Galen Beck

Galen Beck was born on February 19th, 1958, in Crete, Nebraska. His parents were Bob and Marcy Beck. Galen is married to Gwen Anderson-Beck and they have two daughters: Maureen Beck-Halama, and Anna Beck.
Galen attended Wilber-Clatonia grade and high school graduating in 1976.
When Galen was in the 5th grade, he got his first instrument: A trumpet. His parents encouraged him to play any instrument he would like, on the terms that he had to stick with it. He was really glad for that because it inspired him to play many instruments.
The band director at school was Duane Jorgensen, and when friend Kelly Homolka and he would come to band class after playing polka music all all weekend and show up with different musical instruments. Instead of telling him to get back to the trumpet section, Duane would say “Show me what you got!” Galen really enjoyed the stage band best because he liked to improvise when he played.
Duane Jorgenson and his friends made every part of the band enjoyable. Some of his favorite memories come from stage band and concert band festivals.
In junior high and high school, Galen and his friends enjoyed playing polka music in small towns around home. Galen and his dad actually had a standing Sunday night gig in Hallam, Nebraska for three years.
Galen’s first time playing with a well-known polka band was with Bob Blecha and the Bounching Czechs: Bob Blecha, Donna Svanda, Lou Stranik, and Bob Stepanek at the L & L Bar in Wilber in the early 70s. His mom worked at the bar and his dad asked Bob if Galen could sit in with the band and the rest is history.
Galen has played for numerous groups over the years:

  • Bob Blecha and the Bouncing Czechs
  • Gregs Goodtime Band
  • Dan Bruha
  • Accordionetts
  • Milligan Czech Brass Band
  • Raynold Woita

The Wilber-Clatonia Czech Alumni Band (as a founding member)

…and many other polka bands.
Galen is a fourth generation farmer, his daughters, Maureen and Anna, are also musically talented, and in his spare time, he enjoys fishing, machinery repair, playing cards, putting together puzzles with the family, and sponsoring the Beck Farms Bowling Team, who ranked 46th in the nation at the National Bowling Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Galen has played polka music in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, and Nebraska. Playing in several bands with daughter Maureen also on the stage gives him great pride as well as son-in-law Jon Halama.
Trumpet is his primary instrument, but Galen enjoys playing piano, harmonica, clarinet, baritone, saxophone, trombone, bass horn, drums, and piano and button accordions.
According to Galen, music has awarded him over fifty years of great friendships, experiences in life, and teaching and watching the younger generations.

Source: Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, September 10th, 2023