Wendy is a professional vocalist, vocal pedgogue, recording artist, and professional stage actor who has been delivering smart and arresting performances to the mountains of Western NC and in the process has become one of the most popular artists in the region.
A classically trained vocalist with over 15 years of professional theatre experience as part of her background, she consistently receives accolades for her energetic and entertaining performances of jazz and big band .
In addition to singing with her quartet (a group that regularly performs standards, bebop, and originals) Wendy is also the featured vocalist with the vintage jazz band 42ND STREET and is a frequent guest with the Asheville Jazz Orchestra and the Russ Wilson Big Band. Her newly formed gypsy jazz ensemble called SWINGTETTE FRANCAIS recently made their debut in Charlotte, NC in April 2015.
In 2014, she recorded her latest project with Steinway artist and composer Michael Jefry Stevens. Their new CD entitled Perfect Dream was released on June 12 of 2014 on the Artists Recording Collective label and features the compositions of Mr. Stevens. Available available at CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon mp3.
Performing with NEA Jazz Master Jamey Aebersold and UNCA jazz faculty
Wendy received a B.M. and an M.M. in vocal performance from Appalachian State University and then joined the voice faculty there where she taught for 8 years before embarking on a full time, professional singing/acting career. Having sung with Opera Carolina, Appalachian Opera Theatre, and the Brevard Music Center, her favorite opera roles include Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, and Papagena in Die Zauberflote.
An accomplished Equity actor as well as singer, Wendy has appeared in leading roles on stages of many prominent professional theatres throughout the U.S. including Florida Repertory Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Little Theatre on the Square (IL), Temple Theatre, and Blowing Rock Stage Company. She received glowing reviews for her portrayals of Kate in Kiss Me Kate, Miss Sandra in All Shook Up, Allison in Beehive, Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street, and Brenda in Smokey Joe's Cafe...to name just a few.
Wendy has also appeared as a soloist with the Symphony of the Mountains, the Western Piedmont Symphony, the Asheville Choral Society, and the Carolina Concert Choir in works such as Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem, Bach's Magnificat, Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor, and Kern's Showboat.
Performing as a soloist in Bach's Magnificat - 2014
She was also one of nine singers chosen after extensive international auditions to appear at Tokyo Disney in the Broadway review ENCORE!
From 1991 - 2008 she was a frequent headliner and lead production singer on cruise ships and it was during this time that she wrote Everything is Rosie (a one-woman show celebrating the life of Rosemary Clooney) and Ladies and Gentlemen (a cabaret show celebrating the pioneers of traditional pop music such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, and Ella Fitzgerald). Each of the shows premiered in south Florida at the Winter Park Playhouse in 2009 and 2010, respectively. She co-wrote a tribute to the the lives and works of Peggy Lee and Rosemary Clooney with Rachael Smith Murray called Peggy, Rosie, and Us and the show enjoyed a strong run throughout the southeastern United States.
Peggy, Rosie and Us with Rachel Smith Murray
In 2009, Wendy went on a "theatre sabbatical" to concentrate her efforts on the study of jazz. It was during this time she first met and began regularly performing with Michael Jefry Stevens. It wasn't long before they decided to team up to record his music on their first CD together.
Wendy is currently on the faculty of Brevard College where she teaches voice and directs the opera program. She also maintains private voice studios in Hendersonville and Brevard, NC.
She is a proud member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing, (NATS) National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), Pan-American Vocology Association (PAVA), Actors' Equity Association (AEA), Jazz Education Network, (JEN) Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Llambda, and Alpha Psi Omega.