The Rapp for Sept. 3

This fall’s community drum circles

Community drum circles, like this one last year, are on for the RAAC Theatre this fall.
Community drum circles, like this one last year, are on for the RAAC Theatre this fall. Alison Hillard
All are welcome to join a series of three free community drum circles facilitated by Wendi Sirat at the RAAC Theatre (291 Gay St., Washington) this fall.

The 7 p.m. community drum circles — on Sunday, Sept. 13, and two Saturdays, Oct. 17 and Nov. 14 — are family friendly, interactive events in which the participants show up as individuals and, with a bit of guidance and facilitation, end up creating music together, like a spontaneous community orchestra.

Drum circles, Sirat points out, help to stimulate coordination, cooperation, self expression, listening skills, team building and stress reduction for school groups, “at risk” children, nursing-home residents, businesses and communities around the world. All are welcome, regardless of age or experience. There will be lots of drums and percussion instruments to share . . . or bring your own.

The drum circles are sponsored by the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community’s (RAAC) Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund. For more information on the drum events, visit or call 540-222-2000.

Time to dance at Mountainside

Put your dancing shoes on and join the fun at the Mountainside Dance Center, located at Mountainside Physical Therapy on U.S. 211 near Washington. Classes start Sept. 14, with several scholarships still available for ages 17 and younger. Offerings include creative dance for youngsters, and ballet for “’Tweens n’ Teens.”

MDC is a disciplined recreational dance school that accommodates students’ schedules to leave time for other activities. “If you can breathe, you can move,” MDC director and physical therapist Annie Williams said the other day, during a ballet break, adding, “If you can move, you are already dancing.”

Artistic director Philip Rosemond, who instructs MDC’s classic ballet and floor class, as well as a  therapeutic movement class with Williams, was a professional dancer for 21 years and has been teaching since 1978. Kitty Keyser, with 30 years of instructional experience, teaches creative dance and movement for children at the center.

The scholarships, based on financial need, are made available through RAAC’s Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund and anonymous donors. For more information (or to donate to “Dollars for Dancers”), call 540-987-9395 or visit

Four photographers, four visions

Branden Eastwood's image, part of Old Rag Gallery's new show, comes from the multimedia journalist's coverage of the demonstrations in Missouri.
Branden Eastwood’s image, part of Old Rag Gallery’s new show, comes from the multimedia journalist’s coverage of the demonstrations in Missouri. Branden Eastwood
Old Rag Gallery’s newest show, “Four Photographers: Four Visions,” is an eclectic exhibition of talented associates. They are Patricia Temples, Michael Sage, BD Richardson and Branden Eastwood, each of whom takes a unique approach to photography.

Temples is hanging images of rural scenes depicting the intense beauty of the local landscape. Sage’s landscapes span a wider geographic area and celebrate the beauty of America’s natural areas. Richardson is exhibiting a collection of black and white images of aging structures within their rural landscapes. Eastwood, a multimedia journalist, is showing images from recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, and from a personal project on riding public transportation in Jakarta, Indonesia.

 "Autumn at South River Overlook" by Patricia Temples is part of Old Rag Gallery's new exhibit.
“Autumn at South River Overlook” by Patricia Temples is part of Old Rag Gallery’s new exhibit. Patricia Temples
This exhibition goes up tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 4) in the Confluent Gallery at River District Arts (3 River Lane, Sperryville) and runs through Nov. 1. The artists’ opening reception is 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.

Bel Canto auditions Sept. 15

Do you love to sing? Then perhaps you should meet Bel Canto, the mixed-voice community chamber choir. Directed by Lauren Estes and accompanied by Fay Utz, the choir group meets Tuesday nights at Piedmont Episcopal Church in Madison. The choir sings a wide repertoire, from the silly to the sublime. Members of the group come from the surrounding counties and meet from September to January for a winter concert, and from March to June for a summer concert.

Bel Canto is now looking for one soprano, one alto, two or three tenors and one bass. The next auditions are 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 15 at Piedmont Episcopal (214 Church St., Madison). In the first hour, all auditionees will rehearse with current Bel Canto members; for the second hour, prospective singers will audition on-on-one with the director. (Auditions consist of pitch-matching, a range check and a few vocal exercises.)

