The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center’s Trunk of Traditional Tunes series will conclude on Sunday, April 3 at 2 p.m. with Mack Samples, where he will discuss and demonstrate traditional dance. This event is free for in-person public attendance, and will also be livestreamed on the Folklife Center’s Facebook page.
Samples is a native to the Mountain State, born in Corton. He is a musician, author, educator and a recipient of the prestigious Vandalia Award, given for the preservation of traditional life in West Virginia. Samples graduated from Glenville State where he later became the Registrar and Director of Admissions. He also served as an Extension Agent in Clay County.
Samples is well-known for his square-dance calling and his flatfoot dancing. He and the Samples Brothers Band also play at events throughout the region including the WV State Folk Festival and the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee.
“What a delight to have Mack share these traditional dances with us,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “Like the music and oral storytelling traditions of this great state, its dance traditions likewise tell the stories of generations of families. Learning about and taking part in these dance traditions, one can’t help but feel the sense of community and joy, and I can’t think of a more perfect antidote to shaking off winter and welcoming spring.”
The series is dedicated to celebrating traditional music throughout the state, funded by the West Virginia Humanities Council through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act. The Trunk of Traditional Tunes will culminate in a series of teacher resources to be housed online, accessible through Fairmont State’s Ruth Ann Musick Library. In addition, educators will have access to various classroom tools and instruments including a set of cardboard dulcimers.
The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is in a historic barn on the campus of Fairmont State University. The Center’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate West Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. For further information, contact 304-367-4403.