The Rapp for Jan. 14

John Hallberg
In John Hallberg’s new movie, an Evil Experimenter (played by Howard Coon) and mercenary Melvin (played by Hallberg) have their spirits moved to save the doomed beagles. “Attack of the Flying Beagles” premiers Friday with a screening at the Washington School. John Hallberg

Time to burn the Christmas trees

The fourth-annual Rappahannock Christmas tree burning will take place in Washington on the Avon Hall property between the pond and John McCarthy’s office this Saturday, Jan. 16. Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue will provide support, as well as hot dogs, coffee and hot cocoa. All county residents are invited, including children and dogs. Residents are also encouraged to contribute to the pile by bringing Christmas trees and wreaths, up until the fire is lit at 5:30 p.m. by fire master and event organizer Hunt Harris of Woodville.

“I found out about this county 40 years ago,” Harris said, noting that bonfires have drawn residents together since he moved here after graduate school at the University of Virginia in the ‘70s. “This area reminded me of England, it reminded me of something familiar, so doing the fires strikes that same chord of familiarity, of carrying on a tradition, not only in this community but in the greater community. It’s about the holiday, about the changing of the season, and the spirit of people getting together to honor and celebrate community and well-being.”

A ‘Silver Celebration’ of Dr. King

Jack Gravely
Jack Gravely

The Julia E. Boddie Scholarship Committee invites the community to the Silver Celebration — the 25th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance in Rappahannock County. It will be held at The Theatre at Washington on Sunday, Jan. 17, 4 p.m. The guest speaker will be Richmond radio talk show host Jack Gravely, and the Male Chorus of Culpeper’s Divine Life Ministries will perform. Col. (Ret). Samuel Glasker, a native of Rappahannock, now residing in Culpeper, will receive the “DreamKeeper” Award. Col. Glasker has been involved in numerous initiatives over the years including the Black History Month programs at the Rappahannock County Library, the George Washington Carver High School Preservation program, the NAACP, and other historical preservation projects. The program is free and open to the public. Donations and pledges will be taken for the Julia E. Boddie Scholarship fund, which benefits graduating seniors in Rappahannock. Donations are tax deductible.

Premiering: Attacking flying beagles

Just when you thought the skies were safe…a tricolored invasion! The Forge Studios in Washington hosts the premiere screening of John Hallberg’s locally filmed, independent “bark” comedy, “Attack of the Flying Beagles,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, at the Washington School, 67 Mt. Salem Ave. A major Hollywood star appears via green-screen footage along with local actors who have appeared in RAAC plays (Howard Coon, Brendan Martyn and Dawn Schimke). Other Rappahannock actors include Channing Elizabeth, Miguel Day, Devin Sherwood and Hallberg as “Melvin.” The hour-long film was shot mostly in Rappahannock, but also in the D.C. metro area.

The plot centers around anti-animal testing, but unpredictably traipses through a fictitious Rappahannock world. Coon plays an Evil Experimenter trying to find different ways to run tests on animals when an experiment goes awry and several beagles escape with new powers of aviation. For comedic effect, Manabu Nagase puts down a classically dissonant score reminiscent of 1950s horror films. Nagase’s band, Robot Flipp, with Hallberg on batterie and Kevin Miller on bass, also provides several jam moods for some scenes.

A portion of sales from the movie will go to the Beagle Freedom Project. “A fact about the cosmetics industry: they test products on dogs, and beagles are the breed of choice because of their gentle nature,” says Hallberg. While not a documentary, the film seeks to bring awareness to this unfortunate reality.

Hallberg is passionate about the BFP, which frees laboratory animals and finds them homes after lab use. His dog Missy, while not from the BFP, was obtained through a friend from a university beagle fertility study. She and three other beagles briefly star in the film.

“Redd” Hot Jazz at the Theatre

Chuck Redd will bring top-notch jazz percussion to the Theatre at Washington when he performs Saturday night.
Chuck Redd will bring top-notch jazz percussion to the Theatre at Washington when he performs Saturday night.

A master on vibes and drums, Chuck Redd is the real deal when it comes to top-notch jazz percussion. He has traveled the world over, with 13 European tours and 5 Japanese tours to his credit. He served as artist-in-residence at The Smithsonian Jazz Café and was a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra for 15 years. And this Saturday, Jan. 16, at 8 p.m. he’ll be performing at the Theatre at Washington.

Chuck began his career in 1980 when he became a member of the Charlie Byrd Trio. He went on to become the featured vibraphonist with the Mel Torme All-Star Jazz Quintet for the better part of the ‘90s. Notable performances include a concert with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet in Africa for the Namibian Independence Celebration, a recital at the White House with the Barney Kessel Trio, concerts at Carnegie Hall with Mel Torme’s Quintet, and The Tonight Show. In 2008, he was featured in the finale concert at The Lionel Hampton International Jazz festival with The Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.

Chuck will be performing with his brother, Robert. Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Robert Redd began playing music at the age of twelve, and started performing professionally while still in high school. He was a member of the Keter Betts trio for 13 years and could frequently be heard at venues such as the Kennedy Center and Blues Alley. Robert performs at Wolf Trap as part of Early Learning Through the Arts, a program which Betts helped start and develop, presenting live music to young audiences. Robert is a member of the Wolf Trap Jazz Trio which continues to present this program.

Wanted: applicants for affordable housing

Fauquier Habitat for Humanity will be building a two-bedroom home in Huntly this spring, and the organization is looking for applicants from Rappahannock County to qualify for its affordable home program. Families of one to four people who are interested in purchasing an affordable home through the program are encouraged to attend a meeting on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m. at the Flint Hill Volunteer Fire Station, 945 Fodderstack Rd., Flint Hill. Information will be provided about how to qualify and what to expect from the program. Arrive by 9:30 a.m. to register for the meeting that starts at 9:45 a.m. For more information or to register for the meeting, please call 540-341-4952 or

Save the date: RAAC’s Second Annual Film Festival

RAAC’s Second Annual Film Festival at Little Washington is April 8-10, 2016. The weekend of entertaining and thought-provoking films by Virginia’s independent filmmakers will run from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. Features, shorts and documentaries will screen at the Theatre at Washington. Screenings will be followed by Q&As and opportunities to mingle with filmmakers at gatherings throughout the County. Visit for details. Know a Virginia filmmaker? The submission period is still open, and the festival is accepting entries via For more information, contact Program Director Theresa Wood at 817-403-0496.