Scenes from the Clinton Presidential Center Dedication on Nov. 18, 2004

Fifteen years ago, I was on the top level of the press riser during the Clinton Presidential Center dedication. I was the northernmost person on the riser through most of the ceremony. The only people who received more wind or rain than I were the sharpshooters on the rooftop.

Here are some of the photos I took that morning.

Early morning on the Library Site

Dawn is breaking, and a break in the rain on November 18, 2004. Hopes were improving.

Andrew DeMillo (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) and Lance Turner (Arkansas Business) in the print media rows of the press riser. DeMillo is now with Associated Press.

Mayor Jim Dailey prepares to be interviewed by Candy Crowley on CNN.

Crowds gathering.

As the rains started, staffers sought coverage.

The Philander Smith College Choir performed.

The Lyon College Drum and Pipe Band performed.

The Color Guard preparing to enter the ceremony.

The First Ladies entering the ceremony. Barbara Bush (center of the photo) looks like she is having fun!

The Presidents entering the ceremony without umbrellas.

President Jimmy Carter addresses the crowd.

President George H W Bush addresses the audience.

President George W. Bush addresses the gathering.

First Lady Hillary Clinton delivering her remarks (and getting even wetter due to an off center umbrella placement).

President Bill Clinton closing out the ceremony with his comments.

Tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater – Lyon College Jazz Band with special guests

Arkansas Sounds presents the Lyon College Jazz Band with special guests tonight (April 11) at the Ron Robinson Theater.

Join them for an evening of jazz with co-presenters the Lyon College Jazz Band and their special guests, the Maumelle High School Jazz Band, the Bryant High School Jazz Band and vocalist Leslie Oden.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Doors open at 6:00pm with general admission seating on a first come, first served basis.

Presented by Arkansas Sounds and Lyon College Jazz Band.

ODE TO JOY and Spoken Word winners presented by Arkansas Symphony Orchestra this weekend

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor Philip Mann present the fourth concert of the 2018-2019 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks season, Beethoven’s 9th: Ode to Joy on Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th at the Robinson Center.

The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The program opens with a spoken word performance presented in partnership with the Central Arkansas Library System. After the spoken word segment, more than 300 singers from eight Arkansas collegiate and professional choirs will take the stage with ASO for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which also features vocal soloists soprano Maria Fasciano, mezzo soprano Christin-Marie Hill, tenor Vernon Di Carlo, and bass Adam Cioffari.

All concert ticket holders are also invited to Concert Conversations, a pre-concert talk one hour before each Masterworks concert in the Upper Tier Lobby of the Robinson Center. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Tickets are $16, $36, $57 and $68; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Robinson Center street-level box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at https://www.arkansassymphony.org/freekids.

Philip Mann, conductor

Spoken Word Performers
Osyrus Bolly
Brooke Elliott
Rosslyn Elliott
Red Hawk
Kristy Ikanih
Jamee McAdoo
Dariane LyJoi Mull
Marvin Schwartz

Beethoven Soloists 
Maria Fasciano, soprano
Christin-Marie Hill, mezzo soprano
Vernon Di Carlo, tenor
Adam Cioffari, bass

Arkansas Intercollegiate and Professional Chorus
Arkansas Chamber Singers, John Erwin, director
Arkansas State University, Cherie Collins, director
Harding University, Cliff Ganus, director
Lyon College, Michael Oriatti, director
Ouachita Baptist University, Gary Gerber, director
Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, David DeSeguirant, director
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Jerron Liddell, director
University of Central Arkansas, John Erwin, director

Program
VARIOUS – Spoken Word Performances
BEETHOVEN – Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

The Pen to Podium series kicks off 2019 with HILLBILLY HELLRAISERS

Image result for hillbilly hellraisersThe first Pen to Podium of 2019 is Dr. Blake Perkins discussing Hillbilly Hellraisers at 6:00 p.m.

