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Robert Owen Beckley was born on November 8, 1939, and passed away on October 21, 2022.
As President of the Indiana Music Educators Association, Robert O. Beckley had the unique opportunity to promote music education statewide. During a six-year tenure, he served as President-Elect, President, and Past President for two years each. In that time of increasing membership, the influence of the organization grew, as well. He also chaired a committee that reviewed and revised the fine arts curriculum and proficiency standards for the Indiana Department of Education.
He served as the Registrar for the National High School Honors Orchestra from 1980-90. This group made up of the finest high school orchestral musicians from throughout the country, performed every two years at the Music Educators National Conference locations in Indianapolis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Washington D.C. (Kennedy Center), and Kansas City.
He taught in three school districts during his career: Cambridge City, Indiana; Indianapolis T.C. Howe High School and east side elementary schools; and Warren Township, where he taught strings and orchestra at Warren Central High School and in elementary and junior high schools.
The success of the Warren Central Orchestra was recognized nationally through acclaimed performances at national conventions, including the Mid-West National Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and the Mid-East Band and Orchestra Clinic in Pittsburgh. Also of special note was a rare opportunity: a performance for employees and staff in the central mall at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
All Warren Orchestra members were able to travel extensively due to innovative fundraising activities. The most significant of these were the Warren Central Symphony Orchestra Great Twenty-Four-Hour Marathon Rehearsals, which made it possible for all members to earn their opportunity to participate in travel opportunities. Once, then Governor Evan Bayh conducted the Warren Orchestra on the CBS This Morning national television program.
All Performing Arts staff members at the time had the opportunity to plan and develop the new Warren Central Performing Arts Facility, which is still recognized today as one the finest in the nation.
Robert’s bands and orchestras from Cambridge City through Warren Central received first-division ratings in every contest in which they participated. Even in his last year of teaching, the orchestra at Warren Central received a first-division rating and was also ranked third out of all orchestras statewide.
He and his wife, Janine, had the opportunity to travel throughout the southern and western United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Their very special place was Hawaii, especially the Big Island, which they visited repeatedly.
Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Janine.
Robert is survived by his children Kristen Olson and Ryan (Kristy) Beckley; grandchildren, Allison, Brandon, Abigail, Jacob, Gretchen, Sarah, Maya, and Owen; great-grandchild, Arabella; and sibling, Barbara (Richard) Reynolds.
O'Riley - Branson Funeral Service & Crematory is entrusted with cremation arrangements. At Robert's request, no public funeral services will take place. Please visit www.ORileyBranson.com to sign the online guest registry or to share a favorite memory of Robert.
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