Tag Archives: Star Spangled Banner

Little Rock Look Back: First Hall High Graduation in 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 high school 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.


Thank You Little Rock concert by Arkansas Symphony tonight

aso-thankyou_ticketOn November 1, 2016, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra distributed free tickets to tonight’s “Thank You, Little Rock” concert.  In 39 minutes, they were all given away.

But for those without tickets, there is still an opportunity to see this concert from the stage of Robinson Center Performance Hall.  A livestream will be available at the ASO website .

The program for tonight’s concert (under the direction of Maestro Philip Mann) consists of:

  • arr. Toscanini – Star Spangled Banner
  • DVORAK – Carnival Overture
  • BERG, Stephanie – Breathe **WORLD PREMIERE feat. ASO with Youth Strings**
  • MUSSORGSKY – Pictures at an Exhibition

The concert is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust and the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Little Rock Look Back: The City responds to September 11

The Little Rock arts and culture community responded to September 11 as all sectors did.

Two of the groups in particular come to mind. When airspace was closed on September 11, several flights were grounded in Little Rock. The passengers on those planes became unexpected visitors to Little Rock.   Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey and Assistant City Manager Bruce Moore led efforts to make sure that everyone had a place to stay that evening.

The Arkansas Rep had opened its production of You Can’t Take It with You on Friday, September 7. The show was already scheduled to be dark on September 11, but on Wednesday, September 12, 2001, the performances resumed. That night the Rep offered these unexpected Little Rock guests free tickets to the performance.  Seeing a play which was both heartwarming, comic and full of Americana was the perfect balm for audiences who were weary, confused and nervous in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Most of the cast of that production was from New York City. Luckily, all of their friends and family back in New York were all safe.

Also on September 12, 2001, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presented a previously scheduled concert with Michael Bolton.  He had been traveling by bus so was able to get to Little Rock.  His concert was cathartic for the 2000 plus attendees at Robinson Center Music Hall. It offered not only a communal experience but also a welcome break from 24 hour coverage.  Three days later, on September 15, the ASO kicked off its MasterWorks series.  As has been tradition since the days of Francis McBeth as conductor, that first concert of the season began with the National Anthem.  The audience and musicians gathered and sang and played with unprecedented gusto that night.

Set a World Record on FLAG DAY

flag bannerToday is Flag Day. A day to honor the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, the Star-Spangled Banner.

It was 200 years ago, in 1814, that Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that became the National Anthem.  In celebration of that, the Smithsonian National Museum is working with local partners to create a nationwide attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for “the most people to sing a national anthem at one time.”

In Arkansas, the partner is Flag and Banner along historic 9th Street.  The singing will take place at 3pm CDT.

This official Smithsonian party will be held at Arkansas’ Flag and Banner located in downtown Little Rock to celebrate the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner. All guests are encouraged to sign up to sing during the sing-a-long which will be coordinated to happen at the same time with all the other party locations across the nation- including Ft. McHenry where the song was written. A National Guard Color Guard will present the colors during the sing-a-long which will take place at exactly 3:00 p.m.

Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com has also partnered with the American Legion of Arkansas, local area Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to present a dignified flag disposal ceremony to respectfully dispose of unusable U.S. Flags. Bring your their tattered and faded flags in for retirement and receive a coupon for $5 off the purchase of a new flag.

Kerry McCoy, owner of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com encourages everyone to come to this history making event, she said, “Flag Day is always an exciting annual event here at Flag and Banner, but this year is special because we are partnering with the Smithsonian National Museum, one of our long time customers, to make history. Come make history with us! Remember singing starts sharply at 3:00 p.m. and you must be signed up to be counted in the Guinness Book of World Records.”

During the party Arkansas celebrities will be on hand to lead the sing-a-long and give out prizes plus guests can sign up to win an in-ground residential flagpole kit with flag from Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com. The event will include a special tribute to the troops and veterans along with a tribute to father’s since Father’s Day is this Sunday.

Refreshments and activities include free popcorn, a candy buffet and drinks-plus free games, face painting and activities for the kids at this family friendly event. Vendors selling burgers, barbecue, catfish and ice cream will also be available.

The party takes place Saturday, June 14, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com offices located at 800 West 9th Street in downtown Little Rock. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information e-mail tammie@flagandbanner.com or call: (501) 375-7633.