The Rapp for Oct. 30

Fourth Estate, fifth Friday

Postponed a week, our usual Fourth (Estate) Friday morning coffee-and-story-idea gathering happens tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 31) — a one-hour, costume-optional session at the Country Cafe on Main Street in Washington. We’ll be there at 9 a.m. to buy your coffee, plus we’ll have extra pennies available for your thoughts. Call us at 540-675-3338 for more information.

‘Chef’ on the table for Nov. 7

"Chef" screens at the Theatre Friday, Nov. 7.
“Chef” screens at the Theatre Friday, Nov. 7.

“Chef” screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7 at the Theatre in Washington, the monthly film sponsored by the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC). Admission is $6 for the R-rated, 114-minute comedy written and directed by Jon Favreau, who also stars with Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey, Jr. Popcorn, candy and water available. Visit or call 800-695-6075 for more information about the RAAC movies (which resume in January).

Dinner and drinks at Skyland

Skyland Resort’s weekend dinner programs next month, for which executive chef Paul Lombardy and sous chef Heather Cash are working with local vendors to close out a busy Shenandoah National Park travel season, includes a Nov. 7 collaboration with Rick Wasmund of Sperryville’s Copper Fox Distillery. The $373 package includes accommodations at Skyland (mile marker 41 on Skyline Drive), a four-course, whisky-paired dinner for two and breakfast the following morning. Skyland also plans to offer a traditional Thanksgiving meal from noon to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27. Visit or call 877-247-9261 for details or to make a reservation.

Piano and soprano: Nov. 9

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, the Theatre at Washington presents a recital by pianist Mikhail Yanovitsky and soprano Galina Sakhnovskaya.

Yanovitsky will perform the Sonata in A Major, D. 959, by Schubert; Sonata in A minor, K. 310, by Mozart; and, by Brahms, Four Pieces for Piano, Op. 119. He’ll also accompany Sakhnovskaya in Schubert’s Lachen und Weinen, Die Forelle, Das Fishermädchen and Ständchen as well as two selections from Mozart: “Porgi Amor” from “Le Nozze di Figaro” and “Non me dir” from “Don Giovanni.”

After graduating from the Leningrad Special School of Music, Yanovitsky continued his studies at the Moscow State Conservatory and, in the 1980s, he made his debut with the Leningrad Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic and the Leningrad Philharmonic. Soon after relocating to the U.S., he won the Young Concert Artists Competition (1991), and the Gina Bachauer Piano Graduate Scholarship in 1991 and 1992, which allowed him to study at the Juilliard School. In 2002, he completed his doctorate at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he is currently on the faculty.

Born in Moldova, award-winning lyric soprano Sakhnovskaya has emerged as a young artist of remarkable versatility and great vocal beauty. She received her master’s in vocal performance from Peabody Conservatory of Music. Her impressive voice and sensitive musicianship has led to performances throughout the U.S. and in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Israel, Moldova and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tickets are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger). For reservations, call 540-675-1253 or email

The art of aging together . . .

So much has changed in the last decade. Now much of what we do and think about is driven by technology and how it keeps us living longer and staying better connected. How do you keep up with it all? The Art of Aging Together Expo showcases businesses, services and products that will help people of any age live better and happier.

The free expo is 10 to 2 this Saturday (Nov. 1) at the Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper. Fifty exhibitors will be there, along with door prizes and health screenings. Once every hour there will be a presentation on a healthy-aging topic ranging from questions for your pharmacist to finding a new job in your golden years.

There is a growing increase in the idea of a “livable community,” says Aging Together executive director Chris Miller. “A livable community has safe affordable housing, it has varied transportation options, it has access to high quality health care. But it also provides opportunities for recreation, the arts, dance, music, social interaction and so much more. The Art of Aging Together Expo was created to help people learn more about what is right here in our own back yards.”

