Rebecca Wenck died suddenly and unexpectedly Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
Survivors: Beloved husband, August Wenck; son, Jacob Campbell; mother and father, Richard and Audry Smith; brother, Tim Smith; sisters, Elisha Comfort and Teresa Moulds; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rebecca touched thousands of lives in her career as a musician and teacher. She was unfailingly positive and kind. She never gave up on any of her students. She often told me our job as teachers is to be professional naggers. It served her and her students well.
Rebecca began her musical studies at Texas Wesleyan University but quickly transferred to the University of North Texas. At UNT she played in the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra as well as numerous chamber ensembles. The highlight of her tenure at UNT was a tour of Japan with the Wind Ensemble.
During her senior year at UNT she won the position of principal clarinet with the Irving Symphony. Becky was hooked. Her favorite thing in the world was to play clarinet in an orchestra.
Becky played in numerous orchestras during her career. She performed with the East Texas Symphony, Wichita Falls Symphony, and Fort Smith Symphony as a core orchestra member. She also was a first call sub with the Plano Symphony and the Dallas Winds. Last year she was the bass clarinetist with the Fort Smith Symphony when they recorded an album for the Naxos label that received a Grammy award. Perhaps the highlight of her career was a one year substitute position with the Fort Worth Symphony as second clarinet.
Becky also enjoyed a long, successful career as a private clarinet teacher. She taught 6th through 12th grade students in Colleyville, the Colony, Coppell, Frisco, and Prosper school districts in her 33 year career. Many of her students performed in All-State Bands and Orchestras as well as GDYO groups. Many of Rebecca’s students have gone on to professional careers as Clarinetists and Band Directors. Rebecca was also a talented piano accompanist. She accompanied her students at Region and State Solo contests. She had many students awarded Outstanding Soloist at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contests.
For the past six years Rebecca was Clarinet Professor for Collin College in Plano. Rebecca had several students make the Junior College All-State Band – a contest no Collin student had ever entered before Rebecca’s tenure. Rebecca founded the Collin Faculty Wind Quartet who performed several recitals in order to entertain and recruit students for Collin College. She recently arranged for Collin College to have a booth at TMEA College Night and performed there with her woodwind trio. No other College booth had live musicians.
Rebecca was unfailingly kind and always had a positive comment or joke for her colleagues when performing. Her upbeat personality and positive attitude made her a joy to perform with. What many people did not see was the amount of sheer hard work Rebecca put in to every performance. No matter how big or small the performance, Rebecca was always prepared and gave her best effort.
She will be missed.