Organist Thomas Alexander in concert tonight at Christ Church

At Eastertide, an organ concert by Thomas Alexander, will be presented tonight (May 17) at Christ Church at 7pm.

The concert will showcase music for the Easter season: organ works by Howells, Scheidemann, Buxtehude, Bach, and Widor, and works for organ and trumpet by recent visiting composer Richard Webster. Jamie Bryant will play the trumpet.

Thomas Alexander is the Associate Organist and Choirmaster of Christ Episcopal Church, helping direct a vibrant music program in downtown Little Rock. A graduate of Hendrix College, he studied organ performance with Timothy Allen and conducting with Andrew Morgan and Gretchen Renshaw James.

Admission is free, but all donations will help support the upcoming 2019-2020 Arts@ChristChurch season. A festive reception follows the concert.

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Little Rock is putting the LIT in Literary today at the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival

Image may contain: textAll the world’s a page, or at least it may seem so as the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival moves into full force in a variety of venues throughout Little Rock.

LIBRARY SQUARE
At the Ron Robinson Theater:
10am – Levi Agee, Mark Freeman, Mike Mueller, Sister Deborah Troillet
11:30am – Jericho Brown, Geffrey Davis
1pm – Dorie Greenspan, Elizabeth Minchilli
2:30pm – Elizabeth Eckford, Eurydice Stanley, & Grace Stanley, The Worst First Day
4pm – Chigozie Obioma, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Pitchaya Sudbanthad
7pm – Rick Bragg, The Best Cook in the World

At the CALS Main Library Darragh Center:
10am – Mitchell S. Jackson, Julie Rieger
11:30am – Rick Campbell, Alfred Gough & Miles Millar
1pm – Patrick McGilligan, Andre Millard
2:30pm – Liana Finck, Charles Forsman
4pm – Adam Smith, Mark Freeman, Esme Weijun Wang

At the Roberts Library, Room 124
10am – Book Club Panel with Christine Bonsib, Toshona Carter, Stewart Fuell, Carmen Langston, Gregory Wagnon
11:30am – Roman Muradov, Mary Laura Philpott
1pm – Nita Gould, Joe David Rice
4pm – Cherisse Jones-Branch, Erin Wood

At The Bookstore at Library Square
10am – Charles J. Shields, Brantley Hargrove
11:30am – H.K. Hummel, Short Form Creative Writing (workshop)
2:30pm – Songwriting with Bonnie Montgomery (workshop)
4pm – Andrés Cerpa, Ruben Quesada

At CALS Main Library Level 4
1pm – Emily X. R. Pan

At Nexus Nook
2:30pm – Teen Poetry Contest

At UA Little Rock Downtown
11:30am – Kevin Brockmeier, Kathyrn Davis,
1pm – Crystal C. Mercer, Randi M. Romo
2:30pm – Marina Lostetter, Arkady Martine,
4pm – Ian S. Port

Ron Robinson Theater Alley
Makers Alley 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. with Bang-Up Betty, Matthew Castellano, Control, Crying Weasel Vintage, Dower, Electric Ghost, Green Corner Store, Luna Tick Designs, Milk Dadd, Origami Heroes, Sean Sapp
5:30pm Music by DOT
6pm Music by Dazz & Brie

OTHER VENUES
Christ Episcopal Church – 1pm – Erin McGraw
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church – 2:30pm – Barkley Thompson
Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant – 2:30pm – Rhett Brinkley, Lillian Li, Vaughn Scribner
Eggshells Kitchen Co. – 4pm – Elizabeth Minchilli (fee to attend)
Sticky’s Rock & Roll Chicken Shack – 7pm – Pub or Perish

FAMILY EVENTS AT THE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON CHILDREN’S LIBRARY