This program is sponsored by the Arkansas State Archives, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  It will be held at the DAH headquarters located at 1100 North Street.

The lecture is free and part of the 2019 Historical Writers’ Lecture Series.  The Friends of the Arkansas State Archives plan to host a reception with refreshments 30 minutes before the lecture.

Perkins’ book, Hillbilly Hellraisers: Federal Power and Populist Defiance in the Ozarks, has drawn praise for its insightful look into how rural people in the Ozarks reacted to and resisted federalism in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Ozarks includes parts of Arkansas and Missouri, where people have a reputation for anti-government sentiment. Perkins’ book asks what role heritage plays in perpetuating that attitude and focuses on real people’s experiences. The book traces social and political changes from the Populist revolt of the 1880s and 1890s to the modern-day Tea Party protests and the popularity of President Donald Trump.

“I think in many ways the Ozarks is an excellent microcosm of rural America in general,” Perkins said.

Perkins was born in the Ozarks and grew up on a fifth-generation farm near the southeastern Ozarks in western Lawrence and Sharp counties. He became interested in his family roots and history in elementary school. He has since become an assistant professor and chair of the History Department at Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lyon College, a master’s degree from Missouri State University and a doctoral degree from West Virginia University.

Perkins said the history behind local politics and its evolution is fascinating. “As I watched anti-Obama, anti-Washington politics surge in Arkansas between 2008 and 2016, I’ve been fascinated to investigate and learn more about rural political and social history,” he said.

Black History Month – Kristin Lewis & Christin-Marie Hill with Arkansas Symphony at Robinson Center

aso-mahler-soloTonight at Robinson Center, soprano Kristin Lewis and mezz-soprano Christin-Marie Hill will be soloists as the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony.  The concert will be repeated tomorrow.  Under the baton of Music Director Philip Mann, these two ladies and the ASO will be joined by combined choirs from UA Little Rock, UCA, Lyon College, Hendrix College and the Arkansas Chamber Singers.  Yesterday the two soloists hosted a Brown Bag Lunch at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center as a way for the community to meet them.

Kristin Lewis is a native of Little Rock.  A lyrico-spinto soprano lauded for her interpretations of Verdi heroines, she began her vocal studies at the University of Central Arkansas under the guidance of Dr. Martha Antolik. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, she continued with her Master of Music studies at the University of Tennessee with Ms. Kay Paschal and Mr. Andrew Wentzel. Her postgraduate instruction was led by Dr. Jonathan Retzlaff. She currently lives in Vienna, Austria, and is a student of Carol Byers.

A recipient of many honors, Ms. Lewis was recently awarded the 2015 College of Arts and Sciences Divisional Achievement Award for the Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She was awarded the Orazio Tosi Prize 2012, given by the Club Lirica Parma, at the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi. Ms. Lewis was named the 2010 recipient of the Artist of the Year Award by the Savonlinna Opera Festival. In addition, she was voted a 2010 recipient of the coveted “Oscars of the Opera” by the Foundation of Verona for the Arena. She is a two-time National Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. She has also been a finalist of the “XLVI Concours International de Chant de la Ville de Toulouse”, a winner of the “Internationalen Gesangswettbewerb Ferruccio Tagliavini” and a winner of the “Concorso Internazionale Di Musica Gian Battista Viotti”. Ms. Lewis also won the Opera Prize and the Audience Award in the “Concorso Internationale di Canto Debutto A Meran.  In 2015, she made her Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with Mahler’s Second Symphony.

Christin-Marie Hill previously sang with the ASO in Verdi’s Messa de Requieum and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.  Career highlights  include singing with the Minnesota Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Kansas Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Tanglewood Festival, and as a soloist with the Mark Morris Dance Company.  An avid concert and oratorio soloist, Ms. Hill’s extensive list of concert credits include appearances with the Memphis Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Utah Festival Opera Orchestra, and Atlanta Symphony.

