The Rapp for Nov. 1

Survivors dinner: Not just another party

“We all know of the loved ones in the community that we have lost in the past year,” says Ellen Timbers of Sperryville, who is one of the organizers of the Rappahannock Relay for Life’s annual Survivor Dinner/Dance later this month – and a cancer survivor herself. “This is not just another party, but a party with a purpose – to educate, to advocate, and to eradicate cancer . . . Cancer does not sleep, and neither does the American Cancer Society.”

If you, as Ellen Timbers and the Relay team members do, “want to honor, recognize and support our survivors and to give thanks to the many ACS volunteers and the community for the continued support,” then get your tickets for the second annual Survivor Dinner/Dance. It’s Saturday, Nov. 10 at Sperryville Schoolhouse, where the doors open 5:30 p.m. and dinner (by the Country Cafe) starts at 6:30. Tickets ($30) are available at Union First Market Bank, the Country Cafe and from team captains; sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, contact Katherine Todd at or 540-522-6656, or Ellen Timbers at or 540-987-8402.

Pianist Naoko Takao returns to Theatre

Concert pianist Naoko Takao returns to the Theatre at Washington for a recital at 8 p.m. this Saturday (Nov. 3). The program for this season’s recital includes Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, Schubert’s Sonata in G Major, D. 894 and the Corelli Variations by Rachmaninov.

A native of Japan, Takao came to the U.S. at the suggestion of the late Alicia de Larocha, who heard her play while she was a teenager in Japan. Since her arrival, Takao has received numerous awards and has performed as a soloist at Kennedy Center Terrace Theater and the Beethoven Festival in San Antonio.

Naoko Takao
Naoko Takao

Takao – an accomplished and sought-after chamber musician – first visited the Theatre as a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players and is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Post Classical Ensemble. In addition to maintaining a busy schedule as a performing artist, both in this country and internationally, Takao, who taught in Washington, D.C. at the Levine School of Music for a number of years, is now on the faculty of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

Tickets for the performance are $25 for adults ($10 for students 17 and younger). For reservations or a copy of the Theatre’s fall schedule, call 540-675-1253 or email

RCCA’s annual meet and turtle talk

Join the Rappahannock County Conservation Alliance (RCCA) for its annual meeting 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11. This year’s meeting is at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Auditorium at 1500 Remount Rd., Front Royal, where RCCA is delighted to have Tom Akre, associate professor of biology at Longwood University, as a guest speaker.

Photo by Ltshears via Wikimedia Commons.

Dr. Akre is an expert on the wood turtle, and is collaborating with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to preserve these vulnerable animals here in the Virginia Piedmont. Working with landowners to help safeguard turtle habitat is central to this preservation effort. Please attend and bring a few friends for what promises to be an interesting and informative talk at the newly opened SCBI facility. RSVPs are appreciated. Call 540-987-9118 or email for more.

‘Ol’ Diz: A Musical Baseball Story’

A new musical about the life of baseball great Dizzy Dean – the work of Rappahannock resident Ben Jones and noted Nashville songwriters David Olney and John Hadley – has its first performance at the Theatre at 8 p.m. Nov. 17.

Ben Jones.
Ben Jones.

Jones is effusive about the show. “I first performed ‘Ol’ Diz’ as a one-man show at the Theatre about 10 years ago. I kept working on it and performing it around the country, including a couple of times at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. And I kept thinking it really lent itself to music. Dizzy and his pals with ‘The Gashouse Gang,’ the St. Louis Cardinals of the 1930s, loved to pick and sing. They called themselves ‘The Mudcat Band,’ and they had a great time with it. So I talked to David Olney about it and he ran with the idea.”

Olney is a legendary singer and songwriter whose tunes have been recorded by the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury and Emmylou Harris. Olney joins Jones in the production, along with the Shenandoah Drive bluegrass band, singer Lisa Meadows, fiddler Anthony Van Pelt and the gifted Rappahannock musician Dontez Harris, who appears as the great pitcher Satchel Paige.

Tickets for the show at the Theatre are $25 for adults ($10 for students 17 and younger).

Garden Club sends kids to Nature Camp

The Rappahannock County Garden Club 2013 Nature Camp Scholarship Program is open to any child who lives in Rappahannock County; the only requirement is a genuine desire on the part of the child to attend the camp. Since 1950, the Garden Club has been providing scholarships for local children to attend Nature Camp in Vesuvius, Va. The two-week camp, one of the oldest of its kind in the country, seeks to provide hands-on natural history and environmental education to boys and girls currently enrolled in grades five through 12. Interested parents and students can learn more about Nature Camp at For more information, contact Sylvia Garcia at 540-987-3121 or Scholarship applications are also available through the guidance departments at the county’s public and private schools. Deadline for submitting applications is Dec. 7.

Hunting season night closures

Portions of Skyline Drive will be closed at night during hunting season, Shenandoah National Park superintendent Martha Bogle announced recently. From Nov. 12 through Jan. 5, the portions of Skyline Drive between Front Royal and Thornton Gap and between Swift Run Gap and Rockfish Gap will be closed daily from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. The central portion of the Drive, between Thornton Gap and Swift Run Gap, remains open for overnight access to Big Meadows Campground and Skyland Resort until those facilities close (on Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, respectively). From Dec. 2 to Jan. 5, the entire length of the Skyline Drive will be closed nightly from 5 to 8.

“Closing portions of the Skyline Drive enables rangers to concentrate patrols on problem areas and to increase contacts along the park boundary,” said Bogle, who went on to remind people that there is a reward program to assist in combating illegal hunting.

“A reward will be paid to anyone who furnishes information which leads to the conviction of any person who hunts, transports or attempts to transport illegally taken wildlife within the park,” said Bogle.

Anyone with information about such activities should call the park (800-732-0911 or 540-999-2227). The identity of persons furnishing information will be kept strictly confidential, and a person does not have to reveal his or her name.

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