The Spark

Friday 6:20pm
Martha Woodroof
Martha Woodroof

The Spark is WMRA's own creative look at --well-- creativity. We dig into whatever people are passionate about in the WMRA region: sculpture, model railroading, costume-making, poetry, whatever.

Please note that while we no longer produce The Spark as a full-length program (due to Martha Woodroof's retirement), her interviews continue to appear within our Friday broadcast of All Things Considered.

We want to hear from those who are doing artsy or interesting or wonderful or obsessive things.  We also recognize that lots of creatives are a tad shy and might not ever speak up for themselves. 

You can put something on our radar about yourself or can tell us about someone you know of who might be interesting by sending an e-mail to the show host, Martha Woodroof:
(To launch an email to Martha automatically click here. )

Scroll down to hear past segments.

Consider this a community-wide celebration of the many people among us who invest time, energy and discipline into pushing against life's boundaries.

Listen to a typical 2012 version of the show's end credits (including Martha asking to hear from those who know about creative goings-on) : here (60 seconds).

2013 Spark intern Julia Skinner has been tasked with blogging about potentially Spark-worthy peers, and you can find the link to that blog on this page.

Composer ID: 


The Spark
2:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Hobbit Knowledge

Bill Painter of Harrisonburg explains his 40+ year fascination with The Lord of the Rings and with the Middle Earth backstory.

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The Spark
2:41 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

What Can Roller Derby Teach The Church?

Kelly Figueroa-Ray geared-up for roller derby under her rinkname Bible ThumpHer alongside Erin "Sew Crafty" West

“Five Things the Church Can Learn from Women’s Roller Derby” is a Kelly Figueroa-Ray  essay for the Huffington Post.  HuffPo religion-blogger Kelly Figueroa-Ray has a divinity degree from Wesley and also actually does do roller derby --under the rinkname Bible ThumpHer.

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The Spark
2:45 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Play. It. Loud.

On WMRA's The Spark, we meet noise-rocker Natalie Strickland. What is noise rock?

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The Spark
7:32 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Just Don't Inhale. You'll Die.

Image courtesy:

Hot glass blowpipe rule #1: DON'T INHALE. The 1500+ degree air sears the lungs.  It's dangerous work with beautiful results. Glassblower Lisa Aronzon chats with Martha Woodroof.

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The Spark
2:39 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Supersize My Art

We meet David Currier who sculpts and also works as an art-enlarger: other sculptors ask him to scale-up their art.  He's also the artist behind the comic strip Simon And The Pieman.

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The Spark
2:48 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Classic Jazz Album

Doug Arthur (right, holding guitar) with fellow trio members. Photo credit:

Martha chats with Strasburg's Doug Arthur, who put together a jazz album called "Way Back When" as "a tribute to all those great songs from the 20's through the 50's --the Great American Songbook and traditional jazz." 

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The Spark
3:53 pm
Thu September 26, 2013


The drool-worthy (and Concours d’Elegance-exhibited) Ferrari mentioned in the interview. Yes, it really is black with jade green on top. Image credit: Pat Jarrett shot at Kevin Blackburn Photography Studio 108

Prepare to be dazzled by close auditory proximity to  a rare prototype Ferrari. A chat with vintage sports car expert Mike Gassman.

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The Spark
3:00 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Fixed Dylan's Guitar

And many others.  WMRA's Martha Woodroof meets Danny Dolinger, who repairs stringed instruments for a living. When Danny (AKA "Fret Boss") bought his first good guitar (a Stratocaster), he took it apart the same day. 

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The Spark
2:00 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

ESPN "Cheat Sheet" Maker

College football action: Colorado State University versus United States Air Force Academy. (Photo credit: US Air Force photographer John Van Winkle.)

WMRA's Martha Woodroof and college football "spotter" Tony Britt (bonus: also CBS Sports/ESPN legend Brent Musburger) discuss Tony's special "cheat sheets" he developed for ESPN reporters and other sports media pros. 

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The Spark
11:48 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Old Crow Medicine Show

Old Crow Medicine Show guitarist "Critter" Fuqua playing at DC's 9:30 Club. Photo credit: Flickr user via Wikipedia Commons.

They've played at the Grand Old Opry, A Prairie Home Companion, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and warmed up for Dave Matthews Band. The alt-grass band Old Crow Medicine Show got started in places like  Harrisonburg's Little Grill.  WMRA's Martha Woodroof chats with two of the crows: Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua. 

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