Time Let Me Play*

Today's post in the Arthur Wenk Diary series will not actually contain an entry from his diary, other than to repeat the last sentence of the final entry from 1974-75:

Next year Bea Holz will conduct the group in my absence; I’m already plotting programs for the year after.

When Dr. Wenk sent me the diary in February, it was the first I had heard of Bea Holz—I was completely unaware that anyone else had conducted the group between its founding in 1974 and the end of the 1980-81 season. Since I am trying to locate all of the previous directors as part of our 40th anniversary activities, I turned to Google to see what I could find. 

I was thrilled to get what looked like a plausible candidate for the position of Bea Holz, since I have so far not found anything for a couple of the directors during the 1980s. The hit was a Dr. Beatrice Holz, Professor of Music Education and Voice and Director of the Women's Choir at Asbury University in Kentucky. I used the contact information form to send an email to Dr. Holz, and got a lovely email back which began thus:


Hello, Rebecca, and greetings from Kentucky, where I am getting ready to retire from teaching after this semester.  I did, indeed, conduct the Pittsburgh Camerata 1975-1976 while Art was doing a sabbatical.

Hopefully Dr. Holz will be attending our reunion concert next March, and we'll all get to meet her. But until then, here's the information from the Asbury website:

DR. BEATRICE HOLZ, known to her students as "Dr. Bea," serves the Asbury University Music Department as Professor of Music Education and Voice.  She directs the Asbury University Women's Choir, serves as one of five private vocal instructors, and teaches classes in Conducting, Vocal Music Education, and Opera Workshop.

Dr. Holz's educational preparation has included the Ph.D. in Music (major in Music Education, minor in Voice Teaching) from the University of Kentucky, the Master of Music degree (major in Vocal Pedagogy) from the Hart School of Music of the University of Hartford, and the Bachelor of Music (major in Music Education) from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Holz has also completed post-graduate studies at the Indiana School of Music (Bloomington) in Opera Staging, at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in Vocal Performance Pedagogy, and at Asbury Theological Seminary in Pastoral Counseling.

Prior to accepting her current post on the Asbury University faculty, Dr. Holz served as an Instructor of Music at Asbury Theological Seminary, as Assistant Professor of Music at Eastern Kentucky University's Model Lab School, and as a K-12 public school music teacher in Connecticut and Kentucky. Dr. Holz is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the Music Educators National Conference.

Dr. Holz has been a vocal soloist and guest conductor from the east coast to the west coast in the United States as well as in Canada, England, Norway, and China (where she recently served as guest conductor for a combined High School Choral Festival for the International Schools of China). A third-generation Salvationist, ("soldier" of The Salvation Army,) Dr. Holz is also the founding director of the Salvation Army Student Fellowship Vocal Ensemble, which she began in 1981. This extracurricular ensemble for Salvationists of Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary has made four recordings and has toured in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and Bahamas.

One of the things which has made the detective work for the reunion so fun is all of the amazing people I am coming into contact with. I can't wait to meet everyone!

This post will have to serve for the entire 1975-76 season, since this is all I know about it. (Dr. Holz is retiring, and has promised to keep an eye out for programs as she packs up, since this year is now the only "missing link," program-wise.) Dr. Wenk's diary will resume with my next post. The picture at the top is, naturally, of Dr. Holz, again from the Asbury website.

*Yet another quote from Fern Hill, but really I suppose it was more that Pitt let Arthur Wenk play, or whatever it was he did during his sabbatical. Judging by all that he does now, I don't actually expect he did much playing...