Voce Chamber Singers, a 20-member mixed choral ensemble, is taking auditions for its 2005-2006 concert series. There are openings in all voice parts, and all soloists are selected from within the ensemble. Voce rehearses on Monday evenings, September through May, in Vienna and performs in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Auditions are scheduled by appointment. To schedule an audition, leave a message at 703-277-7772 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at www.voce.org.
The McLean Youth Orchestra has openings for all positions. Musicians ages 12-18 can schedule auditions by calling Pauline Anderson, director, at 703-451-2399.
Birthdays on the Wild Side. Choose to explore the world of reptiles and amphibians, uncover clues about forest animals, dig into dinosaurs, go on an archeology adventure or go on an insect safari. Riverbend Nature Center, 8814 Jeffery Road, Great Falls. May through September. Ages 3-11. Reservations required. Call 703-759-9018.
The Potomac River has a scenic beauty that can be experienced in a whole new way in a kayak at Riverbend Park in Great Falls. Now through October, experience the end of the day with a relaxing, on-the-water tour of the upper Potomac River. 13 years and older. No previous experience required. Not a whitewater tour. Kayaks provided, and are one-person crafts. Reservations and pre-payment required, $40 per person. Cancelled in case of inclement weather. Riverbend Park, 8700 Potomac hills St., Great Falls. Call 703-759-9018.
The Potomac River Gorge Trail: A Globally Rare Environment. Enjoy a self-guided, two-mile hike along the Potomac River. Fourteen trail stops reveal secrets of the Potomac River Gorge. Begins in the Riverbend picnic area, near 8814 Jeffery Road, Great Falls, and ends at Great Falls Park. Daily and free of charge. Offered from 7 a.m.-dusk. Ages 8 and up. Call 703-759-9018.
Nature Escapes. Take part in self-guided activities including crafts, exhibits and animal watching. Each month is a different theme: Native Americans in September, primitive plants in October, and falling leaves and seeds in November. Free for all ages. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, noon-5 p.m. weekends and holidays. Riverbend Visitor Center, 8814 Jeffery Road, Great Falls. Call 703-759-9018.
Mothers First is dedicated to supporting women who have chosen to alter their careers to raise children at home. Activities include parent/child morning meetings and field trips, moms' night out and lectures. For Call 703-827-5922 or visit www.mothersfirst.org.
GriefShare seminar/support groups are held Mondays, 7-8:30 p.m., through Dec. 5 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1205 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean. The nondenominational curriculum includes a Bible-based video series followed by support group discussion. $12 covers the cost of a workbook. Scholarships and childcare available. Call 703-356-3312.
A free Tai Chi beginners practice is held every Saturday morning, 8-9 a.m., now through Saturday, Oct. 29 at McLean Central Park, behind the Dolley Madison Library on Ingleside Drive in McLean. Open to all, including brand new beginners. Wear comfortable, casual clothing and footwear. Visit www.TaiChiCenter.com or call Warren at 703-79-9141.
Foster Family Training. Northern Virginia Family Service offers summertime training for prospective foster families. NVFS foster and respite families receive: intensive training, certification, continuing education, careful child/parent matching, ongoing assistance and 24-hour support from professional social workers, financial reimbursement, help locating support services for your special foster/respite child, foster/respite parent support groups and family activities. Call Ginny Snaider at 703-219-2184, e-mail email@example.com or go to www.nvfs.org for more information or to join the next training class.
The Master Singers of Virginia is taking auditions for its 11th season. Singers in all voice parts are encouraged to audition. The Master Singers is the premiere a capella choral ensemble in Northern Virginia concentrating in 20th and 21st century choral music. This 28-voice ensemble perform three major concert programs each season, each of which is performed 3-4 times, as well as other engagements throughout Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C., area. Visit www.msva.org. To schedule an audition call Diana Manfredi, president, at 571-213-6306.
Arc of Northern Virginia now offers respite care at their Kidz Clubhouse in Great Falls. They offer after-school, evening or weekend care. Respite care is available for children of all ages with disabilities and their siblings. Rates are $15 per hour from 8 a.m.-11 p.m., $7 per hour from 11 p.m.-8 a.m. and $5 per hour for siblings, with no charge for overnight care. Call 703-438-8370, fax-703-438-8371 or visit www.kidzclubhouse.org.
