Joseph Beahm '12
"EXPLORE YOUR INTERESTS; LEARN WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY AND WHAT DOESN'T."
Joseph Beahm, a 2012 graduate of The Hartt School, writes to us from PyeongChang, South Korea where he is currently working on the 2018 Winter Olympics. A classically trained violinist with a degree in performing arts management and entertainment technology, Beahm is a broadcast and live systems engineer and production manager who approaches work with his own unique eye. In just six short years after graduation, he has gained a wealth of experience in his industry, having worked on the Summer Olympics in Rio and on tours with musicians Alessia Cara and Weird Al Yankovic.
Name the three best things about the University of Hartford:
1. The diversity of courses offered and flexibility to really sculpt your own path.
2. The centralized location to both New York City and Boston, and the networking connections that come with that location.
3. The professors get to know the students and I'm glad to be able to call quite a few of them my friends today.
What's the one class you would recommend everyone take as a must-do, life-changing course?
That is a difficult question for me because there isn't just one class I would recommend. What was great for me was the multitude of options offered not only in The Hartt School, but also within other schools in the University. I was able to take art, economics, and finance, and even science and lab courses. Explore your interests; learn what makes you happy and what doesn't. Go outside of your comfort zone and take a class that you might not have any interest in at the moment, and who knows, you might come out with a new hobby or appreciation for something. I know I did. If there is one thing I would recommend though, it is to make your career only one part of your life. There are so many wonderful experiences you miss if you don't take risks and be open to possibilities.
Did you have a mentor who helped shape your UHart experience?
I distinctly remember walking into the first session of Intro to Music and Arts Management class at The Hartt School. The professor at the time, Irene Conley, gave us one bit of advice that has stayed with me. She said, “Networking will be the key to your success in this field.” Professor Conley was also the chair of the department at the time and was my faculty advisor. She was aware of my many interests: violin performance, music management and music technology. Together, with some clever scheduling, we had figured out a way to incorporate all of those interests into my degree with a combination of independent studies and summer and winter term courses with the music technology programs. While talking to the current department chair, Professor Gabe Herman, I found out that these two programs (music management and music technology) are merging into one major. I was ecstatic to hear about this change. This is a field where you need to be incredibly diverse and keeping up on new technology before it is even released.
Was there a defining moment at UHart that led you on the path to where you are today?
As musicians, we're taught to collaborate with others, whether in a quartet, orchestra or in the classroom. Hartt's philosophy of fostering and maintaining relationships is something I take to heart. I met my good friend Andrew at Hartt. We would constantly work together on projects and were in quite a few classes together. We would bounce around ideas about the kinds of businesses we might be interested in starting. One spring, Andrew approached me about a job offer as production manager at the chamber music festival he was working with in the San Francisco Bay Area, Music@Menlo. I was excited about the potential to work on the other side of the country, that was connected to Hartt in quite a few different ways. After a few summers at Music@Menlo, my interest in production grew exponentially and I began taking any opportunity I could that put me in the center of the action. Andrew is currently executive director and co-founder of Emerald City Music in Seattle, living with his wife Eryn (also Hartt Alumni) and daughter Hazel.
What is the greatest lesson you learned at UHart?
Community building in both a professional environment and personal environment are integral in my profession. The University provided me with many ways to connect with local businesses and gave me the ability to take independent study courses where I could gain real world experiences in the music industry.
Many alumni choose to stay engaged with UHart after they graduate. Can you tell us what inspires you to give back and stay connected?
Knowing that there is a community you can come back to, share ideas and collaborate with is incredible. Far too often I see ideas being overlooked because someone young formulates them. But at The Hartt School, we were constantly encouraged to collaborate and share ideas. It has been great coming back and still being a part of that community where new ideas are continually being fostered.
What advice would you give to current students?
1. Don't be afraid to dive into something. The more you can make yourself available at this stage, the more people will notice your drive to enter the workforce.
2. Your name and attitude are things people remember.
3. Keep positive; give suggestions rather than present problems.
4. Be professional, but don't lose sight of who you are and what makes you happy.
Tell us more about yourself:
Since graduating from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, I’ve fully immersed myself in the music and broadcast industries. Starting with designing lighting and audio systems for regional theaters around Connecticut and New York, to an internship with PRG (Production Resource Group) in Secaucus NJ, I’ve been taking advantage of any opportunity coming my way, simply because I love the work I’m doing. A few years ago I got a call to be the lighting director for Weird Al Yankovic on his world tour and knew I had to take it. From there, more opportunities arose to work with Alessia Cara, Chris Brown, Frank Ocean, and Tom Petty. On the broadcast side, being in the right place at the right time and having the knowledge of digital signal flow has allowed me to take audio engineering at a local level, to working with NBC as a broadcast communications engineer in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics Games and currently in PyeongChang South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Beahm with his sister Rosemarie (left) and Alessia Cara (center)
Beahm with girlfriend Elisa at the Panorama Festival in NYC
Beahm at work in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics
Beahm in Rio