The Rapp column for March 18

Bach to the Theatre . . .

To celebrate the 325th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach, consider heading to the Theatre at Washington this Sunday for another in its series of Smithsonian at Little Washington events: Harpsichordist Kenneth Slowik will play Bach’s monumental “Goldberg Variations.” The program, which starts at 3 p.m., will include a brief discussion of fascinating structure of the piece.

Slowik plays an instrument made by Thomas and Barbara Wolf – a very handsome walnut harpsichord, after German models of circa 1730, on an ornate rope-turned stand. Tickets for the concert are $20 for adults, $5 for those 17 and younger. Call 540-675-1253 or email

. . . and back to the ’grass

The following weekend at the Theatre, Dark Hollow Bluegrass Band brings its particular brand of faithful, smartly dressed bluegrass to the theatre, in the band’s first-ever appearance there. Saturday night, March 27.

Well known throughout the Piedmont and beyond for its lively performances, the band is composed of Paul Fincham on five-string banjo and vocals; Larry Haynes, guitar and vocals; Buck Morris, mandolin and vocals; Hank Utz, bass, and lead guitarist and vocalist Bob Cook.

Dark Hollow has been together for about seven years, says Fincham, playing “traditional, hard-driving music.” Raised in Rappahannock, Fincham points out that the band uses only one microphone to produce the rich, tight-knit harmony that punctuates the sort of classic bluegrass popularized by the Stanley Brothers, Flatt and Scruggs, Cliff Waldron and the Seldom Scene — all influences on Dark Hollow’s sound. Fincham emphasizes that the band’s sound is always controlled, “driving” but never over-amplified — nor underdressed (another Flatt and Scruggs influence).

“We always dress up for our shows,” says Fincham.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for ages 17 and younger. Call 540-675-1253 or email

A winning polo performance

Two local high school seniors, Tyler and Austin Burdick of Flint Hill, were on the winning team of the Southeast Regional Interscholastic United States Polo Association Tournament this past weekend at the University of Virginia.

Coach L.J. Lopez says the team is now preparing to play in the National Tournament in April at Cornell University – a very big deal. Congratulations, Burdicks!

Oldway’s artists

Depending on what generation you’re with, you might know Eric Kvarnes as a glassblower, gallery owner and teacher – or as the “List Dad,” as he calls himself, of the county’s email list-serve, Rappnet. Either way, Kvarnes’s Oldway Arts Center, just across the distinctive steel walkway on U.S. 211 south of Sperryville, is having an open house April 3. You can meet him and a half-dozen of the gallery’s other artists, including sculptor Charles Flickinger, stained glass artists Patti Brennan and Melanie Winslow, woodworker Michael Saulnier, photographer Steve Schultz, amd metal sculptor Steve Berry.

The open house is 1 to 5 p.m. April 3. Call the gallery at 540-987-8474 for more details.

RCHS reunion time

Whether you graduated from – or taught at, or still teach at – Rappahannock County High School anytime from the ‘60s on, you’ll want to know about “Across the Years Reunion” next month at the Link community center in Sperryville.

The reunion is 7 p.m. Saturday, April 24, and costs $30 per person, for “heavy hors d’oeuvres” by the Thornton River Grill, a deejay plus cash bar. What’s really impressive is that you can register and pay for admission online at — an amazing web site put together by reunion organizer (and current RCHS teacher) Karen Sanborn and ‘84 RCHS grad Michael Del Grosso — who have collected, scanned and posted yearbook photos from 1963 to the (almost) present. Great job, guys!

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 544 Articles
Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.