She hails from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, lived in Manhattan for 15 years, and is currently back in PA.
In the early 1990s, Beth, brother Jay Sorrentino (drums), and friend Ken Heitmueller (bass) formed the trio suddenly, tammy!, who released two EPs and a self-titled album on SpinART. A cover story in CMJ caught the attention of Warner Bros. Records executive Lenny Waronker, who signed the band. We Get There When We Do, their major label debut, was released in 1995, followed by an EP, Shut Up, It’s Christmas. A follow-up album, Comet, was recorded, but the band was unsigned by WB in 1996, after which the trio disbanded. (Comet was self-released digitally in 2010.)
Beth moved to Manhattan, where she became the creative arts director and music teacher at several acclaimed public and private schools in the NYC area, including The IDEAL School of Manhattan where she started the creative arts program. Beth also taught piano, composition, and voice privately to young people and has composed and musically directed over twenty original productions at the Kaufmann Center and Brooklyn Children’s Theater. She played throughout the NYC area as a solo singer-songwriter, composed music for short films and a PBS television series “Cracklebox”, and was a frequent guest vocalist at the esteemed Loser’s Lounge at Joe’s Pub and The Raymond Scott Orchestrette.
In 2003, she recorded a series of solo works, Nine Songs, One Story, recorded at Tarquin Studios and produced by Irwin Chusid. Two live solo sessions, Wave and Beautiful Day, performed and recorded in 2001 at WFMU radio, were released digitally in 2008. In 2011, she released a digital collection, Hiding Out, featuring home-recorded new originals and covers.
In 2010, Beth discovered the ’60s sunshine pop of the late Curt Boettcher when she first heard the magical 1968 Millennium album Begin. She proposed recording a collection of songs associated with Boettcher, with most written or co-written by him. She enlisted her friend and mentor, producer Sean Slade, who had worked with suddenly, tammy! in the 1990s (Slade’s production credits include Radiohead, Pixies, Hole, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Juliana Hatfield, Lou Reed, Weezer, Warren Zevon, and others). Sorrentino and Slade crafted an approach that did not attempt to replicate the Boettcher sound, but instead represented a brilliantly idiosyncratic take on the artist’s legacy. The arrangements pay homage to Curt’s genius for vocal harmony, with Sorrentino’s sweet soprano providing all lead and backing voices. Tandyn Almer, who wrote “Along Comes Mary,” called Beth’s version “one of the best I’ve heard. Love her phrasing.” The album showcases Sorrentino’s deft keyboard work on a Mason & Hamlin 1904 upright piano, Mellotron, Wurlitzer piano, Hammond B3, and Fender Rhodes.
Sorrentino has long been intrigued by music released in 1968, the year of her birth. Following the completion of Would You Like To Go, she and Slade began sessions for an album provisionally titled 1968, featuring songs recorded that year by the Bee Gees, Procol Harum, Buffalo Springfield, the Zombies, the Monkees, and others. The project remains in progress.