The Rapp for Nov. 15

Singing those good old tunes

If you love such old favorites as “Almost Like Being in Love,” “Down by the Riverside,” “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Goodnight, Irene,” you’ll want to be at Trinity Episcopal Church tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 16) at 7 p.m. for the annual benefit sing-along in the parish hall. Proceeds benefit the Rappahannock Food Pantry. There will be wine and cheese, and, on the piano, Food Pantry founder and part-time accompanist Hal Hunter. Email for more information.

Kid Pan Alley returns

Kid Pan Alley began 13 years ago right here in Rappahannock. Join them at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Rappahannock County Elementary School as they celebrate their anniversary with a brand new batch of songs.

Kid Pan Alley’s Paul Reisler songwriting at Rappahannock elementary last week with Sophia Garcia (right) and Brianna Corder. Photo by Cheryl Toth.
Kid Pan Alley’s Paul Reisler songwriting at Rappahannock elementary last week with Sophia Garcia (right) and Brianna Corder. Photo by Cheryl Toth.

The free concert features all new songs written by founder Paul Reisler and children from Rappahannock Elementary and Hearthstone Schools, as well as with elders from the Rappahannock Senior Center. The six-piece band features musicians who have performed or recorded with musical legends such as Miles Davis, Bruce Hornsby, Quincy Jones, Dave Matthews and many others.

RAAC presents ‘Peter Pan’

RAAC Community Theatre’s holiday show features pirates, Indians, mermaids, Lost Boys, cantankerous fairies, a ticking crocodile, a man with a hook, a sweet family of ordinary children and a boy who won’t grow up. Yes, it’s a production of “Peter Pan.”

Captain Hook (played by Howard Coon) skirmishes with Peter Pan (Brendan Martyn) while Tinkerbell (Maeve Cuiba) looks on at a rehearsal of RAAC’s “Peter Pan.” Photo by Jules Coon.
Captain Hook (played by Howard Coon) skirmishes with Peter Pan (Brendan Martyn) while Tinkerbell (Maeve Cuiba) looks on at a rehearsal of RAAC’s “Peter Pan.” Photo by Jules Coon.

This adaptation of the classic J.M. Barrie story is directed by Howard Coon, who has directed several other local productions, including 2010’s “A Christmas Carol.” Coon has been planning the production for several months, working with designers and technical crew on staging a show with multiple settings and unique requirements. “The main challenge – and the one I get asked about the most – is how are we going to make Peter fly?” said Coon.

His answer? “I’m not sure yet. Audiences will just have to wait and see.”

This year’s show features 37 kids and adults cast from Rappahannock and surrounding counties, including “ a few familiar face and a lot of new ones,” according to Coon.

A show this size also requires a large technical crew of stage managers, costumers, set designers, lighting and sound operators and prop managers. “The many volunteers who spend hours designing, sewing, hunting down props and costumes, painting sets, looking for the perfect sound effect or lighting technique are just as vital as the actors,” said Marcia Kirkpatrick, who is working on costumes and props. “And we have just as much fun.”

Said Peter Hornbostel, the theatre’s artistic director: “Attracting and involving new people in the theater is what community theater is about. These large productions attract kids and adults interested in getting involved in theater. Many stay on and become regular actors or technical crew.”

Performances are scheduled for two weekends – Dec. 8-9 and Dec. 15-16. Saturday performances start at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees at 3. All performances are at the RAAC Community Theatre at 310 Gay St. in Washington. Tickets are $15 ($5 for children 12 and younger). For reservations, email or call 540-675-3193.

– Patty Hardee

For Rappahannock, a $44K farm-to-school boost

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced yesterday (Nov. 14) more than $4.5 million in grants for 68 projects around the country – including one here in Rappahannock – to connect school cafeterias with local agricultural producers.

“When schools buy food from nearby producers, their purchasing power helps create local jobs and economic benefits, particularly in rural agricultural communities,” Merrigan said. “Evidence also suggests that when kids understand more about where food comes from and how it is produced, they are more likely to make healthy eating choices.”

Rappahannock County Public Schools’ nutrition director Trista Grigsby cooperated with her counterparts in Page and Orange counties to apply jointly for a “cluster planning grant” to build on “each of our isolated successes in using local foods, educating children through school gardens and connecting with local producers.”

The USDA awarded the project $44,480; it was one of just two such projects funded in Virginia.

The first-ever USDA Farm to School grants are meant to help schools respond to the growing demand for locally sourced foods and increase market opportunities for producers and food businesses, including food processors, manufacturers, distributors. Grants will also be used to support agriculture and nutrition education efforts such as school gardens, field trips to local farms and cooking classes.

Nationwide, the grants will serve more than 3,200 schools and 1.75 million students, nearly half of whom live in rural communities. Some award recipients, such as the Lawrence County District in Walnut Ridge, Ark., are using grant funds to coordinate efforts with other school districts to aggregate buying power and attract new producers to the school food service market.

For the local grant, according to the grant application, “Our overall goals are to develop partnerships with neighboring districts and stakeholders in the supply chain to increase consumption of local products and to increase sustainable agriculture and nutrition education efforts in each district.

The official vote is in

Acting Rappahannock County Registrar Kimberly McKiernan says the final and official local election results (as certified by the county’s electoral board) have been posted to the state election board’s website at – including an approximately 100-vote correction to totals posted statewide late on Election Day, which seemed to indicate that more voters in the Hampton district voted for Democratic congressional candidate John Douglass than voted for President Obama (and more than voted for incumbent Republican Robert Hurt, who otherwise won the 5th district by a comfortable margin). The apparent clerical error – which changed no election outcomes, although Hurt now carried the Hampton district by a 462-to-428 margin instead of losing 527-to-462 – was discovered and corrected late last week.

“The results posted the evening of the election were unofficial totals called in by the individual precincts (after a very long and busy day),” McKiernan emailed this week. “Those totals were pending canvassing and review/consideration of provisional ballots that were cast. The numbers have been corrected accordingly.”

Wineries and diversities in Amissville

There’s lots to do in Rappahannock this weekend and in the coming months; see the events calendar on page 11 if you need documentary evidence. We just wanted to highlight the diversity of what goes on here with an example from this Saturday’s (Nov. 17) datebook:

Up at Gray Ghost Vineyards in Amissville, the winery hosts its 10th annual Civil War Authors Day from 11 to 5 on Saturday – with a dozen or more renowned historical authors signing and selling their books and offering talks and storytelling sessions throughout the afternoon. Admission is free at 14706 Lee Hwy; call 540-937-4869 for more information.

That same day, just down the road at Narmada Winery, owners Pandit and Sudha Patil sponsor their annual Virginia version of India’s fall Festival of Lights, or Diwali – with a tasting-room menu of treats and exotic Indian platters, live music from 2 to 4, a bonfire at dusk (weather permitting), and fireworks after dark. Narmada’s open noon until 8 for the festivities. Call 540-937-8215 for more information.

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