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The Piedmont Weekend Roundup: February 26 – 28

Pouring red wine from bottle into glass with wooden wine casks on background

Fauquier County Wine Tasting & Competition at Airlie (Saturday, Warrenton). Come out and sample the wines of sixteen local vineyards and vote for your favorites in the People’s Choice Wine Competition. Delicious food pairings, prepared by the Airlie Chef, and live music. Please note that, to accommodate more visitors, this year’s wine tastings will be offered during two time periods. All tickets must be pre-purchased.

Riverside Group Show postcard-3 copy-1Art in Its Natural Habitat: An Exhibit of Paintings in a Model Home (Friday, 5-7 p.m., Charlottesville). Interior designer Robin Ellis invites you to celebrate Stony Point Design/Build as well as Charlottesville artists Helen Hillard, Chris Tucker, and Nancy Wallace.

Lighting the Creative Spark lightingthecreativespark(Thursday, Live An Artful Life Gallery, The Plains). This workshop, led by Dr. Celia Im, utilizes the power of music to ignite attendees’ creative potential. By engaging this part of ourselves, we are driven to finish that creative project, sculpt the next stage of our lives, and live in the moment.

Winemaker for a Day: Blending Seminar at Narmada Winery (Saturday, Amissville). Have you always dreamed of being a winemaker? Challenge yourself and your friends at our interactive winemaking seminar. Join our winemaker Sudha Patil and guest speaker Duane Harris for this workshop and experience the excitement of combining both the art and the science that goes into making a distinctive wine! You’ll be sampling and blending cabernet franc, malbec, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot. Once your perfect blend is bottled, teams compete, imbibe, and select the most spectacular wine of the day!

FB_Motown-768x284Motown & More: A Tribute to Motown and Soul Legends (Friday, State Theatre, Culpeper).  An ensemble of today’s most talented artists brings it all back! Vocalists Bryan Fox, Gene McBride, Jeffrey Walker and Shang (each phenomenal in their own right) come together with exquisite harmonies to recreate classics and develop new musical arrangements. Less than a year old, Motown & More has become a popular production in the Baltimore/Washington/Virginia region.

An Evening with Groucho (Sunday, Louisa Arts Center, Louisa). Award-winning actor Frank Ferrante reprises his New York and London hit in this fast-paced hilarious tour-de-force. You will swear legendary comedian Groucho Marx is alive and well and making you laugh. Accompanied by his pianist, the comedy, one-liners, and songs of Groucho Marx make for an all-ages treat!

Six Pack Songwriter Series: An Evening of Central Virginia Songwriting (Friday, The Paramount, Charlottesville). With the goal of allowing audiences to experience a mixture of our best local artists at once, each “Six Pack Songwriter Series” event features 6 artists for one evening of live and local music. This year’s  production welcomes an all-new lineup to The Paramount stage. This year’s roster includes Michael Clem, Ben Eppard, Paulo Franco, Julia Kwolyk, Anne O’Brien, and David Tewksbury, all backed by a live band.

National Theatre Live in HD Presents: “As You Like It” at the Paramount (Sunday, The Paramount, Charlottesville). Shakespeare’s glorious comedy of love and change comes to the National Theatre for the first time in over 30 years, with Rosalie Craig (London Road, Macbeth at MIF) as Rosalind.  With her father, the Duke, banished and in exile, Rosalind and her cousin Celia leave their lives in the court behind them and journey into the Forest of Arden. There, released from convention, Rosalind experiences the liberating rush of transformation. Disguising herself as a boy, she embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love.

Smithsonian at Little Washington Concert Series: Haydn Piano Trios (Sunday, Theatre at Washington, Washington). Pianist Kenneth Slowik is an artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society. Violinist Heather Green joined the National Symphony Orchestra in 2005, and became a member of the first violin section in 2007. Cellist James Lee made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15. These three come together for a marvelous performance.

2015 90th Gold Cup 1

photo by Doug Lees

“Virginia Steeplechasing: The History and Future of the Sport in the Piedmont” (Sunday, National Sporting Library, Middleburg). This steeplechasing panel discussion is mediated by Robert Banner, President of Great Meadow Foundation. Panelists are Dr. William Allison (Ex-MFH and President and Race Chairman of the Virginia Gold Cup Races), Dr. Alfred Griffin (Ex-MFH and Director of Racing of the Virginia Gold Cup), Will O’Keefe (Race Director of the Virginia Fall Races), and Don Yovanovich (President of the Virginia Point-to-Point). Panelists discuss the history and future of this region’s beloved steeplechasing and equine sports. The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. Also at NSLM currently are the exhibits “Side by Side with Gun and Dog” and “Line Dance: the Art of Fly Fishing.”

“Sunrise, Sunset” (Byrne Gallery, Middleburg). This weekend is the last chance to see this juried show featuring artworks inspired by sunrises and sunsets, bringing joy and warmth to the cold month of February.

“Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” at Riverside Dinner Theater (Through Mar. 13, Fredericksburg). Starring Todd Meredith as Holly, with the Buddy Holly tribute band, The Rave-Ons, this musical is the true story of the last few years of Buddy Holly’s life, spotlighting his meteoric rise to fame from the moment in 1957 when “That’ll be the Day” hit the airwaves until his tragic death on “The Day the Music Died.” Featuring many of his timeless hits, “Buddy” is a celebration of the life and times of “the young man with the glasses” that captures the unique mixture of innocence, determination, humor, and charm that was Buddy Holly and wraps it all up into a package that has become “The World’s Most Successful Rock-n-Roll Musical.”

An Art Exhibition to Remind Us of Warmer Days

Line Dance

“Line Dance” by Peter Corbin

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer,” the dour existentialist Albert Camus once wrote. This sentiment bears repeating. The heaps of snow Jonas left behind are melting, warm sunny days have mounted a counterattack, and Punxsutawney Phil recently voiced his support of an early springtime platform.

"Broad River Redfish"

“Broad River Redfish” by Peter Corbin

Together these signs point towards the coming spring. These hints are tantalizing; we close our eyes and imagine a warm breeze, only to open them and find ourselves in the car with the heat blowing out at gale-force velocities.

There is a cure for these seasonal delusions: art.

The National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg opened a new exhibit January 30th. “Line Dance–The Art of Fly Fishing” features the work of angler and painter Peter Corbin.

"Ligonier Point" by Peter Corbin

“Ligonier Point” by Peter Corbin

“How do you start a painting? Go fishing. Experience the awe. See the fish, the land, and the seascape. Take notes with your mind, camera, or sketch book. Gather all the information you can in every way you can,” Corbin says.

His works capture the ocean’s vibrant blues, the warmth of a cloudless sky, the excitement of reeling in a gleaming striped bass. His works show the influence of the Hudson River School, and capture the intensity of Winslow Homer’s seascapes.

For more information, check the National Sporting Library and Museum

1796573_10202889919310186_4960203201090092007_nMorgan Hensley is a recent graduate of William & Mary where he studied English and creative writing with an emphasis on poetry. He is the Assistant Editor of the Piedmont Virginian and enjoys writing about music and the arts.

Oatlands Spring Gala

Spring Gala to Celebrate the Extraordinary 1965 Gift of Oatlands to the Nation

50th Anniversary Spring Gala on April 25th to Honor the Eustis Family for its Donation of Oatlands to the National Trust for Historic Preservation

 Oatlands Historic House & Gardens announced that its Spring Gala on April 25 will honor the Eustis Family for the extraordinary gift of Oatlands to the National Trust for Historic Preservation 50 years ago.  In 1965, Margaret Eustis Finley and Anne Eustis Emmet donated Oatlands including its magnificent 1804 mansion, 19th century greenhouse, terraced gardens and more than 414 acres of beautiful fields to the National Trust for future generations to explore, experience and appreciate.

Margaret Finley and Anne Emmet in the garden “It is with a special sense of deep gratitude that we honor the Eustis Family at our Spring Gala on April 25,” commented Andrea McGimsey, executive director of Oatlands.  McGimsey continued, “Because of the Eustis Family’s extraordinary gift to the nation, we in Northern Virginia have been able to enjoy a truly beautiful and remarkable place unlike any other historic property.  Fifty years later, we remain forever grateful for the generosity of the Eustis family.”

On April 25, 2015 beginning at 7pm, residents from across the National Capital Region will gather for an evening of elegance and celebration to support Oatlands Historic House & Gardens and its mission of historic preservation, land conservation research, education and community outreach. Gala Committee Co-Chairs Jill Beach and Sally Travis are leading the 50th Anniversary Spring Gala preparation efforts for the evening which will include dinner, dancing, a live and silent auction and much more.

Special corporate sponsorships are being sought to celebrate this special occasion and table and individual reservations are also available. Ticket and reservation information is available online at contact Development Director Matt Kraycinovich at 703-777-3174 or via email at

Photo: Margaret Eustis Finley and Anne Eustis Emmet in the Gardens at Oatlands, c. 1965

 About Oatlands Historic House & Gardens: Oatlands is a 414-acre self-supporting National Trust Historic Site and National Historic Landmark.  The mission of Oatlands focuses on historic preservation, land conservation, research, education, and community outreach.  The site features a stunning landscape with magnificent gardens, an 1804 mansion and 19th century brick dependencies, including the Oatlands greenhouse, the second oldest greenhouse in the nation.  For more information, visit or call 703-777-3174.  Oatlands is located six miles south of the Town of Leesburg on US Route 15.

