A trio of folklorists who combine mountain harmonies with history lessons will headline this year’s annual Blue and Gray Reconciliation Dinner hosted by West Virginia Independence Hall at the Wheeling Artisan Center.
Michael and Carrie Kline will be joined by bass player Bill Gorby at the Oct. 7 dinner in presenting tunes of the Civil War era interspersed with stories about West Virginia’s role in the Civil War.
The Klines have been studying and chronicling the history and culture of Appalachia for 30 years. Their repertoire runs from the ancient ballads of the Hammons family in the central highlands to mining laments and songs of resistance in the coal fields.
Michael Kline has a doctorate in public folklore from Boston University, and Carrie Kline has a master’s degree in American studies from State University of New York/Buffalo. Together they have written 20 articles for Goldenseal magazine since 1978. Michael Kline is in touch with many state historians, Appalachian studies scholars, artists and musicians and has conducted extensive interviews with farmers, homemakers and workers in most of the state’s industries and communities. In 1999, the Klines received the Media Arts Fellowship Award from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
Gorby is a stand-up comic, vocalist and bass player in the eastern Ohio band, Big Bill Dup and the Let Downs.
Dinner begins at 7 p.m. at the Wheeling Artisan Center, 1400 Main St., Wheeling, followed at 8 p.m. by the program, “Songs and Folklore of the Civil War.”
Tickets are $25 per person and reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, call (304) 238-1300.
West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum, located on the corner of 16th and Market streets in Wheeling, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays.
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.