Recently appointed to the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Dr. Barbara Beechey has also taught full-time at the Lawrence University Academy of Music since 1999. With the belief that young students can successfully start on the viola instead of on the violin, she has developed a strong pre-college studio whose members have been accepted to schools such as Juilliard, Oberlin, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, among others. In the past, Dr. Beechey also designed and taught the upper string pedagogy course for the Lawrence Conservatory of Music.
Dr. Beechey is an active performer in Northeast Wisconsin, where she is Principal Viola of the Fox Valley Symphony, Assistant Principal of the former Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, Associate Principal of the Oshkosh Symphony, and most recently, Principal Viola of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. She has been a featured soloist with the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, and will be a featured soloist with the Manitowoc Symphony in the fall of 2016. Chamber music collaborations include those with other University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point faculty, Lawrence Academy Faculty, Lawrence Chamber Players, St. Norbert College Faculty, and Miami University Faculty. Barbara has coached and participated in master classes with members of the Juilliard Quartet, the American String Quartet, the DaVinci Quartet, the Peabody Trio, the Cleveland Quartet, and the Oxford String Quartet. Past chamber music and orchestral performances have included concerts in Luxembourg, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.
A full scholarship recipient as a member of Miami University Honor’s Quartet, Barbara Beechey earned her Bachelor’s degree in Viola Performance. In addition, she received her Masters in Viola Performance/Pedagogy as well as a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where Dr. Beechey was a four-year merit scholarship recipient. Barbara also holds a doctoral degree from the University of Madison-Wisconsin, where her dissertation "A Comprehensive Guide to Standard Viola Etudes: An Exploration of Technical Points with Historical Preface" led her to receive a grant to research etudes at The British Library in London and at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Her principal instructors include Sally Chisholm, Victoria Chiang, Roberto Diaz, Violaine Melancon (Violin), and Mary Harris.
Dr. Beechey is currently writing an etude resource manual for teachers as well as transcribing a technical book for the viola.