In addition to the exhibitors, the Lion’s Club sight and vision van will be at the expo for free screenings for people of all ages. And the Virginia Blood Services Bloodmobile will be there so you can donate blood for people needing it here in the community.

For more information, visit or call Aging Together at 540-829-6405.

Keeping the peace in a war-torn valley

Mennonite writer and teacher Kirsten Beachy speaks Nov. 9 in Huntly in a Rappahannock Historical Society program.
Mennonite writer and teacher Kirsten Beachy speaks Nov. 9 in Huntly in a Rappahannock Historical Society program. courtesy photo

“In Her Own Words: Civil War Stories of Brethren and Mennonite Women in the Shenandoah Valley” is a presentation by writer and teacher Kirsten Beachy, sponsored by the Rappahannock Historical Society (RHS) at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, at Willis Chapel in Huntly.

Beachy relates stories of women from traditional peace churches who took a stand, helping to hide their men from forced military involvement through an “underground railroad.” In addition to describing how these women participated in one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in American history, Beachy tells stories of how women experienced love, terror, the burning of the valley and hungry soldiers on the homefront. Beachy is an active member of the Shalom Mennonite Congregation in Harrisonburg.

A $5 donation is requested and refreshments are served for the 2 p.m. program at Willis Chapel (1804 Zachary Taylor Hwy., Huntly). For details, contact RHS between 11 and 5 Monday, Tuesday or Thursday at 540-675-1163, or or email

Kid Pan . . . Symphony

Compositions developed by elementary school students during Paul Reisler’s Kid Pan Alley songwriting residencies earlier this month in the Stockton, Calif., area will be performed by the Stockton Symphony in January. Rappahannock-based composer-performer-teacher Reisler says the kids’ compositions will be professionally orchestrated for their world premiere by the Stockton Symphony Jan. 17, when they’ll share the bill with Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, Symphony No 6, “Pathétique.”

Reisler and his Grammy-winning Kid Pan Alley program, which has logged more than 2,500 compositions by 35,000 children across the country, is due back home at Rappahannock County Elementary School for a week next May. (There’s a benefit concert for the RCES program coming up Nov. 9 at Sperryville’s Coterie Shop, featuring Reisler and Lea Morris. More information in the Events calendar on page 3.)

For more information, visit

Author aims to reclaim ‘God’

Daniel Spiro is UUBRidge’s guest speaker Nov. 9 in Sperryville.
Daniel Spiro is UUBRidge’s guest speaker Nov. 9 in Sperryville. courtesy photo

Daniel Spiro, a Justice Department lawyer who writes philosophical books in his spare time, will make the case for reclaiming the word “God” from fundamentalists and atheists alike, in a sermon delivered to the Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge (UUBRidge) at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Hearthstone School in Sperryville.

“By liberating the divine Name from its most traditional connotation, we can turn religion into a source of both enlightenment and social unity,” says Spiro, elaborating:

“The key is in recognizing what the Name denotes — the Ultimate — and that the search for the Ultimate, much like the search for the truth in any social or natural science, is a never-ending voyage with no clear destination. It is a search undertaken with an open heart and open mind, and the courage to confront those on the left and the right who would turn the domain of religion into a straight-jacketed enterprise.”

A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Spiro began his career as an attorney for the Federal Communications Commission and later went to work for the Federal Trade Commission. In 1997, he left the FTC for the Civil Division of the Justice Department, where he investigates and litigates against unscrupulous companies, including firms defrauding Medicare and Medicaid.

Spiro helped found both the Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society and the Spinoza Society in Washington, D.C. He has also written two philosophical novels — “The Creed Room” (Aegis Press, 2006) and “Moses the Heretic” (Aegis Press, 2006) — as well as a nonfiction book about the meaning of divinity, “Liberating the Holy Name: A Free-Thinker Grapples with the Meaning of Divinity” (Cascade Books, 2014). Spiro lives with his wife and two daughters in Bethesda, Md.

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