Lecture, performance set at Blennerhassett Museum

PARKERSBURG — Sunday’s presentation in the 2018 Blennerhassett Museum Winter Lecture Series will include performances by the Smoot Boys Ensemble, the music of West Virginia and readings of the poems by a state poet laureate.

The event starts at 2 p.m. and features Scott Cain on the instruments of Appalachia and will highlight the work of Poet Laureate Louise McNeill of West Virginia, 1911-1993.

The Smoot Theatre Boys Ensemble also will perform, Felice Jorgeson, executive director of the theater, said.

Cain performs music on traditional folk instruments. He has more than 40 years of experience in the music industry and explains the history of the instruments while performing.

Cain was in the Fife and Drum Corps at Disney World, a lighting director and sound engineer at Disney, was a lighting director for three television networks and was a technical director at the Smoot Theatre.

Volunteers from the museum, Blennerhassett Island and performers in the Smoot choirs will read selections by McNeill from her book of poems about West Virginia, “Elderberry Flood,” Pam Salisbury, museum spokesman, said.

McNeill, who wrote for the “Saturday Evening Post,” published her first collection of work, “Mountain White,” in 1931. She was born in Pocahontas County.

She was named West Virginia Poet Laureate in 1979 by Gov. Jay Rockefeller and was poet laureate until her death in 1993. McNeill was inducted into the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni and in 1989 was awarded an honorary doctorate in the humanities.

Admission to the presentation is $4 for members of the Friends of Blennerhassett and $5 for non-members, Salisbury said. Membership information will be available and is $15 for singles and $30 for a family.