Rose is a treasure

We were dismayed that you used Darrell Rose's picture to illustrate your mean-spirited little article on Mall musicians [Cover story, "Summer tips," July 24, 2003] (

We know Darrell very well and can tell you that he has been far more than a street musician "crowding the Downtown Mall."

He has taught in area schools since 1991 under the auspices of the Virginia Commission of the Arts, has helped organize and perform in myriad benefits, has been an affiliate of the Bluemont Concert Series of Northern Virginia Artists in Education Program, and for many years has performed at First Night Virginia.

As a master drummer and percussionist, he plays and records with blues singer Corey Harris and, most recently, with the Wailers, back up band for the late Bob Marley.

As a folk artist, Darrell has shown his work at Gallery Neo, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Lakeside Gallery, the Mudhouse, and at Texas A&M University.

Darrell has recently been elected to the board of directors of Second Street Gallery.

The picture you chose to use with the article was from an infrequent mall performance by the Afrikan Drum Festival, which Darrell founded and led for a number of years.

You have lumped all the Mall musicians together without recognizing them as individuals with hearts and minds. Get to know them!

John and Gloria Mitchell