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News Archive--June/July 2012


NEWS--Hot Springs Concert Band Relocates June 25th Concert To NPCC Gymnasium

The Hot Springs Concert Band--who were scheduled to perform a free concert in Whittington Federal Park on Monday, June 25th, 2012--have announced a change in venue. In statement, Charles Gilmore, Band President, explained that "the temperature high for Monday , June 25th is forecast to be 104 degrees, with a heat index in excess of 124 degrees. Under these excessive heat conditions, we will be relocating the concert for Monday evening to the gymnasium at National Park Community College (NPCC) in Hot Springs. The safety of our band and audience members needs to be our top priority. We don't want to create a health hazard for anyone."
Gilmore add, "Members of the public may be seated on available bleachers in the gym or may bring their lawn chair into the gymnasium for more comfortable seating.  Ample parking is available adjacent to the gymnasium complex and at the Health Sciences building parking lot.  Doors will open at 6pm.  The concert is free and open to the public.  Food and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the gymnasium.  We will not bring in water since we are in the cool indoors.  You may want to bring your own if you desire to have something along.  Our thanks and appreciation to National Park Community College for making this facility available to us."
This will the first time this year that the Band has relocated to the Community College because of adverse weather conditions. However, this change is revenue is reminiscent of events last year. As Hot Springs sweltered under unseasonable hot weather during July and August of 2011, four of the Band’s scheduled eight Summer concerts were relocated indoors to the NPCC gymnasium.  We can only hope that more seasonable temperatures will soon return and the Band can once again perform in Whittington Federal Park.
The Band has an established inclement weather policy. In the event of poor weather on concert day--or if the forecast is for poor weather--the Band will perform at its back-up venue, the auditorium at National Park Community College. The Band's organizers asks that concert-goers check the Band's website,, after 4:00 pm the day of the concert to confirm where the Band will be performing (Note: the Band's website has not been updated and still shows the concert being staged in the Federal Park--this information is not current.  The Concert will be held in the gymnasium at NPCC).  Also, we'll post the latest information on where the Band will be playing on our website as soon the information is made available.
- Posted 6/24/12 by MT

NEWS--First Presbyterian Church Offering Day Camp For Kids

The Valley’s own First Presbyterian Church—known as “the Church With a Heart in the Heart of the City”--announces a week long Vacation Bible Camp for students grades 1-6.   This camp event will be held 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, July 2nd through July 6th at the church.
The day camp will offer opportunities for Bible stories, worship, recreation, arts and crafts, making friends, and much more.   An experienced camp assistant director plus counselors from Ferncliff, all of whom have been trained to work with children, will provide leadership for the Camp-In-A-Van.
There is no cost for this day camp, but the deadline to enroll your child is quickly approaching.   Applications must be submitted by June 29th, 2012.
For more information about the day camp, please contact Yasmin Martin, First Presbyerian Church's Communications Coordinator, at (501) 624-5646 or email Jamie Randall at   To download an application for the day camp event, click here.
- Posted 6/19/12 by MT

NEWS--Hot Spring Concert Band Performs Memorial Day Concert in the Whittington Valley

On Monday, May 28th, 2012, the Hot Springs Concert Band gave a stirring Memorial Day performance in Whittington Federal Park.  A crowd of more than 800 spectators enjoyed the Band’s music under clear and warm skies, the ninety degree heat made tolerable by the shade provided by the Park’s numerous mature trees, frequent comfortable breezes and free donated cold bottled water.  The band played for more than ninety minutes and offered concert-goers medleys that included “America the Beautiful,” “God Bless the USA” and “This is My Country.”
Audience members gather in Whittington Federal Park to enjoy the
Hot Springs Concert Band's 2012 Memorial Day Concert.
Craig V. Hamilton, Ph.D., led the Band’s forty plus members through a diverse program.  As befitting the Memorial Day holiday, the concert began with the “Star Spangled Banner.”  Next was a piece composed by Keith Lacy, “America Triumphant March.”  Lacy was a self-taught musician who served in WWI, WWII and Korea and came to write more than fifty marches.
The Concert Band also played music from the award winning 2001 TV-miniseries, “Band of Brothers” and then segued into the “Armed Forces Salute,” a medley of the all the military “service songs” including “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” “The Marines’ Hymn” (probably best known for the lyric “From the Halls of Montezuma, To the Shores of Tripoli”) and “Anchors Away.”  As each service song was played, veterans and active duty members from that particular branch stood and were recognized for their service with applause from the audience.
 Hot Spring's Concert Band President Charles Gilmore (standing, with microphone) thanks everyone for attending the Band's
Memorial Day Concert in Whittington Federal Park.
The Band offered a special musical tribute to the more than two million women who are or have served in the U.S. Armed forces, performing the “March of the Women Marines,” “WAVES of the NAVY” and the “Pallas Athena March.”   The concert also included lighter fare, specifically a medley of military marches from classic Hollywood movies; selections included pieces from “The Bridge Over the River Kwai,” “The Great Escape” and “Patton.”  The concert ended with a rousing performance of Karl King’s “Hosts of Freedom.”
Craig V. Hamilton, Ph.D. (standing) leads the members of
the Hot Springs Concert Band during their 2012 Memorial Day Concert
in the Whittington Valley.
The Concert Band was named by the Whittington Valley Neighborhood Association as their 2011 “Organization of the Year.”  The Band was recognized for staging free public concerts in the Valley and for exposing people to the natural beauty and historic character of the neighborhood.  The Neighborhood Association also praised the Band’s efforts to expand musical education and musical appreciation in the community.  In 2011 the Concert Band gave three scholarships to area high school music students.  The Band also recognized three other students with honorable mentions.
This was the first performance in the Band’s 2012 Summer Concert Series.  The Hot Springs Concert Band will perform seven additional public concerts in Whittington Federal Park over the course of summer.  The Band’s next concert in the park, with the theme of “Day and Night,” will be held Monday, June 11th starting at 7:00 pm.  As always, the concert is free but attendees are advised to bring their own chairs.  For a complete list of the Band’s upcoming concert schedule, visit their website at
- Posted 6/8/11 by MT

NEWS--The Valley’s Own Artchurch Studio Announces June Events

The Whittington Valley’s own Artchurch Studio--a non-profit arts education organization--has announced several upcoming events for the month of June.  First up, on June 10th from 10:30 a.m. to noon, the Artchurch will host a Chamber Music rehearsal session for a Schubert Octet.  The rehearsal session will take place in the Artchurch’s upstairs Cathedral Room, is free and open to the public.  The rehearsal is in preparation for a performance at the Hot Springs Music Fest.
On June 22nd, the Artchurch will host musical group “Lost in the Trees.”  The group, who are touring in support of their new album, “A Church That Fits Our Needs,” performed last year during the Hot Springs’ Valley of the Vapors musical festival and left not a dry eye in the house.  This will be the group’s only Arkansas performance this year.  “Lost In The Trees” is lead by Ari Picker who’s heartfelt lyrics and vocal approach are backed by an orchestral group consisting of cello, percussion, pianos, horns and haunting vocal harmonies.  The evening will begin with a reception at 7:00 pm with the music starting at 8:00 pm.  “Daytona” opens the show.  This performance is open to all ages.  Artchurch is a non-smoking venue.  Limited tickets are available online at the Valley of the Vapors website.  Seating is general admission, first come first serve the night of the show.
The Artchurch is also pleased to announce a summertime schedule of arts programming for all ages.   These include:
Summer Arts Camp: Robots, Rockets & Aliens
Cost:  $75 per session ($25 deposit due upon registration)
Description: This four-day session is intended to be an ‘Art & Science Collision Excursion’ about creating art through the scientific discovery process.
Morning Session Dates: July 9 - 12, 8 am - noon.
Afternoon Session Dates:  July 16 - 19, 1 pm - 4pm.
Summer Arts Camp: Dragons, Fairies & Castles
Ages: 6-12
Cost:  $75 per session ($25 deposit due upon registration)
Description:  This four-day program will focus on ‘Fantasy & Folklore’ that will encourage children to use their imagination in adventurous travel far, far, away into history and imagery.
Afternoon Session Dates: July 9 - 12, 1 pm - 4 pm.
Morning Session Dates: July 16 - 19, 8 am - Noon.
Summer Workshop: Exploring Image
High School - Adult
Cost:  $75 per workshop ($25 deposit due upon registration)
Description:  During this three-day workshop attendees will learn about block printing and alternative photo processes to create your own linoleum block print, cyanotype and vandyke brown photo prints.
Session Date: June 18 - 20, 6pm - 8pm
Summer Workshop: Visual Journals
High School - Adult
Cost:  $75 per workshop ($25 deposit due upon registration)
Description: During this two day program, attendees will partake in an immersive learning environment that will explore as image transfer, additive & subtractive image making & applied finishing to create your own visual book/journal.
Session Date: June 23, 9 am - 5 pm &
June 24, 1 pm - 5 pm.
Summer Dance Class with Miss Andrea: Beginner Tap
Ages: Teen - Adult
Cost:  $5 per Class
Description: Learn the basic techniques of tap dancing!  This is an absolute beginner class, no experience necessary.  Get ready to learn how to do a shuffle ball change!  Attendance for every class is not necessary but encouraged as the instruction is cumulative.  Drop-ins welcome!
Session Dates: June through August, Thursdays: 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm.
Summer Dance Class with Miss Andrea: Beginner Ballet Technique
Teen - Adult
Cost:  $5 Drop-In Class
Description: No experience necessary; this class will explore the basics of ballet and focus on posture, flexibility and grace of movement.  Attendance for every class is not necessary but encouraged.  Ballet shoes optional.  Drop ins welcome.
Session Dates: June through August, Thursdays: 7:15 pm to 8:15 pm.
The Artchurch Studio is located at 301 Whittington Avenue.  For more information on any of the above events or programs, visit their website at or contact the Artchurch Studio by phone at (501) 655-0836 or call Terri Taylor at (501) 282-8343.
- Posted 6/7/12 by MT

