The Earl Wentz Projects
Earl Wentz, an American composer and musician, was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He received his education at Wingate University, Queens College, the University of North Carolina, and through extensive private studies. Wentz began his professional career at the age of 12, working as a pianist. By 15, he was also a professional organist, and thereafter added actor, singer, director, conductor, arranger, composer, and teacher to his impressive resume.
In New York, he created the American Composer Series, an ongoing performance series in the cabaret format, paying tribute to the greatest composers of popular American music on the American scene, particularly those composers associated with Tin Pan Alley and the American Songbook. From 2000 to 2009, the series presented 15 original musical revues, many returning for multiple performances over several seasons.
His performances in every medium took him to 48 states. Credits include guest appearances with the Nashville, Charleston, Glenn Miller, and Jan Garber Orchestras and at such varied venues as the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, the Greenbrier, and the United Nations. From 1993 to 2009, he was the organist and choirmaster at John Street Methodist Church in New York.
When Earl Wentz passed away in November 2009, he left an extraordinary legacy of musical compositions, both produced and yet-to-be produced. They range from sacred masterworks, to art songs, to compositions for orchestra, works for sacred choir, his one-act operas, works for the stage, arrangements of hymns, and the arrangements and stagings for 15 musical revues. Some works are in manuscript and some are in electronic form. Some are ready for performance, publication, and recording; others need to be catalogued and transferred to the computer using today's standard notation software. They will languish in a file drawer, in a computer hard drive, or in our memories without the organization and funding needed to publish and preserve them.
VISION AND MISSION:
We want to bring the enjoyment, reverence, and awe of life and the universe that is inherent in Earl Wentz's music to as many people as possible.
The Earl Wentz Projects will 1) catalogue and prepare for performance and publication the musical works of Earl Wentz; 2) assess the body of work to determine which compositions are most suited for commercial performance in a manner that will further support the work of the project; 3) actively market the musical works of Earl Wentz; 4) provide proper archival and storage facilities to assure that the works are not lost; 5) support wherever possible the performance and preservation of these works and 6) ensure that their artistic integrity is maintained.
We endeavor to assure that the musical compositions of Earl Wentz are available and will remain available to choirs, performance groups, individual artists, and audiences throughout the world. Our appreciation of excellence in the arts, respect for music and its creators, and, particularly, our love for Earl Wentz's music and the values that he espoused of broad accessibility to great music that inspires, challenges, and makes the human experience richer to performers and listeners alike will guide every aspect of our work.