Founded in 2009, the Denton Bach Players are an ensemble of local musicians who regularly perform both together and in other metroplex music organizations. The core members (from left to right: Janelle West, Heidi Klein, Eric Smith, Andrew Justice, Lenora McCroskey, and Jennifer Carpenter) first began concertizing in 2007, playing free programs at the UNT College of Music. Realizing there was a need for a professional early music ensemble based in Denton, McCroskey and Justice approached the Denton Bach Society, suggesting a creative partnership whereby the Players would serve as the instrumental core for the Society’s concert needs, and in return benefit from becoming an official ensemble under the Denton Bach umbrella.
In the past three seasons, we have (in addition to supporting choral concerts of Handel, Haydn, seventeenth-century German composers, and of course Bach) presented programs of early Italian chamber music and works by the sons of J.S. Bach, in addition to fundraising events at local establishments featuring Baroque music involving coffee and other nontraditional themes. We look forward to future seasons of expanded performance opportunities and exciting programs in new venues.
Player Biographical Sketches
Jennifer Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Music degree in musicology with an emphasis in early music performance from the University of North Texas. As a recorder player, she performs as a soloist and in ensembles, including Trio Giocoso, the Denton Bach Players and the Wireless Consort and has been a guest artist with the Dallas Bach Society and Texas Camerata. Jennifer directed the UNT recorder ensembles from 2002-2008 and currently directs the Dallas Recorder Society. She also serves on faculty of the early music workshop, The Texas Toot. Jennifer received a Toulouse Graduate Fellowship to complete her Ph.D. studies in musicology and early music performance at UNT where she currently works as a Teaching Fellow.
Heidi Dietrich Klein, soprano, enjoys a musical career which balances performing and teaching. Klein, who holds a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Indiana University, has been particularly dedicated to the interpretation of contemporary music and has premiered numerous compositions, many of which have been written expressly for her. She has been a featured performer and lecturer at new music festivals throughout the United States. The technical demands inherent to the performance of contemporary music have also proven invaluable in the interpretation Early Music, a genre with which Klein has been associated with increased frequency in recent years. Ms. Klein performs regularly in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, as both soloist and choral singer, with such ensembles as the Orpheus Chamber Singers, the Dallas Bach Society, the Denton Bach Society, Project Eve and the Orchestra of New Spain. She currently serves as a Choral Artist in Residence with the Dallas Arts District Chorale. She has also performed and recorded with Dallas’ new music ensemble, Voices of Change. Ms. Klein maintains an active voice studio in her home and has served as adjunct instructor of voice at the University of North Texas. She is featured on three compact disc recordings: CEMEsonics: The Threshold of Sound; Music of SEAMUS, Volume 7; and with Voices of Change, The Chamber Music of David Dzubay.
Dr. Lenora McCroskey is professor emeritus of music in the College of Music at the University of North Texas. In addition to teaching organ and harpsichord, she was the assistant director of Early Music Studies, teaching Baroque performance practice, continuo, and coaching chamber ensembles. Prior to her appointment at UNT, McCroskey was on the faculties of Stetson University, the Longy School in Cambridge, MA, the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, and was Assistant Organist/Choirmaster in the Memorial Church at Harvard University. She is a Fellow of the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College.
Eric Smith maintains an active performing career on both baroque cello and viola da gamba, appearing with period instrument ensembles, festivals and choirs throughout the United States and abroad as a soloist, chamber musician, and continuo player. Eric has collaborated with ensembles including the Dallas Bach Society, Orchestra of New Spain, McKinney Kammerguild, Texas Early Music Project, Armonia Stravagante, Fleur-de-LYS, Denton Bach Society, South Dakota Chorale, Highland Park Chorale, and is a founding member of the Denton Bach Players. Eric has performed in festivals and concert series including the American Renaissance and Baroque Music Festival (Bolivia), Institute of North American Culture (Peru), Cathedral Concerts (New Orleans), Bechstein Hall Concert Series (AR), and fringe concerts at the Boston Early Music Festival (MA). Other concert credits include guest artist recitals at the Crested Butte Music Festival (CO) and Lake Lewisville International Chamber Music Series (TX), and two seasons as an artist-in-residence at the Strings in the Mountains Music Festival (CO). Eric attended the University of North Texas studying cello under the tutelage of Eugene Osadchy, where he was honored with the prestigious Winspear Scholar Award. While at North Texas, Eric served as principal of the baroque orchestra with whom he appeared as soloist on a number of occasions. Other studies include baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai, and viola da gamba with Mary Springfels.
Janelle West holds Master's degrees in flute performance and library science from the University of North Texas, as well as an undergraduate degree in performance from Southern Adventist University. For the past fifteen years, her performing interests have centered around the baroque flute and she may be seen regularly with Dallas area early music groups such as the Orchestra of New Spain, Dallas Bach Society, and Denton Bach Society. She is also an active chamber musician and has performed across the United States as well as in Canada, Mexico and Europe. Ms. West has taught extensively in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is currently a Music Catalog Librarian at the University of North Texas Music Library.