The Rapp for Feb. 3

Mimi White performs at the Lions' regional competition in 2010. Photo by Bruce Jones.

Lions’ music contest is Sunday

Plan to come this Sunday (Feb. 6) to the Theatre in Washington to enjoy vocal and instrumental music performed by Rappahannock County students. Shown here is Michelle “Mimi” White, winner of last year’s instrumental category.

The annual event is sponsored by the Rappahannock Lions Club as part of the statewide Lions of Virginia Bland Music Scholarship contest. Rappahannock student winners receive cash awards contributed by the local Lions.

The free event on Sunday starts at 2 p.m. and will include refreshments and entertainment during the short intermission.

In celebration of Black History Month each February, the Lions of Virginia promote zone contests followed by region and district contests. Rappahannock students over the past 27 years have advanced to the district contest held in Alexandria.

For more details, contact Alex and Brian Taylor at 540-987-9424.

Violinist E. Geronimo Robinson performs at the King tribute.

Celebrating King’s life

For 20 years, Wendy Weinberg has opened the doors of The Theatre in Washington to celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Program director Nan Butler Roberts noted that this year’s observance on Jan. 17 was the 25th anniversary of the national King holiday. The civil rights leader would have turned 82. He was assassinated at age 39.

This year’s commemoration featured as guest speaker Dr. Aldridge A. Boone, superintendent of Rappahannock County public schools. Boone asked the question, “What has happened to civility and good manners?” He recalled the themes from one of Dr. King’s perhaps lesser known works titled “Strength to Love.”

The program opened with violinist E. Geronimo Robinson of Washington, D.C., accompanied on piano by Cheryl Jarvis of Culpeper. One of the selections was “The Lord’s Prayer.” The program also featured an original song, “The Message is Love” written by Dontez Harris and sung by students from the Belle Meade School, Sperryville. The Rappahannock County High School cheerleaders performed a stunt/dance routine to a song entitled, “The Dream.”

Emcee Rev. Ronnie Poe, left, and Superintendent and guest speaker Aldridge Boone.

Awards were presented to the winners of the 2011 Student Essay competition. First place was awarded to Michaela Saunders, of Culpeper, a 14-year-old, freshman, Madeira School; second place, Khalil Abu-Roman, Amissville, a 17-yr. old senior at Liberty High School; third place, Maurice Wilson, Woodbridge, a 17-year-old 11th grade, C.D. Hylton High School.

This year’s contest was underwritten by the Scrabble School Foundation whose new president, Melanie Thornhill Kopjanski, assisted in the awards presentations. Thanks and final remarks were given by Lillian F. Aylor, president of the Julia E. Boddie Scholarship Committee, which sponsors the celebration each year in cooperation with The Theatre at Washington.

Belle Meade students perform.

Community leaders represented at this year’s observance included Washington Mayor John Sullivan, School Board Chairman Wes Mills, board member Ailene Johnson and members of the board of supervisors. The program’s emcee was Rev. Ronnie Poe of Woodville Baptist Church.

The Bird Conservancy’s work

Mark your calendars now: George Fenwick will discuss the work of the American Bird Conservancy on Feb. 11 as part of the Second Friday at the Library series. The program begins at 8 p.m. at the Rappahannock County Library.

The ABC, based in The Plains, is the only U.S.-based group with a major focus on bird habitat conservation throughout the Americas. Fenwick, ABC’s present and CEO since its founding in 1994, will discuss the organization’s mission and its most recent publication, the “American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation.” The guide is designed to be a road map for citizen conservation, providing solid science on birds, their habitats, the threats and the potential solutions so that interested citizens can see what role they might be able to play in guarding the health of our bird population. Despite conservation efforts in recent years, a third of all American bird species are in trouble — in many cases they’re in imminent danger of extinction.

Before ABC, Fenwick served with the Nature Conservancy, including as its director of science. He received a Ph.D. in pathobiology from Johns Hopkins University.

The Second Friday at the Library series is sponsored by the Rappahannock Association for Arts and the Community. Visit raac.org for more information.

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