  • Pose Like a Prince/Princess – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Classroom
  • Take Home Free Tales: Book Fair; Books provide by the Junior League of Little Rock and CALS – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Store
  • Create a Crown: Crafts You Can Wear; Build one in preparation for The Emperor’s New Clothes, or simply to feel royal all day. – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m
  • The Kinders, a rollicking, good-time concert for kids – 9 a.m., Theater
  • Meet the Billy Goats Gruff (Provided by Heifer Village Urban Farm) – 10 a.m. to Noon, Front lawn
  • StoryTime with Nancy Pruitt, Winston the Pony Goes to a Party. – 10 a.m., Art Gallery
  • Making Merry Music: Drum Circle, Searcy Ewell, Jr. helps kids explore the power of percussion – 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Amphitheatre
  • Hot Dogs for Hansel and Gretel, Free lunches are provided for hungry tots – 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Back patio
  • Grow Your Own Bean Stalk, Plant some magic beans with Drew Bradbury and carry home your new stalk-to-be – 10:30-11 a.m., 11:30 to 12:30 p.m., Greenhouse
  • StoryTime with Craig O’Neill, the lively KTHV anchor shares a bit of Jack & the Beanstalk, and encourages kids to create their own stories – 11 a.m., Theater
  • StoryTime with Higgins Bond, Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away, 11:30 a.m., Theater
  • StoryTime with Jeff Henderson, Stone Soup – Noon, Kitchen
  • Breathe & Believe: Children’s Yoga, Tanesha Forrest is back with her terrific animal yoga workshop – 12:30 p.m., Back patio
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes, enjoy a live stage play about a vain emperor and his “special clothes” that are visible only to the smartest people. What could go wrong? Sponsored by Rebsamen Fund – 1 p.m., Theater

2nd Friday Art Night – James Hayes and Jacqui Whitehead showcase their art at Christ Church

Image may contain: indoorChrist Episcopal Church will open two new artists’ exhibits in the Parish House’s Gallery and in the Parlor at the Artists’ Reception, Friday, April 12, from 5:00-8:00 pm.
The reception is free and open to the public. These exhibits will be on display and available for purchase through the end of June.
James Hayes, the well-known glass artist, will exhibit glass hangings, as well as some of his select paintings, in the Gallery. His exhibit is entitled “Chaos.” Mr. Hayes uses nature, chance, and his experiences as inspiration for his art glass. His art is playful, adventurous, colorful, and distinctive. After learning glassblowing at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School, he has studied glassblowing around the world, including Italy, France, Istanbul, New York, Seattle, and Hong Kong. Mr. Hayes has had numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States.
Local artist Jacqui Whitehead’s “Mystical Menagerie” exhibit will be showcased in the Parlor. As an intuitive artist, Ms. Whitehead says her paintings reflect her soul. Her love of people and nature allow colorful, happy, and whimsical creatures of every sort to become her subjects. Having taught fourth grade in the North Little Rock School District for 25 years, she credits her arts in education classes for instilling the importance of the arts in childhood development.
Christ Church believes that artists, whether painters or singers or sculptors or poets, show something of God when they show us the world’s truth and beauty through their talents. A rotating display of original artwork by local artists almost always hangs on the walls of the main gathering space in the Parish House. The Gallery is open to the public each weekday during regular business hours. The Gallery is also a regular stop on downtown Little Rock’s Second Friday Art Night. This new exhibition kicks off with a reception on Second Friday that is free to the public, with the featured artists present.

Organist Henry Webb highlights 16th Robert Young Ellis Concert

The Central Arkansas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists presents The Sixteenth Annual Concert Celebrating the Life of Robert Young Ellis. Featuring Henry Webb, organist, it will take place tonight (April 5) at Christ Episcopal Church.  There is no admission cost.

Henry Webb is a Sophomore at the Eastman School of Music, studying Organ Performance with Nathan Laube. For the year following his high school graduation, Henry served as Organ Scholar at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, Texas under the guidance of Graham Schultz and Scott Dettra. Henry began his music studies in late 2010 and his teachers have included Christina Harmon and Scott Dettra.

In 2012, Henry received first prize in the Oklahoma City University High School Organ Competition. He has been featured as a recitalist in Texas and beyond, notably as part of the dedicatory series at the parish of Christ the King, Dallas, the Baylor University’s Pipedreams Live, and the 2016, 2017, and 2018 East Texas Pipe Organ Festival.

Henry has participated in numerous organ academies including the Oberlin Organ European Winter Term and Summer Academy, the Leipzig Europäische Orgelakademie, French and Spanish Organ Music Seminars, various Pipe Organ Encounters, and Curtis Institute Organ Camps. Henry also enjoys Astronomy, hiking, photography, and playing tennis.

Robert Young Ellis was Professor of Organ at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia for 35 years from 1952 to 1987. It is hoped that this series will inspire musicians young and old, as Ellis, through his teaching and playing, influenced innumerable students and colleagues who remember him as a musician of genius and as one who brought both wit and sophistication to the lesson and to the classroom.

Little Rock Look Back: MacArthur Returns

MacArthur and Mayor Remmel

General MacArthur and Mayor Remmel

On Sunday, March 23, 1952, General Douglas MacArthur made his only post-infancy visit to Little Rock. He had previously been scheduled to visit Mississippi, and Little Rock Mayor Pratt Remmel had persuaded him to add a visit to Little Rock to the agenda. The fact that Little Rock now had a Republican mayor had apparently piqued the General’s interest.