Women in Worship Excel award to Aline Johnson

Women in Worship (WIW) Ministries recently announced its 2015 Excel Award honorees, to be recognized Oct. 17 at a lunch at the Culpeper Centre, with guest speaker Maureen Bunyan, news anchor at Washington’s WJLA/Channel 7. Among the honorees this year is Sperryville resident Aline Johnson.

Johnson is a 15-year member (and vice chair) of the Rappahannock County School Board, and has served on the county Social Services board, the Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services board, Lord Fairfax Community College board and as a member of the Virginia School Board Association. Johnson is the 2015 WIW Excel Honoree in local government.

National honorees include Gabby Douglas, Olympic gold medal gymnast; Alexis Herman of Atlanta, former secretary of labor and now Coca-Cola executive; and Catherine Hughes of Silver Spring, Maryland, founder and CEO of TV One/Radio One.

The other honorees are the Rev. Lynda Brown-Hall, Washington, D.C., foreign missions; Marceline Catlett, Fredericksburg, education; Gabby Douglas, Virginia Beach, sports; Marie Ferris, Culpeper, community service; Susan Keller, Culpeper, community outreach; Kym Majors, Culpeper, youth development; and Karen White, The Plains, historical preservation.

The public is invited to the honorees’ celebration, which this year includes a new ceremony to recognize 10 young women and girls as “Generation Next.” Limited tickets for the Oct. 17 lunch, which starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Culpeper Centre, are available through Sept. 30 by calling 540-661-2013 or visiting

Jewish High Holy Day services at Vint Hill

For those of the Jewish faith who have moved to the area, Rabbi Rose Lyn Jacob of Madison has created a space for the unaffiliated to worship together this Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement, the two holiest times on the Jewish calendar.

Rabbi Rose Lyn Jacob holds high holiday services in Warrenton later this month.
Rabbi Rose Lyn Jacob holds high holiday services in Warrenton later this month. Courtesy photo
The services at Warrenton’s Theater at Vint Hill will be highly “accessible,” the rabbi says, with familiar melodies interspersed with English prayer, so that everyone — including interfaith families, and those who do not read Hebrew — will feel comfortable and welcome.

Rabbi Jacob said she is hoping that this community service will bring together people who are looking for a “Jewish Connection” but not necessarily a “bricks-and-mortar” synagogue.

The Theater at Vint Hill is at 4225 Aiken Dr., Warrenton, on the grounds of the former Army base. The schedule of services is Rosh Hashana Day, 10 to noon Sept. 14; Kol Nidre, 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 22 (doors open at 5:30); Yom Kippur, 10 to noon Sept. 23; Neiila (closing service), 5 to 6 p.m. Sept. 23.

The Theater is handicap accessible and seats 200 people. There will be minimal standing during the services, and no service is longer than two hours. Evening services will end before dark so that those who do not drive at night can safely attend. There is no charge for the High Holy Day services. Donations are welcome.

For more information, contact Rabbi Jacob at

Conservation District cover-crop program

Agriculture program conservation funds are available from the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District for a variety of practices, including cover crops (for winter cover on crop fields). There are programs for single-species cover crops, including small grains for either harvest or killing, and also for multiple-species cover crops that incorporate forage or tillage.

Payments range from $15 to $48 per acre, depending on what is planted and when. Planting by Oct. 10 pays higher, and pure stands of some rye cultivars also pay additional amounts. A nutrient management plan is typically required.

The agronomic benefits of cover crops are well established and include scavenging of soil nutrients, especially nitrogen; fixing atmospheric nitrogen into the soil; improving soil tilth and organic matter; protecting the soil from erosion in the off season and improving water infiltration into the soil.

Now is the time to contact the conservation district for details or to enroll acreage for this year’s cover crops. The district has set aside part of its annual cost-share allocation from the state specifically to address cover crop requests. For more information, call 540-672-1523 or 540-825-8591.

About Staff/Contributed 5561 Articles
The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to or call us at 540-675-3338.