Bentonville band to see change in leadership

Posted: April 21, 2017 at 1 a.m.

Scott Tomlinson, Bentonville High School band director, runs practice Oct. 24, 2013. Tomlinson is retiring this summer and Tim Hendrix, assistand band director, is taking his spot.

BENTONVILLE -- Tim Hendrix will be the next leader of the Bentonville High School band.

The School Board on Monday approved promoting Hendrix from assistant director to director. Jack Loyd, Bentonville High School principal, called Hendrix a strong candidate and a "kid magnet."

Participation

The Bentonville High School band program had 309 students as of last fall. That was nearly 10 percent of the school’s enrollment.

Source: Staff report

"Kids are just drawn to him. The students really rally around him," Loyd said. "When we spoke to him, he talked about a vision for the program and where he wants to be and the next step."

Hendrix has worked at Bentonville High School for three years. He previously served as assistant band director in Paragould. He has nine years of experience overall, Loyd said.

He won the Phi Beta Mu Arkansas Outstanding Young Band Director of the Year award in 2015. Phi Beta Mu is an international bandmasters fraternity.

Hendrix was one of about 15 applicants for the job, Loyd said. He will succeed Scott Tomlinson, who is retiring this summer after 36 years in education, the last six of which he spent at Bentonville High School.

Tomlinson came to Bentonville from Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma, where he was supervisor of instrumental music. He got the Broken Arrow band accepted twice into the prestigious Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

Tomlinson took Bentonville's band to new heights, Loyd said.

"He did amazing work," Loyd said. "He's an excellent band director. Sad to see him go."

Tomlinson, 58, said he worked hard to enhance the reputation of Bentonville's band program not just regionally, but nationally.

"I think we've been really successful," he said. "I think when you talk about the band program outside this area, people know what it is now."

The school's Pride Marching Band won the first Arkansas state marching band championship competition in Little Rock in November. It also placed 32nd out of 98 bands that participated in a national competition in Indianapolis last year, Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson has rented an apartment in Bentonville while maintaining a home in Broken Arrow since taking the Bentonville job. He has been orchestra director at First Baptist Church in Broken Arrow for 25 years, he said.

He originally planned on staying at Bentonville for five years but gave it one more year to help with the transition from one high school to two in the district.

He plans to do some consulting work in his retirement. He said he'd be available to help Hendrix and West High School band director Albert Ortiz if they need advice.

Lynn Manning, president of Bentonville Band Boosters and a registrar at the school, said students have had a great experience with Tomlinson.

"Any student anywhere who would have access to a teacher like that is fortunate," Manning said.

She will miss Tomlinson, but is looking forward to seeing what Hendrix does, she said.

"I am very excited about (Hendrix) being the new director," Manning said.

NW News on 04/21/2017