TBJ130: Gretchen Renshaw James on conducting, diversity and playing tuba in Seraph Brass

Released Tuesday, 4th February 2020
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TBJ130: Gretchen Renshaw James on conducting, diversity and playing tuba in Seraph Brass. She eloquently explains how she balances teaching low brass, conducting, arranging and touring.
From her bio:
Gretchen Renshaw James enjoys a multifaceted career as a conductor, tuba and euphonium performer, and arranger. She is the Director of Bands/Applied Low Brass at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas; tubist with the internationally acclaimed Seraph Brass; Music Director of the award-winning Natural State Brass Band, based in Little Rock; and a published arranger with Potenza Music and Tuba-Euphonium Press. Prior to her time in central Arkansas, Gretchen completed a D.M.A. in Tuba Performance and M.M. in Wind/Orchestral Conducting at Michigan State University, where she was a University Distinguished Fellow. Previously, she earned degrees in Euphonium Performance from the University of Arkansas and Penn State University. As a tuba and euphonium performer, Gretchen has enjoyed success in major solo competitions including being a finalist in the Artist Tuba Competition at the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival and being named the Low Brass Winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. As an arranger, Gretchen has contributed a number of works for tuba-euphonium ensemble, solo tuba, and solo euphonium. Gretchen looks forward to continuing her varied musical career by remaining active as a tuba and euphonium performer and conductor of both bands and orchestras.
In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:
  • Being a conductor and player
  • Velvet Brown
  • Expanding her horizons from euphonium, adding tuba and conducting to increase her chances at getting a gig
  • Penn State for undergrad in euphonium
  • University of Arkansas with Ben Pierce
  • Michigan State for a DMA in tuba and a MM in conducting
  • Phil Sinder
  • Mouthpiece buzzing
  • "Notes on a line"
  • Facebook post about her forthcoming three-year diversity project at Hendrix College
  • Rob Deemer/Composer Diversity Database
  • Fostering diversity in music
  • Conducting in comparison to teaching and coaching in the tuba studio
  • Conducting and the importance of leadership
  • Adding Arkansas Tech to her plate
  • Natural State Brass Band
  • Balancing projects
  • Stepping away from a project gracefully
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Expertly produced by Will Houchin with love, care, and enthusiasm.

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Episode Details

1h 19s

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