Dean Shostak, one of just eight glass armonica virtuosos in the world, will be playing a number of new and old glass instruments from around the world — including Benjamin Franklin’s original glass armonica, a glass violin, crystal handbells and other fragile and amazing-sounding things — at his 4 p.m. concert at the Castleton Festival’s Theatre House this Sunday (Feb. 2). For tickets or information, call Castleton’s box office at 866-974-0767 or visit castletonfestival.org.
Next Friday (Feb. 7) at 8 p.m., the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community screens “Blue Jasmine” at the Theatre in Washington. Written and directed by Woody Allen, the comedy stars Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin and Peter Sarsgaard, is rated PG-13 and runs 98 minutes. Admission is $6, and the concession stand has popcorn, candy and water. For a review of “Blue Jasmine” and other RAAC events, visit raac.org.
The next quarterly Business Link Networking Social is 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Gadino Cellars (Schoolhouse Road, Washington), with food prepared by Malinda Fisher of Sperryville’s Old Hollow Store. Other sponsors of the casual gathering include Beech Spring Gifts and Quilts; Bill Pragluski/Critical Stages; Far Ridge Ceramics; Henselstone Farm; TC2 Design; and TG Taylor & Son Construction.
All members of Businesses of Rappahannock can attend these quarterly events free of charge. If you are not yet a member, you can sign up for an annual membership at the Biz Link event at Gadino Cellars for $25. If you own a business, or support the business community in Rappahannock, you’re invited to be a part of these fun and helpful events. For more information, call Jan Makela at 540-675-1373.
For Valentine’s Day, RAAC’s Second Friday lecture series at the Rappahannock Library offers a talk by Steve Monfort, one of the Smithsonian Institution’s leading scientists. For the occasion, Monfort — the director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal — has titled his talk: “Secret Tales of a Wildlife Sex Doctor.”
The free talk will likely include some of Monfort’s stories of “studs” and “duds” in the animal kingdom. Cole Porter wrote years ago that “birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it.” But, perhaps because of the difficulty of finding suitable rhymes, he dropped matters there. Monfort will fill in the rest of the picture, including why pandas are so finicky, how cheetahs spruce up their Lover’s Lane and many more romantic mysteries.
A big name in the science of conservation, Monfort is also a gifted storyteller. He is acclaimed in the conservation community for his discoveries of how to encourage the breeding of species who seem reluctant to proceed on their own. Monfort and the Smithsonian are among the leaders in this research, but it’s a field with far more riddles than answers.
“Of the world’s nearly two million species,” Monfort notes, “we understand the breeding needs of fewer than 300!”
— Edward Dolnick
Rappahannock residents, family and friends gathered Jan. 19 at The Theater in Washington to celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, and pay tribute to county citizen Robert “Bob” Lander, who was named the 2014 “DreamKeeper” by the Julia E. Boddie Scholarship Committee.
About 100 attended the celebration, including Washington Mayor John Sullivan; supervisors’ chairman Roger Welch; County Administrator John McCarthy; school board chair John Lesinski; superintendent Donna Matthews; and county attorney Peter Luke. Those offering congratulatory messages to Lander were Aline Johnson, vice-chair of the school board, McCarthy and Trinity Episcopal Church pastor Rev. Jennings Hobson.
Both McCarthy and Hobson remarked that Lander does not know the meaning of the word ‘no’ when working on projects assigned to him, such as the ongoing preservation of Scrabble School, the Rappahannock County Senior Center that also houses African-American historical archives.
Lander has spearheaded this project for more than a decade following the passing of E. Franklin Warner, who began working with the planning commission and the supervisors in the early stages of the project. In accepting the award presented by Nan Butler Roberts, director of the Boddie Scholarship program, Lander acknowledged the work of many who contributed time, effort, talent and money to see the project through. He said the work continues, referring to a school curriculum that was completed recently and approved by the county school board to include site visits to Scrabble School — which was to begin with Rappahannock first-graders this month.
The celebration was augmented by music of the Riverbank Choir, a nine-voice ensemble under the direction of Zann Nelson, award-winning local historian, and musician Dr. Ellsworth Weaver. The group delighted the audience with renditions of “Amazing Grace,” “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The national anthem was sung by local singer Marie Davis-Roman. The emcee for the event was Rev. Howard Frye of Huntly, pastor of Nazareth Baptist Church in Boston.
The King birthday observance is in its 23rd year, a cooperative effort of the Julia E. Boddie Scholarship Committee and the Theatre to raise funds for the scholarship program. Each year for the past 25 years, a Boddie scholarship has been presented to a graduating senior from RCHS. Lillian Aylor is president of the Boddie scholarship committee.
— Nan Butler Roberts