The West Virginia Archives and History Library of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History will continue its series of after hours lectures on Tuesday, May 3, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. The session, entitled “West Virginia’s Heritage Music,” will be conducted by Bobby Taylor, library manager for archives and history. The program will take place in the library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. All sessions are free and the public is invited to attend. The library will close at 5 p.m. and reopen at 5:45 p.m., for participants only.
Taylor will discuss the state’s heritage music and fiddle traditions and have photographs of many notable West Virginia musicians including Ed Haley, Clark Kessinger, Sam Jarvis, the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, family members and more. He also will have fiddles and other musical memorabilia on display that belonged to some of the state’s premier musicians.
Taylor, accompanied by Kim Johnson on banjo and John Lilly on guitar, will play tunes that are a major part of West Virginia’s musical history. He is a fourth-generation West Virginia fiddler who plays several styles of old-time and contest fiddling. Taylor, whose interest in fiddling was sparked by observing the legendary Kessinger play the instrument, was the 1977 West Virginia State Open Fiddle Champion, and in 2003, received the Footbridge Award from the Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance (FOOTMAD) for his contributions to old-time music. In 2010, he was presented the Vandalia Award, the state’s highest folklife award, from the Division of Culture and History.
Taylor is both a performer and an advocate of West Virginia fiddling. He has coordinated the Vandalia Gathering and the Appalachian String Band Festival music contests for the Division of Culture and History for more than 20 years. He also has served as a judge at the Galax Fiddlers Convention in Virginia, the Grand Masters Fiddle Championship in Nashville, Tennessee and gives private fiddle lessons.
Advance registration for the workshop is not required, but is encouraged to help plan seating arrangements and ensure plenty of supplies and handouts, if provided, are available.
To register in advance, contact Taylor at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163, or by e-mail at Bobby.L.Taylor@wv.gov. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information about the workshop, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
The next session will feature Dick Fauss presenting “Archives and History Movie Night: Footage from the Collection” on Tuesday, June 7.
The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.