When Fred Bock left Word Music to strike out on his own in 1968, he decided to name his new company after one of the streets on which his apartment building was located: Gentry Street inspired Gentry Publications. Such was the beginning of what would prove to be a legendary career. He chose wisely, for the other street would have derailed his publishing fate before it even began: Klump Avenue.
From the beginning Gentry was an imprint designed for the school market – specifically those higher-end High School, College and University choirs. The first publications were a complete slate of voicings of Scarborough Fair, arranged by Fred Bock himself. From there, Gentry Publications would bring the world the music of such notable American composers and arrangers as Albert McNeil, Rosephanye Powell, K. Lee Scott, Fred Prentice and Jack Halloran, as well as newcomers Stacey V. Gibbs, Richard Burchard, Bruce Rogers and Timothy Sharp.
Undoubtedly the composer most associated with Gentry is Robert H. Young. Over sixty published choral pieces by this much beloved and widely respected composer are found in the Gentry catalog. Combined, his works have sold well in excess of 1,000,000 copies. But more importantly, “he was a true gentleman and a cherished friend” according to Lois Bock, Chairman of the Board of The Fred Bock Music Companies. So, it was with great sadness that we received the news this last summer of the passing of our dear friend, Bob. While he will be missed by all of us at Gentry, his music will live on for generations to come. Here are a few of Robert Young’s best selling chorals:
- Sweet Was the Song (JG0123)
- There Is No Rose of Such Virtue (JG0196)
- When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (JG0438)
- God Be In My Head (JG2073)
- Sudden Light (JG2206)
In 2012 Gentry Publications continues its long tradition of publishing choral music from some of the finest American composers, arrangers, editors and conductors. The scores for those new pieces are found in the following pages. In addition to the new publications from William Belan, David Dickau, Stacey V. Gibbs, Bruce Rogers and Timothy Sharp, we are pleased to announce the launch of two new series this year – The Byron Smith Choral Series and The Ethan Sperry Male Chorus Series.
We are also proud to be the publishers for Rosephanye Powell’s latest work, The Cry of Jeremiah. This four-movement commission for choir, organ, and orchestra will be premiered at the 2012 American Guild of Organists annual convention, and we will release it in printed form shortly thereafter. You will be hearing and seeing more of this work in the coming months.
In May Gentry will release A Conductor’s Guidebook to the Performance of Latin American Rhythms. This multi-media DVD project will provide the choral conductor with:
- Skeletal Breakdowns of over forty of the most common Latin American rhythms
- Embedded MP3 recordings of each instrument’s rhythm skeleton
- Alternative instrumentation options
- Choral repertoire available for that rhythm
- Audio samples of choral repertoire for each rhythm
- Links to online resources
Conceived and written by choral conductor William Belan and noted percussionist Robert Fernadez, this guidebook demystifies the performance of each of these rhythms. It will undoubtedly prove to be a must-have for any choral conductor who programs Latin American music.