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U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Selects Stone Bridge High School Tenor Drum Player

November 2, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, Music Comments Off on U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Selects Stone Bridge High School Tenor Drum Player
Racanelli and Captain Sanson Ashburn

Andre Racanelli of Stone Bridge High School, Ashburn, Va. (shown in photo), has been selected to be a member of the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band.

Racanelli will join an elite group of musicians who will perform during halftime of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

“The U.S. Army has a distinguished musical history with numerous bands and musical acts still performing around the world today,” said John Myers, Director of Strategic Communi-cations, Marketing and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command. … Continue Reading

Franklin Features Andrew McKnight and Beyond Borders

March 10, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle, Music Comments Off on Franklin Features Andrew McKnight and Beyond Borders

Saturday, March 19 at 8:00 pm
Purchase tickets online at Franklin Park Performing Arts Center

Award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist Andrew McKnight and his dynamic genre-bending ensemble Beyond Borders return to their hometown theater with their “vast expanse of sound and song”, aptly decribed as “beyond Appalachian, beyond blues, beyond folk”.

Beyond Borders was formed in the wake of their standing-room only 2008 performance at the John F. Kennedy Center, celebrating the release of his latest CD, Something Worth Standing For. The quartet melds McKnight’s lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars together with original Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Les Thompson on upright bass, clawhammer banjo and harmony vocals; Les’ wife and fellow songwriter Stephanie Thompson on harmony vocals, bass, guitars, bouzouki and percussion; and WAMMIE-award winning singer/songwriter Lisa Taylor on drums, percussion and harmony vocals.

Since that high-profile debut, the chemistry between these four seasoned musicians and longtime friends has clearly caught the attention of music fans and presenters alike. They are recognized as one of the Commonwealth’s best performing groups by the Virginia Arts Commission in the Touring Artists Directory, alongside top talents like Robin & Linda Williams and the Virginia Symphony. Andrew and Les wrote and recorded “Made by Hand” for the CD Still Moving Mountains, featured on CNN and CMT for its mission of ending the devastating practice of mountaintop mining in Appalachia. The song is also in Low Coal, a new movie produced in part by Mari-lynn Evans (PBS The Appalachians, Coal Country) about the flashpoint over MTR and the Upper Big Branch disaster, all in West Virginia’s Coal River Valley

This show marks a significant milestone and turning point for the band. For their first three years together the focus has been on their arrangements of Andrew’s masterfully crafted songs, captured last year for a CD and DVD now in production. In 2011 they have begun a new phase as an entirely collaborative entity and will debut their first collective co-write “Quiet Revolution” at the show, featuring Lisa and Stephanie on lead vocals.

Since permanently leaving his corporate engineering career in 1996, folk and Americana artist Andrew McKnight’s musical journey has traced nearly half a million miles of blue highways nationwide, and earned him a wealth of critical acclaim and enthusiastic fans for his captivating performances and five solo CDs. His songwriting also encompasses his passion for community and causes such as preserving American landscapes and heritage, like award-winning “Good Things Matter” and the haunting locally-inspired Civil War ballad “The Road to Appomattox” which is a staple of the band’s repertoire.

Les Thompson was with NGDB until 1973, spanning their rise to stardom with hits like “Mr. Bojangles” as well as the band’s landmark platinum record, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, with Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Mother Maybelle Carter and other American music legends. He now also serves as Technical Director at Franklin Park. Born and raised in Cajun Louisiana, Les’ wife Stephanie Thompson is a gifted musician in multiple ways – blessed with a soft and sweet alto voice, she is equally at home singing her own songs or picking a traditional tune. Singer/songwriter and drummer Lisa Taylor has earned copious accolades in the mid-Atlantic region for her solo work, including her CD True North, the 2009 Best Contemporary Folk Album in the Washington Area Music Awards.

Join Cool McFinn for St Patty’s Day

March 10, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle, Music Comments Off on Join Cool McFinn for St Patty’s Day

Cool McFinn is playing a St. Patricks day gig in Western Loudoun County this month. Join the group for warm soups, breads and cheese and a glass of refreshment on Saturday, March 12, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Bluemont Vineyards, 18755 Foggy Bottom Road in Bluemont.

Gina, Ray, Mike and Stuart will be playing Celtic tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and Cape Breton for your enjoyment. Call Gina Faber at 540-338-2574 for more information.

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Sustainable Planet

Trusting Science

14 Nov 2015


“The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” – Rush Limbaugh [1] I previously reported [2] on …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Some Thoughts on Veterans Day

13 Nov 2015


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and it is also a time to reflect and remember with gratitude. America is a free and democratic nation today, …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Phil Bolen Memorial Park

4 Nov 2015


I never knew Phil Bolen as the Loudoun County Government Administrator; I never even got to know him as Director of Parks and Recreation, and I certainly never knew Phil Bolen the teacher and coach at Loudoun Valley High School. …


Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Willisville

30 Sep 2015


You may never feel the urge to travel to this little, unincorporated community; it’s not exactly a conduit for commuter traffic, and there aren’t really any places to shop, or gas up, or procure much of anything else from a …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015


By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

Choosing To Live in the Present

4 Nov 2015


By Samuel Moore-Sobel I love a good story. I love telling stories and hearing other people’s stories. Our experiences bring meaning to our lives, and help shape us into the people we are today. Yet inherent in storytelling is the …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning for Life: Trusts

4 Nov 2015


A common estate planning device is the trust. A trust is simply an agreement between two people: the person who establishes the trust, who may be called the Settlor, the Grantor or the Trustor, and the person or institution who …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015


Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015


Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015


Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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Two Kitchen Cousins... ULLL... University of Mary Washington... Upperville... Veterans... Veterans Day... View... View from the Ridge... Village at Leesburg... Vineyards... Vineyard Square... Virginia Gardening... Virginia Gold Cup... Waterford... Waterford Fair... Watermelon Park... Wild Loudoun... Woodgrove... Woodgrove High School... Wounded Warrior... Your Money... Zoning


November 2015

Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Mrs. Lucketts’ Haunted Garden & Playground


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Steve Potter Live at North Gate Vineyard

2 3

Elementary Drama Camp

4 5 6

Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists – painter Karen Hutchison and glass artists David and Dale Barnes


Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Kipyn Martin Live at North Gate VIneyard

9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20

The Essential Elvis Tribute Show


Christmas Bazaar

23 24 25 26 27

The Capitol Steps


3rd Annual Bluemont (Juried) Holiday Craft Show

30 1 2 3 4 5

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015


Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Good Government Reinforces the Family – Another Perspective

4 Oct 2015


By Malcolm Baldwin Who can disagree with the title to Dave LaRock’s September article in the Blue Ridge Journal – “Good Government Reinforces the Family”? But sadly he largely misunderstands what government has done and ought to do for such reinforcement. Many of his prescriptions would harm families while others would forestall any improvement in family conditions. His conclusions become …



2015 Loudoun 10K Trail Race Raises over $30,000 to Support Boulder Crest Retreat and Our Nation’s Veterans

16 Nov 2015


“I continued to be humbled by our community and all they do to make Boulder Crest Retreat a success. Jim Schatz and his team at Loudoun Road Runners are amazing. This trail run is in alignment with the rural nature of Boulder Crest Retreat and we look forward to the event every year. My personal appreciation goes out to all …

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Purcellville Cross Serves as Beacon of Hope for Highway Travelers

9 Nov 2015

Crux St. Francis de Sales

By Mark Gunderman The Crux Gloria was erected and dedicated by St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in November 1990. If you’re traveling from Leesburg on Highway 7, passing through Purcellville just west of the Berlin Turnpike exit, you can look to your right and see a majestic metal cross sculpture. Within the cross, the shape of Jesus appears to …

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Carver Center November Events

4 Nov 2015


The Carver Center is at 200 Willie Palmer Way in Purcellville. Call 571-258-3400 to sign up for the following programs. November 6, Friday Lunch and movie Still Alice 12-2 p.m. (ages 55 and up).  To sign up call 571-258-3459. November 9, Monday AARP Driver Safety Class 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m (ages 50 and up). Pre-registration required. AARP members $15, …

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Wild Loudoun

Wild Loudoun: of Chipmunks and Chestnuts

4 Nov 2015


Chipmunks are small, beautifully elegant little creatures, with large glossy eyes, a sleek brown body, a short, pointy head, dainty white stripes above and below the eye, and a series of black land white lines down their sturdy little backs. They have a very sweet posture – sitting upright and holding food with their two perfectly formed front feet, while …

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Around Virginia

Comstock Speaks on Syrian Refugees


Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) released the following statement on the current terrorist attacks in Paris: “After September 11, 2001, we tragically learned that al Qaeda was at war with us, but we weren’t at war with them. Again, with the recent murderous terrorist attacks in Paris, we have learned that …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Tourism Revenues Topped $22.4 billion in 2014


Statewide data shows increase of 4.1 percent compared to 2013 Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia’s tourism revenues topped $22.4 billion in 2014, a 4.1 percent increase over 2013. In 2014, tourism in Virginia supported 216,949 jobs, an increase of nearly 700 jobs to the previously reported forecast estimate of …

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Good Government Reinforces the Family


By Delegate Dave LaRock Working as the elected Delegate for the 33rd House District has renewed my understanding of the value of a strong family. After decades of raising my family of mom, dad, and seven children and building my family’s business, which provided countless opportunities for mom, dad and …

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Funding Sought for Scholarship for Loudon Students Participating in Youth Sports

4 Nov 2015


The Don Rose, Sr. Youth Scholarship Fund is seeking financial support to provide scholarships at college, technical or trade school. Applicants from public, private, and home schools are eligible to receive the scholarship, provided they participated in youth sports within Loudoun County. The fund aims to award two $500 scholarships …

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Leesburg Ladies Tennis Team Wins State Tournament

4 Nov 2015


Ida Lee Park Tennis Center’s Ladies Singles 2.5 Team, Simply Smashing, won the USTA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship tournament, held October 16-18, at the Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club. Simply Smashing members include team captain Beth Cioni, Debbie DeLadurantaye, Jennifer Fox, Robin Haast, Holly McMullen and Deja O’Malley. They train …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015


– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

Behind Closed Doors

4 Nov 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde It’s sad to say that the norm now is to wonder about the next school shooting. For a student it is the most terrifying thing, the next shooter could come at any moment, and any day could be the day that you die. It could be …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015


– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Thank You for Another Successful Halloween Block Party

4 Nov 2015


The 5th annual Purcellville Halloween Block Party was the best attended to date with an estimated 6,000 descending on 21st street in Old Town this past Friday evening. Costume …

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Ethics in Campaigning and Voting

1 Nov 2015


My Dad used to say it’s what you do when nobody is watching that counts. Over 80 percent of my “zoning permitted” and “land owner …

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$17 Dollar Tolls-Ouch!

27 Oct 2015


Recently Gov. McAuliffe proposed $17 round trip tolls on I-66 inside the beltway with Chuck Hedges the Democrat nominee for the HOD 33rd district being …

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