|Music Director |
Dr. Gretchen Renshaw James
Gretchen Renshaw James is the Director of Bands/Instructor of Low Brass at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and the Music Director of the award-winning Natural State Brass Band. In addition, she is a tubist with Seraph Brass, a dynamic brass quintet drawing from a roster of America's top female brass players. Prior to her time in Central Arkansas, she completed a D>M>A> in Tuba Performance and M>M> in 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. Gretchen is a multifaceted musician, having enjoyed success in major solo performance competitions and publishing her arrangements with Potenza Music and Tuba Euphonium Press. 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.
Associate Music Director
Rico Belotti, a founding member of the Natural State Brass Band, became the Associate Music Director of the Band in April 2016. During the first thirteen years of the NSBB he has played First Baritone and E flat Bass and served as the president of the advisory board. After his graduation in 1973 from Arkansas Tech he became the Band Director for the Marion, Arkansas public schools and taught there for fourteen years. In 1987 he moved to the Pulaski County Special School District where he was director of bands at Jacksonville High School for eighteen years. He retired from active teaching in June 2005. He is a past president of the Arkansas Bandmasters Association and he is active as a contest adjudicator, studio teacher and mentor. For the past 28 years, he has served as the director of the North Little Rock Community Band. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the North American Brass Band Association, and now serves as a Controller for the yearly NABBA Championships. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, a Kappa Kappa Psi Life Member, and is active as a vocalist, hand bell director and lay minister at historic Christ Church in Little Rock
Second and Third Cornets