Smithsonian Chamber Players Kenneth Slowik and Robert Mealy, two of early music’s most outstanding players, perform four sonatas for violin and harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach this Saturday (Feb. 15) at the Theatre. The concert’s at 8.
“Though written for only two players,” says harpsichordist Slowik, Bach’s sonatas “are in fact true trios.” He explains that the violin plays one part, the right hand of the harpsichordist provides another, while his left hand plays its own independent bass line. The result is, in Slowik’s words, “an intricate web of melodic lines” in the “inimitable fashion” of the world’s most famous Baroque composer.
For Slowik, who’s well known to the Theatre’s audience, this is his first public performance with Mealy, whom New Yorker magazine has called “New York’s world-class early music violinist,” and who has served as concertmaster of the Boston Early Music Festival and teaches at Juilliard and the Yale School of Music.
Tickets are $25 ($10 for ages 17 and younger). For reservations, call 540-675-1253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets also available at the door.
“Pride and Perseverance: Celebrating African-American History” is a benefit at Culpeper’s State Theatre this Saturday (Feb. 15) for Rappahannock’s Scrabble School Preservation Foundation. Starting at 5 p.m. at the theater, the event features music by the Unity Choir and the River Bank Choir, as well as a presentation by Stephanie Deutsch, author of “You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South.” Tickets are $20 ($10 students; ages 11 and younger, accompanied by an adult, get in free). Call 540-829-0292 for tickets.
Scrabble School, built in 1921, is one of more than 5,000 Rosenwald Schools for African Americans built in the southeastern U.S. during segregation. It closed in 1968 when Rappahannock County integrated its schools. The Scrabble School Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was established as a community effort to preserve the school and share its legacy through educational programs. Restored in 2009, Scrabble School now houses an exhibit that tells the school’s history as seen through the eyes of its students. More information at scrabbleschool.org.
Local residents will have an opportunity to see some of Virginia’s finest handmade crafts at the Saturday (Feb. 15) opening of “Makin’ It in Virginia” at River District Arts in Sperryville. Twenty-three juried members of the Artisans Center of Virginia, including several local artisans, are part of the exhibit that runs through April 13. The opening reception is 2 to 4 p.m.
A collaboration between the Artisans Center of Virginia and RDA to demonstrate the quality workmanship of artisans making a living at it in Virginia, the show is also part of the launch of the enrollment period for the newly established Rappahannock Artisan Trail, which debuts this fall. Funding for the implementation of the trail has been provided by Rappahannock County, the town of Washington and the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC).
Jim Allmon, RDA’s art and marketing director, said RDA recently became an retail affiliate member of the Artisan Center of Virginia: “We are pleased to partner with the Artisans Center of Virginia to showcase the talent of their juried members.” The exhibit, he said, is “a diverse collection of fine craft including ceramics, stained glass, furniture, jewelry, sculpture, art quilts and more.”
River District Arts is open 10 to 5 Friday-Sunday at 3 River Lane in Sperryville.
Bryant Lee, vice-chair of Rappahannock County’s Board of Supervisors, takes some time from feeding his cattle this week to practice being a bartender at Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill. Griffin’s James Henze shows Lee the ropes in preparation for Lee’s big night as a celebrity bartender — on Friday, Feb. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m., to benefit RappCats. Lee will be sharing his celebrity bartender status with Dr. John McCue of Mountainside Medicine and Cole Johnson, executive director of the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation, all of whom are donating their time and bar expertise to help RappCats, the county’s volunteer cat rescue group. The tips the three bartenders receive will go to RappCats, as will 10 percent of the profits from the food and drinks during the three-hour event. Bring your friends to support your favorite bartender and RappCats!
In celebration of President’s Day, the Harry F. Byrd Sr. Visitor Center at Big Meadows (mile 51 on Skyline Drive) in Shenandoah National Park is this Saturday through Monday (Feb. 15-17), 9 to 4 each day. Rangers will be available to answer questions and help plan visitor trips. Movies, exhibits and the bookstore are available. Backcountry camping permits may also be obtained during open hours.
Presidents Day weekend is a fee-free weekend at all National Park Service sites; all Shenandoah National Park entrance fees are waived.
Weather and road conditions permitting, the Byrd Visitor Center will continue to be open 9 to 4 on Saturdays and Sundays until the visitor center opens for daily operation on March 29.