Elmhurst College and of the College’s internationally acclaimed Jazz Band, was inducted on January 31 to the Elmhurst Civic Hall of Fame.
Beach became the 22nd inductee to the Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who have achieved “significant status within an individual profession,” and who have made important contributions to the City of Elmhurst’s civic community.
Professor Beach was inducted to the Civic Hall of Fame during the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s 95th Annual Awards and Talent Showcase, held at the Waterford Banquet & Conference
Center in Elmhurst.
Beach received a plaque describing him as “A Musician of Merit, a Composer of Note, an Educator of Distinction, a Leader Worldwide … and All That Jazz.” The award was presented by Ken Bartels, a senior vice president and director of the Community Bank of Elmhurst, as well as a former vice president at Elmhurst College who recalled when College leaders made the wise decision to hire Beach full time.
“I am humbled and honored to be chosen for this wonderful award,” Beach said, adding that he would do all he could to maintain the high level that the previous winners had established.
In addition to the presentation of awards, the event highlighted some of the performing arts organizations that call Elmhurst home, with performances by the School of Rock, the GreenMan Theatre Troupe and the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra. Members of the Elmhurst College Jazz Band, along with Beach on trumpet, concluded the night’s entertainment with a rendition of St. Thomas by Sonny Rollins.
An educator, composer, arranger, publisher and Grammy Award winner, Beach has taught at Elmhurst College since 1978. He is the recipient of some of Elmhurst College’s highest honors, including the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and the Dr. Andrew K. Prinz Faculty Merit Award.
Under his direction, the Jazz Band has performed in festivals around the world and has appeared regularly with jazz greats such as Clark Terry, Diane Schuur, Nicholas Payton, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Pete Christlieb, Lee Konitz, Louie Bellson and Bobby Shew.
Beach and the Jazz Band are making the final preparations for the 47th Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, to be held from February 20 through February 23. Headliners include The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra; Ryan Truesdell and the Gil Evans Project; and Andy Martin, Bobby Shew and Gary Smulyan with the Elmhurst College Jazz Band. More information is available at the Jazz Festival website.