Born in London in 1964, Charlie Beale is an international choral conductor, a jazz educator, and speaks and writes on the arts and LGBTQ+ issues.
2018-19 was his 12th and final season as conductor and Artistic Director of New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. Under his energized leadership, the chorus expanded to 300 singers, it has a renewed, more passionate sound, and has transformed its outreach to include SAGE Singalongs for LGBTQ elders, Youth Pride Chorus and an expanded Schools program. In June 2019, his tenure culminated in a massed sell-out Carnegie Hall performance of ‘Quiet No More, a joint commission celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, featuring nearly 600 LGBTQ+ singers from across the US.
NYCGMC achieved strong commercial success, and is recognized for its innovative and entertaining performances locally, across the US and internationally. Recently, NYCGMC performed to stadium-sized audiences with Demi Lovato and Sia, sang in the Emmy Award-winning movie of Larry Kramer's iconic 'The Normal Heart', toured Europe and raised around US$55,000 for Marriage Equality Ireland In one Dublin performance. In 2015/16, it also performed at Carnegie Hall with Alan Cumming, was the guest star of the New Philharmonic Orchestra at Lincoln Center, and sang at GALA Festival 2016 in Denver Colorado.
A campaigner for stylistic diversity within music education, Charlie is also one of the UK's leading jazz educators. From 1999-2007, he taught at the Royal College of Music in London, where he was Area leader for Aural Training, Professor of Jazz Piano and directed the Royal College of Music Big Band. Nominated for a UK Jazz Parliamentary Award for services to jazz education in 2005, he was on the Resource Team of the International Association for Jazz Education in the early 2000s. Author of critically acclaimed book 'Jazz Piano from Scratch' (Hal Leonard/ABRSM), he also penned the chapter on Jazz Education in the recent Oxford Companion to Jazz. Central to the invention of Grade exams for beginner jazz musicians, he toured within the UK and internationally, and has worked with thousands of musicians and educators on first steps to improvising, jazz rhythm skills, and the skills of teaching and learning music by ear. Having received his Ph.D in 2001 from the Institute of Education, London University, he is also a prolific writer and arranger in jazz and choral music, published by Oxford, Hal Leonard, Faber and ABRSM Publishing.
Vice President of the Board of Directors of GALA Choruses, Charlie is now a leading voice in the queer choral movement, mentors choral directors and, in these fragmented and turbulent times, is passionate about the potential for singing in the world. In 2019-20, his main focus will be the international choral scene. Charlie has worked extensively as a choral conductor and jazz educator, performing, speaking and giving clinics in South East Asia and Oceania. He gives regular choral clinics and workshops internationally, most recently working in Fall 2018 with Coro Gay Ciudad de México and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte. He worked with an all-Australia LGBTQ+ chorus of 200 in Summer 2013, and has been central to 'Big Gay Sing' events in Denver Colorado, Trafalgar Square in London and New York City since 2009.