You are listening to a small sample of "Waltz in A-flat", © 2008 by Earl Wentz.

About Earl Wentz...

Born March 22, 1938, in Charlotte, NC, composer, performer, arranger, and teacher Earl Wentz began his career at the age of 12, playing the piano at Charlotte’s Amity Presbyterian Church.  He became that church’s first organist at the age of 15.  A graduate of Charlotte's East Mecklenburg High School, he furthered his education at Wingate University, Queen’s College, UNC-Charlotte, and through extensive private studies.

While living in Charlotte, he appeared on local stages, notably the Mint Drama Guild, and taught hundreds of children through his own Earl Wentz School of Performing Arts.  Beginning in 1970, Wentz became a fixture for several seasons on the stage of the Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theatre of North Carolina, acting and directing in numerous productions.

Following a move to New York City, he continued performing as both an actor and musician, while continuing to teach vocal performance and technique.  In New York, Wentz 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 (see www.americomps.com).

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.  

Earl Wentz was a composer of both sacred and secular works, including an Off-Broadway musical. Other compositions include choral works, instrumental and vocal solos and ensemble pieces, two ballets, and the one-act opera A Minuet, with a libretto by Louis M. Parker.  Wentz’s 1989 musical composition, Requiem, a one-hour work for four soloists, full chorus and orchestra, drew the following comment from the internationally acclaimed opera star, Teresa Stratas:  “God bless you. I loved it! It is a wonderful work. You have a tremendous gift.”

From 1993 to 2009, Earl Wentz was the organist and choirmaster at John Street Methodist Church in New York, the oldest Methodist congregation in America.  He maintained homes in New York City and in his native Charlotte.

Among his CDs currently in print are The Piano Stylings of Earl Wentz: Traditional Christmas Favorites; Vampin’ Lady: The Music of Milton Ager, with vocalist Joyce Moody; and Visions of What Used to Be, a collection of popular songs from the World War I era, featuring vocals by Helen Breen.  All are available through Sixpence, Inc.  (www.sixpenceinc.com).  Several other works and CDs, including the first of four Cole Porter CDs are scheduled to be released soon by Sixpence, Inc.

Earl Wentz passed away at his home in Charlotte on Sunday, November 15, 2009, at the age of 71, following an extended illness. 

His partner of 27 years, William B. Watkins, manages the estate of Earl Wentz, including performance and publication rights for Wentz's musical and other works and has established "The Earl Wentz Projects" to continue Earl Wentz's legacy by archiving and cataloguing Wentz's musical compositions, actively marketing and supporting their performance and publication, and by encouraging and continuing the teaching practices and principles of Earl Wentz.

This web site will continue to be built over the coming weeks and we invite you to visit again often to learn more about the life and career of this extraordinary man.

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© 2009 - 2012 by Earl Wentz and the Estate of Earl Wentz.  All rights reserved.