Matt Becker, Conductor
Introducing Matt Becker, Conductor
We are pleased to welcome Matt Becker, as the next conductor of the Marine Band of Allentown. Matt succeeds Tom Heinick, who served as conductor from May 1, 2006, until September 19, 2021. Matt’s father, Raymond S. Becker, Jr., conducted the band from January 1962, for 44 years.
Matt Becker began his professional career at the age of 10, playing and performing solos with the Allentown Marine Band, Inc. under the direction of his father, Raymond S. Becker Jr. Growing up, Matt was a student of James “Jimmy” Betz. Jimmy was well known in the Lehigh Valley area as a percussionist, pianist, arranger, and music educator. Matt graduated from Northampton High School in 1976. During his junior and senior high school years, Matt performed in district, regional, state, and Mid-Atlantic band, orchestra, and choral festivals. He would also travel to New York City to take private lessons with Morris Lang (NY Philharmonic, retired). Subsequent to graduation from high school, Matt attended Brooklyn College and continued his studies with Morris Lang, who was also the professor of percussion at Brooklyn College.
All throughout Matt’s high school and college years, he was an active performer in Lehigh Valley musical groups, including the Allentown Marine Band and the Allentown Symphony, and he could be heard performing at local musical theater venues.
In 1978, Matt auditioned for, and was accepted as a member of the “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. In 1983, Matt was named “Principal Percussionist” and served as the Band’s Principal timpanist, Section Leader, and Section Commander. During his 20 year tenure with “The President’s Own”, Matt performed at over 700 White House functions. In addition, Matt was also a marimba/xylophone soloist with “The President’s Own” on over 300 occasions. He was a frequent soloist on National and International Tours with “The President’s Own”. Matt provided musical services under the Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations and had the pleasure of performing with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Marvin Hamlisch, Mary Martin, Lionel Hampton, and many other musical celebrities during his time with the US Marine Band.
Since retiring from “The President’s Own”, Matt has performed with several regional symphony orchestras, which include the National Philharmonic, Delaware Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Ocean City Pops Orchestra and the Lancaster Symphony. He was also employed as a jazz staff musician for the Ritz Carlton Hotels in Washington, DC. Matt is the drum set artist on several recordings released by Dale Jarrett and Christopher Linman.
In addition to his musical activities, Matt recently retired after working over 23 years with HNTB Corporation. While with HNTB, he held several different positions, including Research Assistant, Project Analyst, District Business Manager, and Division Business Manager.
Matt and his wife Brenda (also a percussionist) currently reside in Hatfield, PA.