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Hendrix Director of Bands to Conduct River Valley TubaChristmas

CONWAY, Ark. (December 4, 2017) – Dr. Gretchen Renshaw James, Director of Bands for Hendrix College, will serve as conductor for the third annual River Valley TubaChristmas, set for Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. The performance will be held at the King Opera House, 427 Main Street in Historic Downtown Van Buren. 

Renshaw James earned a D.M.A. in Tuba Performance and an M.M. in Wind/Orchestral Conducting from Michigan State University, an M.M. in Euphonium Performance from the University of Arkansas, and a B.M. from Penn State University. She has received multiple performance honors and has been featured as a soloist with many premier ensembles throughout her career. She is a published arranger of tuba/euphonium music with Potenza Music.

TubaChristmas is a concert of well-known and loved Christmas music performed by tuba, baritone, and euphonium players. TubaChristmas events are held in cities worldwide and celebrate those who play, teach, and compose music for instruments in the tuba family; some participants bring rarer members of the family such as the helicon, ophicleide, serpent, and double bell euphonium.

All tuba, sousaphone, baritone, and euphonium players are invited to participate in the event – regardless of age or skill level. Registration for performers begins at 8:30 a.m., with rehearsal at 9 a.m. Music will be provided for performers and will also be available for purchase. Performers are encouraged to decorate their instruments for Christmas.

This year’s event features two special guests from the nation’s top military bands based in Washington, D.C. As an added bonus, student performers are invited to a private concert and teaching session with Renshaw James and the event’s special guests:

  • SSG Jeremy McBride, a euphoniumist with Pershing’s Own United States Army Ceremonial Band, is returning for his third River Valley TubaChristmas. He is a past winner of the Euphonium Artist Division of the International Leonard Falcone Euphonium Competition, as well as other major euphonium competitions.
  • Technical Sgt. Erik Lundquist, a euphoniumist with the Ceremonial Brass, The United States Air Force Band, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. He is the winner of the 2016 International Tuba Euphonium Association Mock Euphonium Audition and received second place in the Falcone International Tuba Euphonium Competition that same year. 

For more information, contact Erick Wiggins at 479-926-4794 or visit the River Valley TubaChristmas Facebook page

About TubaChristmas

The first TubaChristmas was organized by Harvey G. Phillips to honor his tuba teacher, William Bell, who was born on Christmas Day 1902. It was held December 22, 1974, in the Ice Skating Rink at New York City's Rockefeller Center. More than 300 musicians played that day, beginning a holiday tradition. The arrangements of the Christmas carols were written by Alec Wilder, who coincidentally died on Christmas Eve, 1980. TubaChristmas concerts vary in size from a quartet (two euphoniums and two tubas) to several hundred at the largest events. 

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit