Historic Washington State Park announces the annual summer concert series “Music in the Park” with the theme “Hempstead County Melodies.” A free concert will be held in June, July, and August and is open to the public.

Hempstead County was formed on December 15, 1818, according to a press release. This year is the 200th birthday of the county that originally encompassed all of Southwest Arkansas and parts of Northeast Texas. This year the music will focus on Hempstead County bands. A song competition will conclude the series in August with awards provided totaling $1,000 for the best song about Hempstead County.

Clarke Buehling Duo is widely recognized for his interpretations of late 19th Century finger-style banjo, Clarke is also in the forefront of the recent resurgence of interest in the

Ante-bellum minstrel banjo style and songs. With him is Kent Beyette, a retired English professor and Navy pilot, who provides jig-dancing and small percussion, such as the Irish bodhran frame drum and bone castanets.

Measure of Grace & Friends is a local gospel group from Hempstead County, Arkansas that is dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through gospel music.  Group members are Randy & Misty Banks, and Wendy Martin.  All are members of Bethany Baptist Church in Spring Hill, Arkansas.

Picasa via Washington State Park Arkansas

Bluegrass Reunion & Hempstead County Music Competition is a feature allowing musicians and soloists to compose and perform their own original work with some aspect of Hempstead County as the topic. Area judges will award prizes at the end of the eveningApplications for the contest can be received by calling the Park Visitor Center at 870-983-2684. Applications to perform must be postmarked by August 3, 2018. Learn more and apply for the music contest at bit.ly/hwspmusicinthepark2018. Local Hempstead County band “Bluegrass Reunion” will also perform that evening.

June 16 –  Clarke Buehling Duo

July 14 – Measure of Grace & Friends

August 18 – Bluegrass Reunion & Song Competition