In the late 1950s, Roberta Flack, the future star of soul music, became the first lead vocalist for the Monitors while living and teaching in Farmville near Greenville. A native of western North Carolina, she graduated from Howard University with a degree in music education at the age of 19 and accepted a position teaching both music and English in Farmville. Even though her stay was brief, former student gospel quartet singer Joe Charles Hopkins has fond memories:
When I was in the eighth grade, Roberta Flack came to our school, and she taught us music and English. She was a phenomenal lady. I really, really had high admiration for her, and still do, even today. I haven’t seen her since, but I love her music. I really do.