Arts & Entertainment

Walla Walla seminar takes on roots music

WALLA WALLA -- A program that highlights the history of Appalachian music is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 10 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 323 Catherine St., in Walla Walla.

Donovan Cain, a musician/priest/scholar from Walla Walla, will conduct the seminar that includes music and storytelling about the cultural history of this music.

Cost to attend is $15 and includes lunch.

The Central and Southern Appalachian Mountains are home to some of the earliest American music still being performed today. Event organizers say Appalachian music evolved from a society of people who struggled with poverty, environmental exploitation and were victims of a hillbilly stereotype.

Cain, born and raised in the Appalachians, was the son of proud mountain people who still live and work in eastern Kentucky.

Before becoming an Episcopal priest, Donovan immersed himself in the history and the culture he'd grown up in, earning an master's degree in Appalachian studies from Appalachian State University.

He's also been a musical and cultural ambassador for the region ever since, as well as a performer of the vintage music of his youth.

His workshop will focus on traditions of ballad singing and banjo playing from the mountains of the South, along with Appalachian religious traditions, theology and hymnody.

For more information, call the church at 509-529-1083 or go to