Monsterboy at South on Main tonight

M2 Gallery is curating May Sessions at South on Main by highlighting connections between music and visual art. For the final Wednesday in May, M2 invites people to experience the music of Monsterboy.

Tickets for this event are $10 at the door. Music begins at 8 pm. You may reserve a table for dinner by calling (501) 244-9660.

Monsterboy is Chris Long and Veronica Wirges, a husband and wife duo out of Little Rock whose love story captivates audiences one room at a time. After being discovered at a Bonnaroo open mic by, the couple took on the task of finding a method for capturing the music that was playing in their heads.

The duo landed on recording everything for Monsterboy in their home studio, influenced by creatives such as Beck and Prince. Each instrument is separately tracked out and layered to realize the finished song, often using classical or tribal instruments in non-traditional pairings to get the feel they know the song needs.

Monsterboy is a genre-less artist, marrying indie pop with elements of alternative, folk, and grunge. Each song is uniquely Monsterboy in composition and vibe, regardless of the genre it is labeled. Their reworked covers are crowd favorites as each song is re-envisioned to feature a baritone saxophone.

This power couple has found that being a duo has its perks on live performances, as acoustic gigs lend a more intimate vibe for coffee shops, college campuses, and house shows. Alternatively, they can showcase the multi-instrumental skills of both musicians on the larger stages of venues and festivals.

Monsterboy has supported acts such as GGOOLLDD, Wild Moccasins, and Vesperteen, as well as featuring at festivals like SXSW and Solar Flux. The act is looking forward to touring regionally this year, while continuing their waterfall release of a new song every 3 weeks.

M2 Gallery is located in SOMA and offers a large selection of original artwork from both established and emerging artists. With a wide range of style and price, M2 Gallery is sure to fill your art needs. M2 also works with a large network of galleries throughout the country so that we can make sure to find exactly what our clients are looking for.

Gallery director Mac Murphy has over 15 years of experience and has been the driving force behind M2 Gallery winning the Platinum Service Award for several years.

Tonight (5/28) at CALS Ron Robinson Theater – MASH

MASH PosterAs the Vietnam War raged on, Robert Altman looked at another recent undeclared war, the Korean War. His 1970 film MASH is part of the CALS Ron Robinson Historic Cinema series.

This irreverent black comedy follows the exploits of a host of offbeat characters at a medical unit during the Korean War, including surgeons Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John McIntyre who create havoc with their martini parties and practical jokes while the war rages around them. The film won an Oscar for best screenplay (for Ring Lardner, Jr.) and spawned the successful television series M*A*S*H, which ran for 11 seasons.

The movie stars Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Robert Duvall, Sally Kellerman, Tom Skerritt, Rene Auberjonois, Roger Bowen, Fred Williamson, and Michael Murphy (an Altman fixture). Gary Burghoff would be the only person to play the same role in the film and in the TV series.

Celebrate Memorial Day with Historic Cinema: MASH! Military members, veterans, and their families receive FREE admission. Cost for others is $5.  The screening starts at 7pm.

First Hall High School graduation – May 28, 1958

Another historic high school graduation took place on May 28, 1958.  It was the first graduation ceremony for Little Rock Hall High School.

The school opened in September 1957 as Little Rock’s newest high school, located in “west” Little Rock.  (It is sometimes listed as the second Little Rock high school, ignoring the fact that Horace Mann and the Vo Tech high schools existed.)

The first graduating class was smaller than future classes would be.  Because they had attended Central High School for their sophomore and junior years, many seniors who were zoned for Hall High chose to attend Central for their senior year.

Instead of processing in to Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” the Hall High seniors entered to Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Procession of the Nobles.”  The music for ceremony also included “The Star Spangled Banner,” Scarmolin’s “My Creed” and Handel’s “Sarabande and Bouree.”

Principal Terrell E. Powell (who would be tapped as superintendent of the district in a few months) presided over the ceremonies.  Superintendent Virgil Blossom (whose daughter had graduated from Central High the day before) spoke briefly to introduce the School Board members.  One of them, R. A. Lile, presented the students with their diplomas.

There were 109 seniors listed in the graduation program, seven were honor graduates.  The senior class officers were: Redding Stevenson, president; Amanda Jeanne “Toppy” Cameron, vice president; and Karl E. Stahlkopf, secretary. Porter Briggs was the first student body president. Linda Overstreet was student body vice president and Linda Neathery was 12th grade representative on the student council.

The Senior speakers were:  Anita Kluglose (“Toward a Pathless Wood”), Karl Stahlkopf (“Toward the Mysterious Stars”), Linda Neathery (“Toward Majestic Mountains”) and Thomas York (“Toward Unlimited Horizons”).  Other students participating were Redding Stevenson presenting the senior gift, Mary Ellen Lenggenhager giving the invocation, and Michael Ebert giving the benediction.

Final Dunbar High School Graduation – May 27, 1955

On May 27, 1955, on the stage of Robinson Auditorium, the Dunbar High School senior class graduated. This academic year marked not only the 25th anniversary of Dunbar’s opening, but it was the last year that the school building would offer junior high through junior college classes.

In the fall of 1955, the new Horace Mann High School would open. Dunbar would continue to be open, but only as a junior high.  (Though no reason was ever publicly given, the junior college component ended in May 1955.)

The new Mann High School was constructed, in part, as a way to delay any integration plans for the Little Rock School District.  With a new second all-white high school in the works for Little Rock, it was thought that a new African American school would placate the African-American community by not only giving them a new building, but relieving the overcrowding at Dunbar.

But on May 27, 1955, and the days leading up to it, the focus was on celebrating the final graduation class and the 25th anniversary of Dunbar High School.  On May 25, teachers who had taught for 25 years at the school, and original teachers who retired from the school were honored.

The school’s original principal, Dr. John H. Lewis, was the commencement speaker.  The current principal, Dr. L. W. Christophe presided over the awarding of the diplomas and announcements of scholarships.  Among the higher education institutions to which they received scholarships were the University of Michigan, Wiley College, Tennessee State, Arkansas AM&N, Talladega College, and Philander Smith College.

While the Arkansas Gazette and Arkansas Democrat  both DID run stories on the graduation, it was hardly equal to the coverage they gave Central High School.  In fact, on the day after Dunbar’s graduation, the Democrat ran a photo of two Central graduates huddled under an umbrella in the rain – three days after the ceremony took place.

In 1971, Mann ceased its status as a high school as well.  Today, both Mann and Dunbar serve as middle schools within the Little Rock School District.