The Rapp for May 7

Noh’s ark

“Island” is among the arresting works by BK Noh at Haley Fine Art in Sperryville this month and next.
“Island” is among the arresting works by BK Noh at Haley Fine Art in Sperryville this month and next.

Sperryville’s Haley Fine Art Gallery has works on exhibit through June by Virginia artist BongKyun Noh, whose captivating paintings dive deeply, in this show, into the mysteries of books — and water. Spacious and lucid, BK’s creations are a meditation on the written word’s vital and evolving role in our lives and culture. Originally from Seoul, Korea, BK is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. The exhibit is up through June at Haley Fine Art, which is open 10 to 6 daily (except Tuesday-Wednesday) at 42 Main St., Sperryville. For more information, call 540-987-1000 or visit

Events alert

A busy weekend, this: Food Pantry Day, the Rappahannock Relay for Life, the RCHS band’s Coffee House fundraiser and a RAAC library lecture all vying for your attention, if not attendance. Don’t get anxious; just click calmly here and find all the times and details in our Events calendar, make up your mind — and then relax and let the weekend happen.

The Stone Hill Players are back

After last year’s success with James Reston Jr.’s play, “Galileo’s Torch,” the al fresco amateur theater troupe that grew out of front-porch gatherings at the Laurel Mills Store will be back next month at John Henry’s stone amphitheater in Flint Hill with another Reston play, “Sherman the Peacemaker” — this one marking the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.

Maestro Rick Davis will again direct the production, which features encore performances by federal Judge David Tatel as Edwin Stanton, the U.S. Secretary of War; conservative icon Richard Viguerie as Confederate Gen. John Belle Hood; author Andrew Cockburn as detective Lafayette Baker; Edith Tatel as Gen. Sherman’s wife, Ellen; John Jacquemin as Sen. John Sherman; Casey Eitner as Sherman’s aide, and veteran Washington actor John Lescault as Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.

Joining the cast are Lincoln biographer Sidney Blumenthal as the ghost of Abraham Lincoln; Dr. Hugh Hill as Gen. Ulysses S. Grant; Gen. John Douglass as Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston; Jim Duffy as Confederate Col. Alfred Rhett; Dick Manuel as Stanton’s aide and Amanda Stephens as Dixie diarist Mary Chestnut.

The play will be performed at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 6 at the unique stone amphitheater Henry designed and built (and built again) over the last half-decade at his Stone Hill Farm on Crest Hill Road. The production is a benefit for Paul Reisler’s Kid Pan Alley; Reisler will open with a concert at 6:30. Gates will open for picnicking at 5.

Middle Street goes around the world

Two painters and a photographer show their works at the Middle Street Gallery in Sperryville from May 8 through June 14. The artists, Leslie Hilton, Phyllis Northup and Carl Zitzmann, from Warrenton, Luray, and Amissville respectively, are all members of the nonprofit artists cooperative.

Hilton will offer paintings from her travels to faraway places, including Turkey, Hong Kong, Northern Canada and the Caribbean. Oh, and Baltimore. “I have included faces from the other side of the world, from the South, North, East and West,” she says. “Most are not the traditional smiling portraits, but images of people in their everyday lives, doing what they do and not concerned about my intrusion into their worlds.”

Northup also travels in this show, to the National Parks that she has lived in over the years married to  park ranger Jim (who is now superintendent of Shenandoah National Park). “My ‘backyards’ have included the soaring majesty of the Tetons, the ever-changing, awe inspiring Grand Canyon, the stark beauty of the Big Bend desert, the beaches of Cape Hatteras and Fire Island, the flowing water and limestone cliffs of the Buffalo River, the misty ridges of the Smoky Mountains, and the pristine jewel of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, where the spirit of Lake Superior inspired me on a daily basis,” she says. “The adventure continues as we return to the beautiful mountains of Shenandoah National Park, where our journey began many years ago.”

Photographer Zitzmann says he uses his camera as a tool to capture “those delightful moments which manifest the synchronicity of time, motion and light. I then define, and refine, my original vision through modern digital technology to create the print to be joyfully shared with the adventurous viewer.”