National Sporting Library & Museum Announces Summer Concert Series ‘Open Late’

MuseumThe National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) in Middleburg is pleased to announce Open Late, a free summer concert series that will take place every fourth Friday from April through September. The event series features regional performers, craft beers, and local wineries; guests are invited to stroll through the Art Museum to enjoy changing exhibitions and permanent collections or to spread out picnic blankets and lawn chairs for the open-air concert. During the Open Late events, the Museum will be open until 8:00 p.m.
Melanie Mathewes, Executive Director of the National Sporting Library & Museum explained, “We’re very excited to announce that this year, on the first Friday of April, May, June, July, August and September, our facilities and our campus will be open late to allow the public to visit and enjoy our treasures. All are invited to picnic and relax on our campus lawn, enjoy music concerts, and try regional wines and Virginia craft beers. We’ve planned these events with young families in mind and with the hope that those passing through Middleburg heading east or west after work will join us.
“Knowing how difficult it is to take time out of busy schedules during the day, we thought staying open late would give people more opportunities to explore the exhibitions and collections on view in the art Museum,” continued Mathewes. “When I discussed it with our board and staff and members of the Middleburg community, I was delighted that everyone was excited to make the idea a reality. We decided to encourage the community to spend a couple of hours here each month this summer.”
Open Late is free and open to the public; picnics are welcome and a cash bar will be available. The event will be held rain or shine, and no outside alcohol will be permitted on premises.

Open Late Calendar

April 24 : Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point Night featuring Difficult Run Jazz Band, South Street Brewing and Three Fox Vineyards
May 22: featuring Tara Mills Band, 3 Brothers Brewing and Naked Mountain Winery
June 26: Virginia Tech Alumni Night featuring Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, Forge Brew Works and Cana Winery
July 24: George Mason Alumni Night featuring George Mason University Jazz Ensemble, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and Otium Winery
August 28: featuring Reckless Island, Mad Fox Brewing Company and Boxwood Winery
September 25: Friends and Family Night Foxcroft School, The Hill School, Middleburg Academy, Middleburg Community Charter School, and Wakefield School, featuring Lisa Lim Band Legend Brewing and Market Salamander

The National Sporting Library & Museum is dedicated to preserving, promoting and sharing the literature, art and culture of equestrian, angling and field sports. Founded in 1954, NSLM holds thousands of books on sporting topics including hunting, angling, equestrianism and horseracing, among others. The Library collection dates from the 16th-21st centuries. The Museum houses exhibits of American and European animal and sporting fine art. Information is shared through exhibitions, lectures, seminars, publications and special events. The NSLM is open to researchers and the general public. Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m

post via NSLM press release

Acting on the Small Town Arts

By Peter Wood

mbailey-140422-0206-3327548025-o (1)It has been a tough winter to walk the streets of our small Piedmont towns. Snow and ice piled up on the sidewalks of Middleburg, yet many art lovers braved the wind and weather to enjoy gallery openings, artist talks and painting demonstrations. Now it is March and it’s time to act on the arts!

Middleburg will once again be home to Shakespeare in the ‘Burg, an amazing weekend festival that brings performances by the internationally acclaimed American Shakespeare Center. The festival is set for March 27-29, 2015, and kicks off with “movie night.” This year, the organizers have selected “West Side Story,” based on the Shakespeare play, “Romeo and Juliet.” It will be a fun night to enjoy hors d’oeuvres  and a glass of wine or two before seeing the movie in the wonderful Sheila C. Johnson Performing Arts Center at the Hill School, located on the edge of town.

The weekend continues with workshops on stagecraft and two plays, Hamlet on Saturday, and Much Ado About Nothing on Sunday. Another highlight is the midday performance by local actors of the one act play from the play writing completion. While that might be enough for an exciting afternoon, there is also a performance by the Crooked Angles, a husband and wife music duo. Find out more at

That is just one weekend! Throughout the spring, summer and fall, you will hear music in the air! Starting in April, the new 4th Friday night concert series, “Open Late” will be hosted by the National Sporting Library & Museum. Several more concerts are planned by the Middleburg Community Center on their front steps. Music will also play a role during the local summer art fairs – Art in the Pink Box Park, and at the town-wide arts celebration Art in the Burg, on June 20th.

There is more art outside Middleburg too. Traveling west you will find Millwood, VA, where the Duvall Designs Gallery reopens, featuring Winslow McCagg on March 14th. Don’t forget to stop at the historic Locke Store for lunch or to pick up a bottle of wine. Down the road from Middleburg you will find fresh works in The Plains at Live An Artful Life Gallery and Zig-Zag Gallery. So much variety of arts in our small towns.

The Piedmont region is home to so many talented artists – authors, musicians, visual artists and performers. You can find all the art events on Come enjoy the arts with us!

Peter Wood is a local metal sculptor, founder of the Middleburg Arts Project and Chair of the Middleburg Arts Council. More about his art: Learn about the art events in the region at

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