CONWAY, Ark. (June 24, 2013) – Four Hendrix students take their passion for music beyond the classroom.
After working together on an Odyssey project entitled “Exploring Haydn” in fall
2012, juniors Gary DeClerk, Charley Ford, Kristen O’Connell and Kenna Tuggle, members
of the Hendrix College Chamber Orchestra, decided to remain together as the Hendrix
String quartets are typically composed of two violinists, a violist, and a cellist.
DeClerk, a double major in mathematics and music from Jacksonville, Ark. plays
Ford, a politics major from Calgary, Canada, plays the violin.
O’Connell, a biochemistry molecular biology major from Jacksonville, Ark., plays
Tuggle, an English major with an emphasis in creative writing from Boulder, Colo.
plays the violin.
“Playing with the Hendrix String Quartet has been one of the highlights of my
college career thus far,” said Tuggle.
The music department at Hendrix frequently has student chamber music groups but
their makeup tends to vary from term to term based on student interest, said Hendrix
music professor Dr. Karen Griebling.
Griebling joined the music faculty in 1987 and founded the Hendrix College Chamber
Orchestra in 1990. She has been a performing member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
for more than 25 years and currently performs with the Cross Town Trio, which has
been together since 1999.
In November 2012, Griebling brought the Rockefeller String Quartet of the Arkansas
Symphony Orchestra to campus as the College’s inaugural quartet in residence. The
new residence program began in January 2012.
For their Odyssey project, the future Hendrix String Quartet members were mentored
by the Rockefeller String Quartet and Griebling. The project gave them the opportunity
to learn about professionalism, perform music, and obtain a valuable and practical
experience in arts management. Students learned the business side of being a professional
musical group – writing contracts, negotiating bookings, arranging music for clients’
special requests, promoting themselves, and learning the appropriate repertoire
for performances, including double string quartet performance with the Rockefeller
Quartet of Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet last April.
The Hendrix String Quartet has played at weddings, receptions, and other events
this summer and is available for booking. For more information, contact Ford at
The Hendrix string quartet plans to remain together until their graduation in
Ford, who has been playing the violin for 15 years, enjoys playing chamber music
for vital role each individual plays.
“I’m quite positive that I will play violin for the rest of my life. It has always
been and will always be my greatest passion.”
Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts
and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of
the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.
Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country’s
best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools
That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, Forbes magazine's
annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide
to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since
1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.