The story of Alphonso Trent's Orchestra of Gold is a retrospective look at the history of the band from the point of view of an actor portraying America's first orchestra-singer, John Fielding.  Trent's "Mr. Fielding" will provide a first hand description of the long and adventurous road from Trent's street band days in Fort Smith to their success in venues challenging the perceptions of the "colored territory band" and how the band's reputation worked to improve race relations in America.   The script is an adaptation of a one-act play researched and written by Dr. Henry Rinne, Dean, College of Arts and Humanities and Social Services at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.

The film will include a recreation and recording of Trent's compositions by an "orchestra" led by local leading area musicians Chris Cameron and Don Bailey.  The compositions will become the film's soundtrack and will be recorded live at the King Opera House in Van Buren, Arkansas.  The musical score will be recorded with the goal of providing the audience with an accurate version of the live acoustic sound that you would expect  in a small theater or hotel stage similar to most of the venues where the band performed.

To view a performance of our "orchestra" performing previously at the Blue Lion Theater in Fort Smith, and to see a short audition clip of our actor's interpretation of the script's opening lines, please go to


Ryk St. Vincent

Actor to play John Fielding

Historical Preservation and Education

A copy of all completed research and filmed materials will be provided to the Fort Smith Museum of History, the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Library and College of Humanities and Social Studies, as well as the Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation.

Our musical team of Chris Cameron, Don Bailey and Chuck Booker, Jr. will be available to the public school systems in Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma for music education outreach programs on a scheduled basis.  Our research and education team of Dr. Henry Rinne and John McIntosh will also be available to speak about the Alphonso Trent family and orchestra in the area on an invitation and scheduled basis.

Trent Story Chronology Summary in Segments:

The Early Years (1923 - 1925)

The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas and the Southwest Tour (1925 - 1927)

The Eastern Tour (1927 - 1929)

New York City, Cleveland, and the Aftermath (1929 - 1932)

The Final Years (1932 - 1959)