The Rapp for Sept. 23

Sylvia McNair

Castleton’s ‘Change’: your chance

Castleton Farm, this Saturday (Sept. 25) at 7 p.m.: It could be in your future. It’s definitely in the future of soprano Sylvia McNair, a sort of reformed opera singer (she’s moved on to the Great American Songbook) who just came back from volunteer work in Kenya to perform her one-woman show, “Subject to Change,” the story of her journey beyond the Salzburg Festival (plus a couple of comic-relief fiddle tunes). If an evening of Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and more at the Maazels’ intimate Theatre House interests you, and you have not yet been to a performance at Castleton (and you’re not on the mailing list), Chateauville co-artistic director Dietlinde Maazel says the foundation has set aside a number of free tickets to McNair’s performance. It’s first-come, first-served — so, if you fit the bill, you probably ought to send an e-mail to right away.

Richmond's Jefferson Hotel

Bid on a weekend getaway

Stand below the majestic 36-step marble staircase, the reputed model for the staircase seen in “Gone with the Wind,” and you can just imagine Rhett Butler carrying Scarlett O’Hara up those stairs. Thus begins your romantic weekend stay at the historic Jefferson Hotel in Richmond — if, that is, you win this item at an evening of “Cool Jazz for Cool Cats” on Friday, Oct. 1 at Middleton Inn in Washington. The festivities from 6 to 9 p.m. benefit RappCats, the county’s cat rescue group. Tickets are $50 per person, available at or 540-987-8099. The Jefferson Hotel is a Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond award winner. The getaway includes a Sunday champagne brunch.

Photo by Susan Holmes

Hoophouse for the Hungry

Last week, students at Mountain Laurel Montessori Farm School in Flint Hill were joined by sixth- and seventh-graders from Rappahanock Elementary School’s Farm-to-Table program, plus a suitable number of adults proven to be unfraid of getting their hands (and everything else) dirty — all to continue work on the extraordinary hoophouse that’s been rising behind the school thanks to a dedicated ad-hoc committee of Rappahannock folks who’ve been working on this “Hoophouse for the Hungry” since last winter.

Photo by Susan Holmes

We’ll have more soon in the paper on the hoophouse and ad hoc committee, which (like so many ad hoc committees in Rappahannock County) was put together by Plant-a-Row founder Hal Hunter after he bought a used passive solar hoophouse with the idea of growing winter vegetables for the Food Pantry. After months of planning, the hoophouse is now taking shape and should be ready to plant by this weekend’s Farm Tour, Mountain Laurel’s Susan Holmes says — thanks in large part to the students’ work last week.

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