General MacArthur, accompanied by his wife and son as well as several journalists and members of his military retinue, arrived at Little Rock Airport at 10:40 am. He was met by a delegation of civic leaders including Mayor Remmel. Alderman James Griffey made welcoming remarks on behalf of the city. Then the General and Mayor boarded an open car and led a motorcade from the airport to downtown.

The motorcade’s destination was Christ Episcopal Church at Capitol and Scott streets. It was at this church that MacArthur had been baptized as an infant. The delegation was greeted by the Episcopal Bishop R. Bland Mitchell, Rector J. Hodge Alves, and Rector Emeritus W. P. Witsell. (While he had been Rector, Dr. Witsell had garnered national attention by issuing an Easter blessing to Gen. MacArthur as he had been evacuating the Philippines at the height of World War II.) In order to gain admittance to the church that morning, church members and guests had to have tickets.

Following the worship service, the General and his party went to three events in the park named in his honor. The first was a tour of the Museum of Natural History (now the Museum of Discovery and located in the River Market; the current tenant of the building is the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History), which was located in the building in which the General had been born. After the tour, he spoke at a dedication of a small rose garden adjacent to the museum. It was sponsored by the Little Rock City Beautiful Commission and the Garden Clubs of Greater Little Rock.

Though every stop of the General’s visit had featured crowds, the largest was at the third location in MacArthur Park. A crowd of several thousand greeted the General as he spoke from the Foster Bandshell in the park’s southwest corner. Chamber of Commerce president Richard C. Butler (brother-in-law of Mayor Remmel) was the master of ceremonies. Following an invocation by Methodist Bishop Paul Martin, the only other speaker was the General. In his remarks he spoke of his Southern heritage and of his appreciation for the support of the citizens of Little Rock over the years.

Several gifts were bestowed upon the MacArthurs at the ceremony. The City of Little Rock presented Mrs. MacArthur with an engraved silver serving tray.

Following the events in MacArthur Park, the family retired for a brief respite to the Hotel Marion. They then attended a luncheon buffet in their honor at the home of Howard and Elsie Stebbins on Edgehill Road. The General and Mrs. MacArthur circulated through the house greeting guests and then eschewed a special table in favor of balancing their plates on their laps and sitting in wingback chairs. Meanwhile Arthur MacArthur stayed upstairs and discussed stamp collecting and other hobbies with the Stebbins’ two teenage sons.

Following the luncheon, the MacArthur party went back to the airport and by 4:00pm, the plane was in the air.

Though this visit was coming at the end of a whirlwind of activities, by all accounts, the General and Mrs. MacArthur were very gracious and accommodating. The General was being mentioned as a potential GOP candidate for President, but purposefully steered clear of any political comments in his remarks. He and Mrs. MacArthur dutifully posed for photos not only for the media but also for amateur photographers. At lunch, the General even asked a Gazette photographer to take a photo of him with his Little Rock Police motorcycle escorts so that they could have a souvenir of the visit.

Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys in concert tonight at Christ Church

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Considered by many to be the leading U.S. ensemble in the Anglican choral tradition, the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys provides music for five choral services each week at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, NY, and for the past three decades has also toured throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Tonight (March 21) they will be in concert at Christ Church in downtown Little Rock at 7pm.

Director of Music, Daniel Hyde, will make his final tour with the choir in March, of which their concert at Christ Church will be a part. Admission is $25, $10 for students. Ticket are on sale  at the door the night of the performance.

Little Rock Look Back: Birth of a General

On January 26, 1880, Douglas MacArthur was born in the Arsenal Building while his father was stationed at the Little Rock Barracks.  Though he left Arkansas a few weeks later when his father was transferred, he returned to his birthplace on March 23, 1952. On that day he was greeted by crowds welcoming one of the USA’s most famous military figures.

Though Gen. MacArthur spent only a few weeks in Little Rock, he was baptized at Christ Episcopal Church.  The location of the baptism remains a mystery today because the church was meeting in temporary locations due to the first structure having been lost to a fire.

When the General returned to Little Rock in 1952, he did pay a brief visit to Christ Church.  He also spoke at the Foster Bandshell in the park which bore his name.

When General MacArthur died, he was granted a state funeral.  He was one of the few non-Presidents to have been given this honor.

Today, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History is located in the Arsenal building.  It was created to interpret our state’s military heritage from its territorial period to the present.

Located in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal–the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur–the museum preserves the contributions of Arkansas men and women who served in the armed forces.

Exhibits feature artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other military items that vividly portray Arkansas’s military history at home and abroad.