Beck's career as a performer and teacher includes posts as percussionist, timpanist, marimba soloist with the United States Marine Band (1955-59); principal percussionist with the Rochester Philharmonic (1959-62); and timpanist for the Rochester Philharmonic (1962-2002), as well as a Professor Emeritus of Percussion at the Eastman School of Music. He has made numerous solo appearances, including performances with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Syracuse Wind Ensemble, Chautauqua Band, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Corning Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Memphis State Wind Ensemble, Pennsylvania Festival Band, and Filharmonia Pomorska, Poland.
As a conductor, Beck has appeared with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble (1962-); in a tour of South America with the Aeolian Consort (1977); and has participated in numerous guest conducting and percussion clinics in the United States and Europe. Articles by Beck have been published in Music Journal, The Instrumentalist, Woodwind World, Brass and Percussion, and Percussive Notes; he was also percussion columnist for the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI) Journal (1965-72). His compositions have been published by Carl Fischer, Boston Music, Kendor Music, Meredith Music, MCA, Wimbledon Music, Inc., Studio 4 Productions, and CPP/Belwin. He has served as state chairman for percussion, New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA, 1970-72); president of the New York State Percussive Arts Society (1976-82); national second vice president (1982-84), first vice president (1984-86), and president of the national Percussive Arts Society (1987-90).
Among the honors Beck has received include being named the Mu Phi Epsilon Musician of the Year (1976); the Monroe County School Music Association Award (1996); Eastman's Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching (1997); and the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester Award for contributions to the arts (1999). He was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1999. At Eastman's 2003 Commencement, he was awarded the Edwin Peck Curtis Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.