The Rapp: Jazz for RappCats, international journalist at the library

A RappCats benefit Worth attending

Monica Worth performs at Friday's Catstravaganza, a benefit for RappCats.
Monica Worth performs at Friday’s Catstravaganza, a benefit for RappCats. Courtesy photo

Monica Worth, well-known to Rappahannockers for her community service, is also a well-known jazz vocalist. She and pianist Bob Bennetta will perform in a benefit for RappCats tomorrow night (Friday, Nov. 6).

Monica has performed as a vocalist for nearly 40 years. Her work reflects the influence of players like Dizzy Gillespie, Elvin Jones and Dexter Gordon. Over the years, Monica has collaborated with musicians well known to jazz lovers: Keter Betts (longtime bassist for Ella Fitzgerald), drummer Jimmy Cobb (who recorded with Miles Davis’ on the influential album “Kind of Blue”), pianist Larry Willis (who has accompanied Carmen McRae, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Clifford Jordan and a dozen other jazz giants), and Steve Novosel (bassist for Roland Kirk, Al Grey and David “Fathead” Newman).

Accompanying Monica will be Bob Bennetta, a jazz pianist, educator, and composer from Charlottesville, where he has been performing for 25 years. He has played 500 Friday night gigs at Fellini’s Restaurant and has played countless other performances locally. The past two years have yielded a fruitful musical relationship with Monica, in duo or trio formats and with the big band, Sentimental Journey. Bob is currently working on a composition for the Crozet Symphony Orchestra, incorporating both jazz and classical components. (For more information, visit

Guests at “Catstravaganza,” the annual RappCats benefit, can bid on a weekend stay at the five-star, luxurious Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. The two-night stay includes a Sunday champagne brunch.

Catstravaganza starts at 6 p.m. at The Meadows (260 Porter St., Washington), home of Mayor John and RappCats Vice-President Beverly Sullivan. There’s wine and other drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, jazz, exciting raffles, and a live auction at the third annual event. Tickets ($50) can be purchased and donations made online at Tickets can also be purchased at the door. For further information, call 540-987-6050.

All proceeds benefit RappCats, Rappahannock’s cat rescue group, which operates the county’s only state-approved shelter for cats. RappCats depends entirely on private funding for its work, which includes cat rescue, cat rehoming, and low-cost cat spay/neuter funding for County residents.

— Pat Snyder

Jon Sawyer at the Library Nov. 13

Prize-winning journalist Jon Sawyer speaks Nov. 13 at RAAC's Second Friday lecture series at the library.
Prize-winning journalist Jon Sawyer speaks Nov. 13 at RAAC’s Second Friday lecture series at the library.

The Second Friday at the Library speaker for Nov. 13 is Jon Sawyer, a prize-winning journalist for many years and director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Sawyer calls his 8 p.m. talk at Rappahannock County Library “The World is Better Than You Think: The Case for Hope in a Gloomy Time.” Despite the bad news in today’s headlines, Sawyer argues that the long-term, global picture is actually encouraging. Sawyer will draw on his own first-hand experience in some five dozen countries and on work that the Pulitzer Center supports worldwide in his talk, sponsored by the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community.

Sawyer worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for more than 30 years. His work took him to Afghanistan, Sudan, the Middle East and countless other trouble spots. For three years in a row, the National Press Club selected Sawyer as the winner of its award for best foreign reporting. For more information on the lecture, visit

Calling all filmmakers

A scene from "Almost Alpine," a mockumentary by Rappahannock natives Chad Heddleston, Jesse von Fange and Jeremy Tooley, part of the 2014 film festival.
A scene from “Almost Alpine,” a mockumentary by Rappahannock natives Chad Heddleston, Jesse von Fange and Jeremy Tooley, part of the 2014 film festival.

The Film Festival at Little Washington announced last week its call for entries for features, documentaries, documentary shorts, animations, web series or episodes, or music videos for the second annual festival, to be held April 8-10 in Washington.

The festival is open to filmmakers who reside full or part-time in Virginia, or whose entry was filmed in whole or in part in the state. Entry fees for the 2016 festival have been waived.

Submission period is Nov. 1 through Jan. 15. A film submission form is available for download at Notification will be made by Feb. 24.

Selected films will be shown at the historic Theatre at Washington. Filmmakers whose films have been accepted for screening may be eligible for travel and/or housing assistance. During the festival weekend there will be opportunities for filmmakers to network and connect with each other at workshops and roundtable discussions.

The festival is a program of the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC), which focuses on enhancing the lives of Rappahannock County community residents through exposure to the arts and active participation in art programs.

For more information, email the festival’s program director, Theresa Wood, at

2nd annual Panther Trivia Night: Nov. 20

Attention trivia fans: Rappahannock County High School’s Scholastic Bowl team is hosting the second annual Panther Trivia Night 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20 at the RCHS auditorium.

Test your skills by forming a team and competing; your team of up to five players competes against other teams for the coveted Rappahannock “Know-It-All” trophy. The winners of the “Know-It-All” trophy then compete against the award-winning RCHS Scholastic Bowl team.

Gather your friends and form a team. Organizers are again hoping to have teams from local businesses, churches, restaurants, the Lions club, the school board, teachers, retired teachers, Quiz Bowl alumni and trivia night junkies from everywhere. If you need help getting a team together, contact the organizers (see below), and if you don’t want to compete, come out and watch, or consider being a sponsor.

There’s a bake sale at the event, and doors open at 6. Registration fee is $50 per team (or $10 per individual, due by Nov. 13).  Contact RCHS’ Quiz Bowl coach Dave Naser at or 540-227-0745 ext. 3418 to register your team or ask questions.

Bland Music Contest 2016

Hey all local music students and parents: The Bland Music Contest is back! Applications available this month! Save the date for applying: Friday, Dec. 18.

Rappahannock’s young, home-grown musical talents will shine once more early next year when the annual Bland contest returns at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7 to The Theatre at Washington (291 Gay St.). Last February, a talented cadre of young musicians took the stage in this crowd-pleasing music competition sponsored by the Rappahannock Lions Club.

Participants must live in the county and/or be enrolled in schools located in Rappahannock. There are instrumental and vocal categories for both high school and elementary/middle schools. Winners receive first-, second-, third-place and honorable-mention cash prizes ($100, $75, $50 and $25, respectively) and get a chance to move into state competition for a shot at $2,500.

Music must be memorized and is not to exceed eight minutes. Contestants must provide complete sheet music and perform the music as written. Instrumentalists (except for pianists and vocalists) must have an accompanist if the composition requires it.

Applications will be available by Friday, Nov. 13 for the contest, open to all Rappahannock County K-12 students. The application deadline is Friday, Dec. 18. For more on applications, contact the Lions’ Spots Williams ( or Brian Taylor (

For more, visit the Facebook page.

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