choral director jazz musician activist
In the act of music-making, we change.
We find ourselves. We tell our stories. We listen. We heal, laugh, cry.
We create. We connect with each other. We build bridges. We are empowered.
We ourselves become change-makers.
Hi. i am Charlie Beale. I am an award-winning choral director who loves groove as much as sound. I believe all music begins with the heart, with the beat, with the pulse, and of course with the voice.
I also think all choral singing should be so much fun that you can’t sit still. We can all sing, but I also know from long experience that all singers are flexible. With help, we can all sing using a pop sound, a musical theater sound, a classical sound.
Through singing, I believe we learn about ourselves and about each other. We learn to celebrate each other and connect as human beings. Singing builds understanding about our complex culture - about respect, about oppression, about sharing the many amazing things there are to celebrate in your culture and mine. It is about joy.
I lead and support orchestras, choirs, bands, I arrange and I love to train others to work the way I work. I have also led an arts organization with a budget of over $1m for 12 years.
My goal is to move people and bring them together through the music-making I lead. Music-making connects them and changes their hearts and minds. It makes change happen.
I also campaign passionately for LGBTQ equality, and advocate for the value of music in the world. Right now, we need the arts more than ever.
Hire me as a conductor or clinician, and buy or commission my arrangements here.
You can also read my blog, and subscribe to my mailing list.
From 2007 to 2019, I was the conductor of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, and Artistic Director of Big Apple Performing Arts, which also runs Youth Pride Chorus and queer pop a cappella group ‘Tonewall’.
I am Board Vice President of GALA Choruses. As Chair of their External Relations Committee, I have a specialist expertise in LGBTQ choruses worldwide. I also contribute to the work of their Education and Networking Committee. I see my work as moving increasingly into the international sphere, in developing mentoring and supporting emerging and established LGBTQ+ choruses.
I co-commissioned a major new work, ‘Quiet No More’, for the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising on June 28th 1969. It was performed by 25 choruses across the US, and I conducted a massed performance with nearly 600 singers in New York City on June 27th, 2019 at a sold-out Carnegie Hall.
I recently finished ‘Popular Voiceworks at Christmas’, a new book of Holiday arrangements, for Oxford University Press, which just came out in August 2019.
I am constantly arranging for choral ensembles in the US, UK, Australia and the Far East, gay and straight. Commissions in recent months include works for Charlotte Gay Men’s Chorus, Ana Crusis Women’s Choir, Philadelphia, and the London Gay Men’s Chorus.
I coach future conductors and managers of LGBTQ choral groups across the US, and around the world, most recently for Coro Gai Cuidad de México, in Mexico City.
I freelance for Sing Up in the UK, which is doing much-needed work facilitating singing in thousands of UK schools.
October 24th-26th, I will be leading workshops at the Out and Loud Festival, in Canberra Australia.