St. John Catholic Church, 6420 Linway Terrace, McLean, operates a thrift shop for all residents of Northern Virginia. The shop is located on the lower level of Carlin Hall under the parish office and features clothing, a children's room, a kitchen and household room and a limited amount of artwork and "bric-a-brac." Hours are Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Donations are accepted during hours of operation and Mondays from 9:30 a.m.-noon. Call 703-356-7420.
The McLean Farmers Market is held in Lewinsville Park on Friday mornings, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., now through November 18. All vendors come from a 125-mile radius of Fairfax County.
Falls Church City Farmers Market. The market is open Saturdays, through-Dec. 17, 8 a.m.-noon in the City Hall parking lot, 300 Park Ave., Falls Church. The Fairfax County Master Gardeners also staff a booth at the market to answer gardening questions. Contact Recreation & Parks at 703-248-5077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hidden Brook Manor, a two-story, neoclassical residence with a French flair in the MacIntosh Estates neighborhood of McLean, will be the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Decorators’ Show House 2005. The Women’s Committee, along with its three professional design advisors, will select 24 interior and landscape designers who will transform the house using the latest in color, fabrics and creative design. The completed show house will be open to the public from Oct. 2-31. Hours are Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and noon-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Hidden Brook Manor is located at 8295 Alvord St. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. A full list of sales locations will be available at www.kennedy-center.org/showhouse after Aug. 1. No children under 8 are permitted, including infants. Call 202-416-8149.
All women throughout the Northern Virginia area and the Department of Defense in the National Capital Region are invited to explore possible membership in the Pentagon Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. Membership is open to any woman (military, civilian, spouse, or contractor) 18 or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove direct lineal descent from anyone who contributed to the cause of American independence. Contact Margaret Thompson at email@example.com or Barbara Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The McLean Community Center is seeking residents’ ideas for the next Fall Family Fun Cultural Festival, which will be held at the Center on Saturday, Oct. 1. The cultural festivals have been some of the Center’s most popular attractions. Last fall’s Moroccan festival was a huge success, drawing more than 3,000 visitors. Residents who are a part of a cultural group or association that can assist the Center in organizing the next fall cultural festival should contact community events director Sam Roberts at 703-790-0123 or email@example.com. For more information, call the Center at 703-790-0123/TTY: 703-827-8255, or visit www.mcleancenter.org.
Duff and Stuff Trail Guide is offered daily from noon-4 p.m. at Riverbend Visitor Center, 8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls. Pick up the "Duff and Stuff" bag and hike the trail, using the clues in the bag to investigate the forest habitat. Especially suited to families with young children. Reservations suggested; donations appreciated. Call 703-759-9018.
Scavenger Hunt is offered from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and noon-4 p.m. weekends and holidays at Riverbend Visitor Center, 8814 Jeffery Road, Great Falls. Follow the clues through the park in search of nature facts. No reservations needed; free. Call 703-759-9018.
Nature Escapes is offered daily from noon-5 p.m. at Riverbend Visitor Center, 8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls. Take part in self-guided activities including crafts, exhibits and animal watching. Each month is a different theme. Free. Call 703-759-9018.
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm is open for the season. The season features self-guided tours, three Market Fairs, other ongoing special events, apprentice programs, a farm skills educational program and internships. Group visits welcome. Farm GateHouse Shop also opens . The farm, located at 6310 Georgetown Pike, McLean, is open through Dec. 11, Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and during inclement weather. Admission is free with Farm membership. Regular admission: $3 adults; $2 children and senior citizens. Call 703-442-7557.
Northern Virginia Bookcrossing Meetup. These booklovers like to keep their books busy by reading, releasing and tracking their books' adventures with others locally, nationally and internationally. Take fun book challenges, hunt for books "in the wild" and more. Share books and be part of a group with a different angle to book loving. For more information and next monthly Meetup date, visit bookcrossing.meetup.com/72.
Toastmasters International, McLean Chapter, meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room of the Dolley Madison Library. Join them to work on improving your communication skills, to become more effective in meetings and to convey your message more concisely. Contact Theresa Wadell, 703-801-7594.
The Great Falls Women's Club offers bridge lessons, a knitters and crocheters group, a tennis group and a book discussion group. Anyone interested in joining the club is welcome to attend. Membership is open to all Fairfax County residents. Call Patty Staas, 703-356-5845.
Access Services, the Library Branch that serves individuals with disabilities, sponsors a support group for seniors and people with low vision, at the Patrick Henry Library in Vienna. The VIP (Visually Impaired Person) Vienna Group meets at 10:30 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month. Patrick Henry Library is located at 101 Maple Ave. E. in Vienna. For more information, call 703-938-0405.