Meet the director

Neal Wentz, Director of Orchestras

Neal Wentz graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cello Performance. Later, he received a Master of Arts in Music Education at IUP, culminating with a case-study thesis of teaching Orchestra online during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Music Education at George Mason University with a current research focus in professional music teacher burnout and continuing to examine the effects of teaching while dealing with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. He began Cello in elementary school, but learning one instrument was not enough. Throughout the rest of his grade school years, Neal performed Bassoon & Euphonium in the Concert Bands, sang in the Choirs, played Baritone in Marching Band, and performed on stage in Musical Theater. If there was an ensemble at his high school, he was a member. While at IUP, Neal was an active member of The Legend Marching Band - playing Tuba - and a member of Phi Mu Alpha: Sinfonia music fraternity. 

As an educator, Wentz currently serves as the Director of Orchestras at Woodson High School, working with 179 students in five various levels. His previous assignments include teaching 220 Orchestra students at Northern Middle and Windy Hill Middle Schools in Calvert County, MD. For the two years after online learning, his groups at both schools received Superior ratings at district adjudications and qualifying for MD state adjudication at the MODA (MD Orchestra Director Association) grade III Level.  

In addition to teaching at Woodson, Wentz enjoys freelancing as a cellist & bassist in musical pits for high schools and various community groups. When not playing in the pit, he can be found conducting the pit for the Children's Theater of Southern Maryland. For the Mainstage and Summer Camp productions, he teaches all of the vocals, hires & rehearses the pit musicians, and conducts the shows. Theater is one of his favorite things as it is all encompassing when it comes to the arts and humanities; Orchestra, Band, Chorus, Dance, Art, Literature.