Doug Beach is a performer, publisher, educator and an award- winning composer/arranger.
At Elmhurst University, where he taught from 1978 - 2021, he served as director of the acclaimed Elmhurst University Jazz Band and as director of jazz studies. Under his direction, the Jazz Band made over 30 European tours (twice at the invitation of the U.S. State Department) and performed in jazz festivals across the world. The band regularly appeared with jazz greats such as Doc Severinsen, Gary Smulyan, Dennis Mackrel, Nicholas Payton, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Patti Austin, Lee Konitz, Jeff Hamilton, Randy Brecker, Mike Stern and Bobby Shew. The band and its members were frequent award winners in Downbeat Magazine’s Student Music Awards. In 2014 the Elmhurst University Jazz Band was named by Downbeat as the winner in the large jazz ensemble category for undergraduate institutions.
Beach is equally well known for his work as a publisher and composer. His company, Doug Beach Music, is one of the world’s leading publishers of educational jazz music, and each year since 1995 he has been the recipient of a Plus Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). In 1996, the Count Basie Orchestra and New York Voices recorded his arrangement of “Cottontail” on a CD that went on to win the Grammy Award for best large jazz ensemble. Other awards include a 2003 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from Elmhurst College (the College’s highest teaching award), the 2012 Faculty Merit Award and a 2015 Jazz Education Achievement Award from Downbeat Magazine.
Beach is also a highly sought-after clinician and adjudicator. He has served as a conductor, guest artist, or judge throughout the United States and in Canada, Australia, and Europe. He has conducted 20 All-State jazz ensembles and twice has served as an artist-in-residence for the Illinois Arts Council.