JP Wentz earns honors for music and scholar

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
G-AHS senior JP Wentz earned state honors for his skills on the alto saxophone, and a college scholarship for his high scores on the PSAT test, taken as a junior.

JP Wentz, a senior at Greencastle-Antrim High School, will represent the school, District 7 Upper Band and Region 5 Band at the Pennsylvania All-State Band Festival in Lancaster. He will perform in the wind ensemble with his alto saxophone. The festival will be held at Lancaster Convention Center, with his concert for the public at 4 p.m. April 21. Admittance is by advance ticket sales only.

"I didn't expect to make it this far," said Wentz, 18. "I practiced a lot."

He qualified at the district level since he was a sophomore, with eight youth on his instrument accepted from the participating school districts. In 2012 he was one of two to pass the next round of auditions for region, and just two again made state honors.

Wentz has been playing the sax since fifth grade, but also learned soprano sax, piano, accordian and violin.

"It's much easier to play one instrument," he admitted, although he appreciated knowing the fundamentals of the others.

Band instructor Samuel Forney called his student one who has learned at each level of experience. He advanced in the chairs that indicated proficiency.

"Of course, his senior year he finished first at district band and then finished second at regional band.  He is by far the best alto saxophone player I have seen and worked with at Greencastle-Antrim during my teaching career," said Forney.

The youth was also named a National Merit Scholarship finalist, which opened a door to his future. He will attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Vir. to major in computer science and minor in music. He would like to get a job in the intelligence field. The college offered him a full ride based on his academic record. He intends to become active in bands at the post-secondary school.

At G-AHS Wentz participates in concert and jazz band, was in the pit orchestra for the Drama Club production "Once Upon a Mattress", is vice president of the National Honor Society and the Tri-M Honor Society, and is webmaster for the Spanish National Honor Society. He is a technology intern at King Street Church in Chambersburg, and attends Penn State Mont Alto in the Early to College program. He works as an auditorium technician at the high school.

Wentz is the son of Mike and Yvonne Wentz.