Fulbright Scholar, composer, educator, and percussionist Gregory Beyer is a contemporary music specialist who blends the disciplines of orchestral, jazz, and world music into a singular artistic voice.
He is the Artistic Director of Arcomusical, an organization dedicated to the Afro-Brazilian berimbau. Arcomusical has released two albums, MeiaMeia, (2016, Innova Recordings) and Spinning in the Wheel (2019, National Sawdust Tracks). Representing Arcomusical, Beyer has appeared on WNYC, WBEZ, and NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. Arcomusical received a 2016 Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant to create the twenty-minute, four-movement “Roda” with composer Elliot Cole, which the ensemble has performed dozens of times. In 2019 Arcomusical premiered “Roda Grande,” an orchestral concerto version of the same work, with the Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra. Arcomusical Brasil, a sister ensemble based in Belo Horizonte, released its debut album, Semente, in 2021.
Professor Beyer is the Director of Percussion Studies at Northern Illinois University, and is a member of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition’s Grossman Ensemble and Chicago’s premiere new music group, Ensemble Dal Niente.
My students are not just musicians in training. They are magicians in training. Music, articulately and elegantly performed, has the power to touch and transform the soul of an individual, and the collective spirit of a community.
Excellent performance is the result of a slow and deliberate practice in which musicians invest countless hours of their lives. In excellent performance the artist glows white hot, illuminating the highest peaks of human achievement.
The act of composition is to gather one's most inspired musical moments and, with great care and quiet calm, to bring into the world a new branch on the tree of art previously unknown to the world.