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Elaine Beecham

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FOR ALL INFORMATION AND BROCHURES FOR THE NW FESTIVAL IN BLACKPOOL31

O1253 778764

 01253  822046

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELAINE BEECHAM

HER DEVOTION TO THE ACCORDION, HAS PRODUCED NUMEROUS NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS, SERVICE TO THE NAO FOR OVER 50 YEARS, MEMBER OF THE NAO BOARD OF GOVERNORS

 
Married for 37 years, three children all of whom play the accordion and several other instruments and Elaine now has two grandchildren.

Started the piano at the age of five and the accordion at the age of seven with local teachers. During college years taught by the late Eddie Harris. Started teaching in the sixties entering a band in the Great Britain Championships in 1965. Married in 1968 and formed a music school with Ronald in Colchester and Birmingham.

Have entered bands and orchestras in every United Kingdom Championship ever since and winning a championship title on every occasion - the only musical Director to have achieved this.

Students are entered in examinations gaining many distinctions from Grade 1 to Diplomas. At Area and National Championships students have held a title in nearly every age group and graded section - playing stradella and Free Bass instruments.

Colchester Accordion Orchestra with Elaine as Musical Director and Conductor was given the honoured use of the Colchester borough crest in 1974 when the orchestra won a GOLD MEDAL in the WORLD BAND CHAMPIONSHIPS in Kerkrade, Holland and went on to win further awards at the Innsbruck Festival. The local Member of Parliament is a keen follower of the orchestra and promotes the accordion at every opportunity.

The orchestra went on to win the prestigious National Festival of Music of Youth title (the first accordion band to do so) at the Royal Festival Hall and subsequently performed in the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. The Junior orchestra and the Tiny Tots band achieving the same in the 1980's. This gained them many radio and television broadcasts all promoting the accordion.

Elaine taught as a music teacher at a local secondary school for eight years, introducing the accordion to the school and then having a twenty piece band that regularly performed at school concerts. She later taught accordion at a boys private school where a band was formed that later won the UK Championships in the 1990's. Elaine saw a drop in the accordion tuition and retrained and qualified as a nursery teacher, subsequently opening her own school in 1992 and an annexe in 2004. A flourishing Pre-school that has brought an upturn in the accordion as Elaine now teaches accordion to children as young as 3 years old and currently has a tiny tots band where there are 15 children all under the age of 9 years, thus giving a full teaching programme.

Colchester Accordion Showband was formed in 1988 with Elaine as M.D. The showband has been voted UK Accordion Entertainment Champions no less than 10 times and also showband of the year many times. The 22 accordionists with percussion, dancers and singers have toured the U.S.A. three times with performances in Disney World (Florida), Disneyland (Los Angeles), Colchester Conneticut, Colchester Vermont, Philadelphia (with Douglas Ward and Stanley Darrow) Washington, San Francisco and Las Vegas. The accordion band has also performed at Disney World Paris. Concerts have also been given in France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Italy (Castelfidardo)

The orchestra and showband have hosted and performed joint concerts with many bands from Europe and groups from the U.S.A. and New Zealand.

Elaine has organised the East Anglia Area Festival for over 30 years and the UK Championships eight times. Elaine has been a member of the N.A.O. Board of Governors since 1967 and a past Chairperson. She was awarded the National Merit Award in 2002 for devoted service to the Accordion. She has also been a delegate at many Summer and Winter C.I.A. meetings, organising one Winter Congress in Colchester.

Elaine has devoted her whole life to teaching and promoting the accordion most of which would not have been possible without the wonderful support of her family, the dedication and influence of her husband, professional accordionist the late Ronald Beecham.

Raymond Bodell, ATI International Correspondent

 

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