People who appreciate the finer aspects of life — theater, dance, art and music — can enjoy a bit of everything in the Fredericksburg Region. The Rappahannock Pops Orchestra puts on a series of lively shows every year featuring musical selections ranging from Bach to the Beatles to movie music maestro John Williams. Music lovers can also enjoy performances by the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra, the U.S. Marine Corps Band, the Fredericksburg Singers and the Fredericksburg Big Band.
The popular Fredericksburg Forum series features big-name speakers and entertainers such as political operative and analyst Karl Rove, internationally renowned chef and Travel Channel host Anthony Bourdain, author Scott Turrow, actor James Earl Jones and comedian Ben Stein. UMW also hosts a Great Lives series, which features lectures on significant historical figures, both real and fictional. Subjects include author Ayn Rand, “Peanuts” creator Charles Schultz, James Bond, former President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Freedom Riders.
The University of Mary Washington Galleries exhibit art from a permanent collection of more than 5,000 works, as well as traveling exhibits and the art of faculty and students. Klein Theatre hosts productions by the university’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
The Riverside Center Dinner Theater, located in Stafford County, has earned wide acclaim for its presentations of Broadway-style musicals such as “Chicago” and “Hello, Dolly!”
The Gari Melchers Home and Studio holds the largest repository of the early 20th Century artists’ landscapes, portraits and domestic interiors. Visitors can also see fine antiques he collected during his world travels.
Throughout the community, small theater groups and performing arts studios entertain audiences year-round. The visions of talented artists and photographers are displayed in libraries, galleries and restaurants. The Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts also displays original works of regional artists.
Nationally recognized performers and musicians are featured guests at the Fredericksburg Music Festival, a week-long annual event. Local and regional musicians perform at many clubs and restaurants in the area, offering an eclectic array of musical styles. The Bluemont Summer Concert series brings a variety of musicians to intimate venues. Area localities also put on outdoor concerts and film festivals the whole family can enjoy.