Bits 'n' Pieces: Clark to rename building for Beacock

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

Published:

 
photoDale Beacock in December 2009.

(/The Columbian)

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Dale Beacock was associated with the Clark College music program in one way or another for more than 60 years. Now his name will be a permanent part of the campus.

On Friday, the college will rededicate its music building and name it in honor of the educator, musician and music supporter who died last summer.

If you go

• What: Clark music building renamed in honor of Dale Beacock.

• Where: Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way.

• When: 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28.

"He would be so thrilled and amazed," said Sue Beacock, his former wife. "He would not have seen it coming."

The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. on the east side of the music building, near the Royce E. Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden on the campus, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way.

Beacock left the Clark College faculty in 1982 to focus on the family business, Beacock Music, which now is owned by Russ Beacock and Gayle Beacock, the children of Sue and Dale.

But even after turning 80, Dale Beacock kept returning to Clark College as musical director of community musical productions.

"He never got away from Clark College," Sue said.

The music building goes back to 1958, so it's a place Beacock knew well as a teacher. Actually, it's a place the whole family knew well.

"We all were involved at Clark. We were there all the time. Our family life revolved around what (Dale) was doing," Sue Beacock said. "Russ would run the spotlight when he was 10."

Dale Beacock "was an icon at Clark College," said President Robert Knight. "I've seen clips and photos, and he did a little bit of everything at Clark.

"You can't talk about music in Southwest Washington without Dale Beacock's name being brought forward," Knight said.

Beacock's association with Clark started in 1948 when he was a student.

Beacock's instructional roles at Clark included 15 years as band director. He also was department chair and musical director for many of Clark's theatrical productions.

In 1970, Beacock brought high school musicians to campus for the first time for what is now known as the Clark College Jazz Festival. The competition, which had been established in 1962, had been held at local high schools on a rotating basis before Clark College became its permanent home.

A reception will follow the Friday ceremony.

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.