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For David Beauchesne, water and music go together.
Growing up in Powell River, British Columbia – a town of 20,000 or so only a 25-minute flight from Vancouver, yet inaccessible by car due to the rugged Pacific coast – Beauchesne said in his 40 Under Forty application that the most influential person in his life was his elementary and secondary school chorus teacher, Don James.
His accomplishment – “ helped transform an isolated mill town into a cultural capital of Canada” – clearly inspires Beauchesne in his work as the executive director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School.
After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the prestigious Eastman School of Music (itself on the shores of Lake Ontario in Rochester, N.Y.), Beauchesne took a land-locked detour to Atlanta to do coursework for his Ph.D in music teaching.
In 2006, he moved to Rhode Island to become director of education and community partnerships for the philharmonic, but was immediately thrown into the fundraising campaign for the institution’s new headquarters.
Thanks in large measure to Beauchesne’s efforts, the new rehearsal/teaching/office space opened in East Providence in September 2008, but the 38-year-old, who was named to his current post in 2008 as well, has not rested on his laurels.
There is the matter of $5 million more (out of a $12 million goal) to raise to fund the new facility and an endowment. In addition, Beauchesne has balanced the philharmonic’s budget while expanding programming and adding more resources for financial aid.
Perhaps the next David Beauchesne will spring from the program hard on the banks of Narragansett Bay. •