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Getting to Know Us: Dennis Beach

Dennis Beach

I am Dennis Beach. Some know me as "that guy that plays the violin and that other instrument" from the praise team. Along with being a member of the praise team, I am also on the Church board and occasionally help with computer technical needs.

I grew up in the Crawfordsville area, moving from town to a 48 acre woods "out in the boonies" southwest of Crawfordsville when I was around 8 years old. My parents raised my sister and I in a Christian environment and we attended the First Christian Church in Crawfordsville. While I did not stray far from being "a good person" and respecting God, I did not truly commit my life to Jesus until after I graduated from Purdue.In January of 1990, I had gone on a trip to Chicago to visit Greg Sabens, my best friend whom I have known since 3rd grade.On our way back to his apartment after a Wednesday night Church service, Greg lead me in the sinner's prayer and since then I have never been the same again. Jesus put a real joy in my heart and a desire to serve Him.

Dennis, Melanie, Evan and Josie

In 1996 I married my wife, Melanie. She is a speech therapist and maintains the Church web site. We have two Children - Josie is 11 and is learning to play piano. Evan is 9 and enjoys karate and is starting to be interested in playing violin.

My degree from Purdue is a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. I am currently a systems engineer at RR Donnelley where I support servers, wireless networks and other equipment. My hobbies include music, canoeing and kayaking, and computer gaming, as well as occasional personal programming projects.

Me making an eddy-turn on the Nantahala river in North Carolina

Many people have asked me how I learned the instruments that I play, so I will share a bit of my musical background. Growing up, my mother played accordian and my dad played trumpet. My grandma had played trumpet also when she was younger. I would frequently sit down at the piano and try to pick out melodies of simple songs (if my family had not been actively encouraging music, they would have probably thrown the piano out the door during this time). Eventually, I took beginner violin lessons when I was 7 years old, but dropped out after 6 months because I wanted to play by ear rather than follow the course and read music. In 5th grade, I started in band and played trombone. I marched in the Southmont marching band and went on to play trombone in the Purdue symphonic band. I also took a couple of basic music theory classes at Purdue. Later, after I had graduated, a friend asked me to help her figure out some guitar fingering charts. I then discovered that some of the basic chords weren't that difficult to play, so I grabbed some chord sheets from Church (I was attending Calvary Chapel at that time) and eventually found myself leading worship at some Bible studies. In the mean time, I had bought a keyboard that I could hook to my computer to tinker with composing music on. Not long after that I was asked to join the Calvary Chapel praise team, using the keyboard to add some chord fill-ins. After doing this long enough, I got to the point where I could sing while playing the keyboard and started leading worship the worship team on keyboard. My love for old-time and celtic music brought me to learn the mandolin, hammered dulcimer and penny whistles.