Beatrice (Bea) Anderson was born into a large family in Detroit, Michigan. Her father, a Lutheran pastor, choir director and superb musician, led the family in singing hymns after evening devotions. She credits her early immersion in the great musical tradition of the church with an abiding love for religious music.
A favorite family story begins with the fact that Bea's four brothers were not enthusiastic about hymn singing. One evening, when Bea was only nine months old, the family noticed her baby sounds had the cadence of the hymn they had just sung. Fascinated by this phenomenon, the boys became eager to sing! She continued to delight them with her precocious musical behavior, which has not abated to this day.
Bea received her Master's degree in music composition from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
For many years, Bea was a piano teacher, church organist, and choir director in Corvallis, Oregon. When she retired from teaching in 1979, composing took center stage, and she began publishing her music in 1987. Oregon Music Teacher's Association voted Bea Composer of the Year in 1997.