The Rapp for Aug. 4

Rapp’s own Wonder Woman

Rappahannock's own Maddie Kopjanski poses as Wonder Woman, her chosen costume at the World Championship of Performing Arts competition's opening "Parade of Nations" last month at the Los Angeles Performing Arts Center.
Rappahannock’s own Maddie Kopjanski poses as Wonder Woman, her chosen costume at the World Championship of Performing Arts competition’s opening “Parade of Nations” last month at the Los Angeles Performing Arts Center. Courtesy photo

From the sound of her recent accomplishments, Maddie Kopjanski may indeed be Wonder Woman, the character she portrayed in a global competition for young performers and actors. She seems unstoppable.

On the heels of winning three gold medals at the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA), the 20-year-old Boston resident, daughter of Melanie Kopjanski, is now spending the first semester of her junior year at Virginia Tech studying at the University of Oviedo, Spain. And a scholarship she won is paying the full tuition for her semester abroad, as well as for the rest of her junior year and her senior year at VT.

The scholarship was awarded by the Johnson Scholarship for Children of Farm Families in Madison and Rappahannock Counties in partnership with Virginia Tech. (The foundation also awarded a two-year Virginia Tech scholarship to a Madison County student this year.)

“WCOPA is a global event for up and coming artists and performers,” says Maddie. “The only international competition of its kind, it is considered the Olympics of Performing Arts.” All contestants are screened, selected and invited by WCOPA-licensed national directors from the performers’ own countries. Maddie competed in Roanoke in February, winning a spot on Team USA.

The annual 10-day competition, held last month in Hollywood, offers a program of training, seminars workshops and networking for participants led by renowned experts in the fields of modeling, acting, performing, singing, music and dancing.

WCOPA begins with colorful opening ceremonies and the Parade of Nations. The members of each country’s team dress to represent the country’s chosen theme for that year.

“The Team USA 2016 team costume theme was Heroes and Villains,” says Maddie. Maddie chose Wonder Woman as her costume. She says that “people told me I resembled actress Lynda Carter,” who played Wonder Woman on TV in the late 1970s.

After competing in individual and team events, Maddie earned gold medals for casual, swim and formal wear in the plus division, as well as two division wins in the plus casual and swim categories. “Although I fell short of winning the World Champion Everyday Model of the World title, I am proud of my accomplishments and the opportunity to be on the stage at the L.A. Performing Arts Center with top-notch coaches and mentors. This was an amazing experience,” says Maddie.

On July 29, Maddie left for Spain and has already been posting messages about the experience on Facebook. A Spanish major at VT, she has been studying the language for nine years. “I love the culture,” she says.

The Johnson Foundation scholarship is open to children of farm families in Rappahannock and Madison counties. Madison resident Cynthia Johnson created the scholarship because, as she says, “I have a feeling for small farm families and how hard it is. I want the scholarship to be for people who, without it, would not think they could go to college.” Cynthia says that interested students can apply for the scholarship through the Rappahannock and Madison county Extension offices.

— Patty Hardee

Memorial Committee meeting

Rappahannock County Memorial Steering Committee will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Rappahannock County Library. The memorial will honor the mountain people who were unwillingly moved to make way for the Shenandoah National Park in the 1930s. On the agenda: updates on our presentation to the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors, fundraising, temporary memorial placement, location of the permanent memorial, timeline for getting all of this done, and much more.

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