A native of Evanston, Illinois, her distinctions include a fellowship in voice from the University of Illinois as well as career grants from the San Francisco Opera, the Rislov Foundation, the Kaplan Foundation, and the 2005 Elardo International Opera Competition. Ms. Hill holds bachelor’s degrees in French literature and sociology, and a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Illinois.

Turkey Day Football in LR – Beating a Variety of Opponents from 1914 to 1933

Turkey Day 1921From the first Thanksgiving football game for Little Rock High School in 1914 until 1933, the Tigers played a variety of opponents.  They faced off against other Arkansas high schools, out of state high schools, a college and a team of soldiers.  Their record in these twenty games was 18 wins and 2 losses.  While the opponent may have varied, each year the Tiger eleven lined up against their foes at home in Little Rock. The team had enough of a reputation that they could invite opponents and never had to travel.

Playing games on Thanksgiving had become a tradition by the time Little Rock joined in the fray in 1914. Their first Thanksgiving Day opponent was Texarkana High School.  The Tigers won by a score of 20 to 0. The crowd of 1,500 at West End Park (now the site of Quigley Stadium) not only witnessed the high school game, but also saw Arkansas College (now Lyon College) defeat Little Rock College (no association with UALR) by a score of 40 to 0.  With their win, Little Rock captured the state championship – their fourth since 1907.

By the next Thanksgiving Day, the field at West End Park was known as Kavanaugh Field. It would have that name until it was replaced by Quigley Stadium in 1936.  From 1915 until 1933, Little Rock would defeat three Arkansas high schools Van Buren, Benton and Hot Springs as well as high schools from Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Kansas, Illinois and Missouri.  Three of their out of state opponents returned for a second time, so even though these schools were generally overwhelmed by Little Rock High, it was obviously viewed as a positive experience.  Playing out of state teams garnered other benefits. In 1920, they played Tupelo Military Institute, which held the Mississippi-Alabama championship. By defeating them, Little Rock High School claimed the state championship of four states: Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi.

In 1917, they beat the college team of Arkansas State Normal School (now UCA) by a score of 45 to 0. (The Tigers so overpowered State Normal that the Gazette mused that the extremely muddy field was all that kept LR from scoring more than 45 points.)

The Tigers’ only two defeats came in 1918 and 1924.  The first Thanksgiving Day defeat came in 1918 when Little Rock played a team of soldiers from Camp Pike. The soldiers were an average of 20 pounds heavier than the Tigers. They used that weight to their advantage to defeat the high schoolers by a score of 42 to 0.  This was at the height of the US involvement in The Great War. So this game was certainly part of Little Rock’s war effort as the City worked to extend hospitality to soldiers. The Tigers’ 1924 defeat was at the hands of Atlanta Tech High School by a score of 35 to 7.

While the Thanksgiving games were serious business for the Tigers and their fans, they also provided for moments of entertainment.  In 1923, the Gazette reported that the Tigers had hosted a dance at the Capital Hotel for the visiting Ensley High football team from Birmingham, Alabama.  One wonders if there were a motive to their hospitality considering that the next day the Tigers won by a score of 20-7. Perhaps distracting the opposing players the night before the game was all part of Coach Earl Quigley’s strategy.  On Thanksgiving 1929, Little Rock hosted previously undefeated Soldan High from Saint Louis. At halftime of the game (which would end with LR scoring 26 to their opponent’s 6), there was a performance by the Little Rock High School band as well as a group of girls called Quigley’s Quackers.

Based on their reputation as a powerhouse, Little Rock would continue to play teams from other states. But after 1933, Little Rock would play a close rival: first North Little Rock (1934-1957) and then Hall High (1958-1982).  During the two decades of playing various teams, the Little Rock Tigers achieved ten shutouts and suffered one shut out.  The Tigers scored 492 points and gave up 133 points.