Zitzmann’s works show a mix of artistic sensibility, technical skill and serendipity. He describes one work, a surreal image that is backlit and out of focus, as “the result of a happy accident that I captured while shooting a photo essay at Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia, California.”

Another Zitzmann image came about following a casual afternoon photographing mules in a friend’s pasture near Old Rag Mountain. “As the sun dipped below the mountain, I put away my camera gear and headed for the house and dinner. Coming around a corner, I glanced up to see the last bit of sunset reflected in an upstairs window in a brown clapboard farmhouse. Hurriedly, I ran back to my car and grabbed my camera just in time to catch this beautiful shot.”

Catch beautiful shots of the art and meet the artists at a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. this Saturday (May 9) at the gallery, which is open 11 to 5 Friday-Sunday at 3 River Lane, Sperryville. Call 540-987-9330 or visit for more information.

— Gary Anthes

Reisler, Morris, Keys at Hylton Center

Paul Reisler has written more songs than the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Stephen Foster combined — somewhere north of 3,500 compositions. And, he’s probably had more than enough collaborators to make it into the Guinness Book of World records — approaching 40,000 and counting. He’s written songs with tens of thousands of children through his Kid Pan Alley project and he’s written songs with a bunch of Grammy winning songwriters as well.

The Paul Reisler Trio will be bringing some of that music to Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Gregory Family Theater in Manassas on Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m., featuring Marshall Keys on sax and vocalist Lea Morris.

Esquire Magazine said, “Marshall Keys’ dulcet tones and earthy compositions conjure the spirits of jazzmen past and future. From mainstream to contemporary, from bebop to hip-hop, he plays the saxophone with a sense of grace and emotion that is wholly without cliché.” He’s a fixture on the Washington jazz scene and has recorded eight albums of his music.

Lea is a singer and songwriter whose “soul-folk” blends gospel, jazz, country and R&B with authentic, thought-provoking songcraft. Born into a musical family in Baltimore, she grew up hearing her father’s trumpet and her mother’s gospel vocals. Her work is often compared to Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco. She is currently working on her eighth full-length album and when she is not doing her own music she works with Kid Pan Alley.

In 1975, Reisler’s band Trapezoid got a record contract at their very first performance. That record took off and the band took off around the country performing at festivals, concert halls and listening clubs. At the height of their career they were performing over 200 concerts a year.

Trapezoid’s last gasp came right around the turn of the millennium and right around the time he made the earth-shaking discovery that kids made the best co-writers. That little accident has kept him younger than a third grader and greyer than a grandpa as he’s written songs with more than 35,000 children across the country through his Kid Pan Alley program. He likes to quote Picasso, who said, “We’re all born as artists, and the challenge is to remain one as one grows up.” The inspiration of the children has kept him an artist and has probably kept him from ever fully growing up.

In addition to writing songs with that army of kids, Kid Pan Alley has had him performing with orchestras around the country, brought in a Grammy nomination, and put him in the recording studio with artists including Amy Grant, Sissy Spacek, Delbert McClinton, Kix Brooks, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Corey Harris, Suzy Bogguss and many others.

When he’s not corralling kids, words, and notes at the same time, he performs with his band Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions featuring Howard Levy, or with his trio. The Washington Post said, “His songs climb up the Blue Ridge and down to the bayou and back up the Himalayas.”

For tickets and information on the concert, which is partially supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, call the Hylton Center box office at 888-945-2468 or visit

Gray Ghost’s gold reserve

Gray Ghost’s new release 2014 Adieu earned a gold medal and was named “Best of the East Coast” at the Consumer Wine Awards in Lodi, California, recently. A unique wine competition, the Consumer Wine Awards is judged solely by wine enthusiasts.

Closer to home, Gray Ghost’s 2013 Reserve Chardonnay took top honors at the Florida State Fair International Wine Competition when it was awarded double gold status, indicating a unanimous vote of gold by every participating judge. The award marks the 12th for Gray Ghost’s new release Reserve Chardonnay and it comes on the heels of four consecutive silver medal wins in California.

Gray Ghost Winery’s tasting room is open 11 to 5 Friday-Sunday at 14706 Lee Hwy. in Amissville. Call 540-937-4869 for more.

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