NEWS-- Repairs and Upgrades on West Mountain Road Nearly Completed

Residents in the Whittington Valley are anxiously waiting completion of a major repaving project on West Mountain Drive.  The work has, at times, closed the mountain road, causing disruptions and requiring extended detours through downtown Hot Springs.
Repairs and upgrades to the newly repaved road over West Mountain are nearing completion.  Workers have recently painted traffic markings on the roadway.  Scheduled completion date is no later than June 21, 2012.
Since mid-March, contractors have repaved the entire length of the roadway from Whittington Avenue to Prospect Avenue as well as the road up to West Mountain Summit.  The project, estimated to cost $1.5 million, has been overseen by the Federal Highway Administration and entailed milling the existing roadway, applying new asphalt, repairing and expanding drainage catchments, installing new guardrails, painting lanes makers and placing traffic signs.
Plans originally called for the work to be completed by June 21, 2012.  Fortunately the recent three-week stretch of warm and dry weather has allowed work to progress faster than originally planned; workers have recently completed painting traffic lines on the new asphalt and it is possible the road work may be completed ahead of schedule.
- Posted 6/6/12 by MT

NEWS--Valley Church to Host Performance by Professional Japanese Vocalist

In a press release the City of Hot Springs has announce that a free public concert will be performed at the Valley’s own First Presbyterian Church, 213 Whittington Avenue, on Friday, June 8th at 2:00 pm.  The concert will feature classically-trained baritone soloist Seiichi Furukawa who is visiting the Spa City to thank Hot Springs residents for their outpouring of support following last year’s tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Furukawa’s father, a resident of Hanamaki, Japan, Hot Springs’ sister city, told Furukawa of Hot Springs’ generosity following the disaster.
At the Friday concert, Mr. Furukawa will be accompanied by Hee-Kyung Juhn, Director of Keyboard Instruction at Henderson University.  The concert will be videotaped for future broadcast on local cable television.  The concert is co-sponsored by the Hot Springs National Park Sister City Foundation, Visit Hot Springs and The Muses Creative Artistry Project.  On Saturday, June 9th, Mr. Furukawa will also perform with soprano Deleen Davidson of The Muses Creative Artistry Project during the Hot Springs Music Festival’s Progressive Concert along Bathhouse Row.
Mr. Furukawa received his Ph.D. in vocal music from the Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo, with a concentration in opera.  He holds a second Ph.D. in media design from Keio University in Tokyo.  He is a soloist with the Tokyo Nikikai Opera Theater, performing throughout Japan and across Europe.  Past roles include the Count in “The Marriage of Figaro” and Papageno in “The Magic Flute.” In October 2010, Furukawa was named Hanamaki IHATOV Goodwill Ambassador by the Iwate Prefecture.
For further information, call Mary Neilson, Sister City Program Coordinator, at 501-545-6960.
- Posted 6/6/12 by MT 
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