1914 Little Rock 20 Texarkana 12
1915 Little Rock 40 Muskogee Central High 0
1916 Little Rock 46 Van Buren 0
1917 Little Rock 45 Arkansas State Normal 0
1918 Little Rock 0 Camp Pike 42
1919 Little Rock 52 Benton 0
1920 Little Rock 6 Tupelo Military Institute 3
1921 Little Rock 21 New Orleans Warren Easton High 3
1922 Little Rock 7 Bryan (TX) High 0
1923 Little Rock 20 Birmingham Ensley High 7
1924 Little Rock 7 Atlanta Technical High 35
1925 Little Rock 6 New Orleans Warren Easton High 0
1926 Little Rock 18 Birmingham Ensley High 6
1927 Little Rock 37 Wichita Central High 0
1928 Little Rock 18 Chicago Lindblom High 0
1929 Little Rock 26 Saint Louis Soldan High 6
1930 Little Rock 33 Chicago Lindblom High 13
1931 Little Rock 31 Dallas Woodrow Wilson High 0
1932 Little Rock 6 Saint Louis Cleveland High 0
1933 Little Rock 13 Hot Springs 6
  • Muskogee Central High has been known as Muskogee High since the 1970 integration of the formerly all-white school with an African American high school.
  • Tupelo Military Institute existed from 1913 to 1937.
  • Warren Easton High is Louisiana’s oldest high school. After Hurricane Katrina it is now a charter high school.
  • Bryan High School was replaced by Stephen F. Austin High School, which was replaced by a new Bryan High School.
  • Ensley High in Birmingham closed in 2006.
  • Atlanta Technical High closed in 1947. A charter school with the same name operated from 2004 to 2012.
  • Wichita Central High has been known as Wichita East High since 1929. It is the largest high school in Kansas.
  • Chicago Lindblom High now educates under the name Lindblom Math and Science Academy.
  • Saint Louis Soldan High now educates as Soldan International Studies High School
  • Woodrow Wilson High School continues to operate in the Lakewood neighborhood of East Dallas.
  • Saint Louis Cleveland High now educates as Cleveland Junior Naval Academy and is no longer in the longtime Grover Cleveland High School building.

Bernstein and Brahms this weekend with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

ASO B&BThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth concert of the 2015-2016 Masterworks series: Bernstein & Brahms, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 27 and 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 28 at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center at Maumelle High School. Eight collegiate choruses join the ASO to perform Brahms’s German Requiem and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Bernstein & Brahms is sponsored by CHI St. Vincent. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.

Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at www.ArkansasSymphony.org/freekids

Choral Ensembles
The ASO will collaborate with choirs from around the state of Arkansas for Bernstein & Brahms. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir is featured on Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Brahms’s German Requiem features choirs from Arkansas State University, Harding University,  Lyon College, Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Central Arkansas, and the Arkansas Chamber Singers.

Concert Conversations
All concert ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert lecture an hour before each Masterworks concert. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Shuttle service is available
The ASO provides shuttle service from Second Presbyterian Church in Pleasant Valley to the Maumelle Performing Arts Center and back after the concert. For more information and to purchase fare at $10 per rider per concert, please visit https://www.arkansassymphony.org/concerts-tickets/shuttle-service

 

Program
Bernstein            Chichester Psalms
with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir

Brahms                 Ein Deutsches Requiem
with mass collegiate choir and the Arkansas Chamber Singers

Program notes
Bernstein composed Chichester Psalms during a sabbatical from conducting in 1965. In his own words, “I wrote a lot of music, twelve-tone music and avant garde music of various kinds, and a lot of it was very good, and I threw it all away. And what I came out with at the end of the year was a piece called Chichester Psalms, which is simple and tonal and tuneful and as pure B-flat as any piece you can think of.” Ein Deutsches Requiem was not composed for the people of Germany, but in the German language and was intended to be addressed to all mankind. Breaking from the historic requiem form, in which there is a strong focus on Judgment and the seeking of forgiveness, Brahms instead concentrates on offering consolation to the living who are mourning their departed loved ones.