Blennerhassett Museum readies Winter Lecture Series

PARKERSBURG –Blennerhassett Museum Winter Lecture Series is returning for another year, presenting four programs at 2 p.m. each Sunday in February.

The series begins Feb. 3 and ends Feb. 24.

Seating is limited. Call for information or reservations at 304-420-4800. The cost is $5 per lecture for non-members and $4 for Friends of Blennerhassett members.

In previous years, the lecture series has featured a mixture of musicians and speakers on a variety of topics. This year, the series will bring in four top award winners of the Vandalia Gathering Festival to tell their stories and perform Appalachian music.

The Vandalia Gathering is a festival that takes place during Memorial Day Weekend in Charleston and brings together the finest traditional Appalachian musicians for a weekend of picking and competition.

On Feb. 3, the series will kick off with Mack Samples, a well-known folklorist, musician and square dance caller. He was the 2003 Vandalia Award winner. Samples has written four book set in West Virginia and has written several published articles on a variety of subjects related to traditional folk arts.

The next program will be Buddy Griffin on Feb. 10. Griffin was the 2011 Vandalia Award winner and is a master musician on several instruments.

He began performing at an early age, excelling at banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin. He has been instrumental in developing a college level bluegrass program in West Virginia.

The Feb. 17 program will feature Bobby Taylor, the 2010 Vandalia Award winner. He is a fourth-generation fiddler from the Charleston area who learned his music from his father, fiddler Lincoln Taylor, as well as from master musicians Clark Kessinger and Mike Humphries.

The final program will be Gerald Milnes on Feb. 24. Milnes was the 2013 Vandalia Award winner.

He is a musician, folklorist, author, filmmaker, teacher and musician who has contributed to the preservation and understanding of West Virginia traditional folk culture.

He has won multiple awards on both the fiddle and banjo and performs with the group Gandydancer.