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River City Festival of the Arts returns

The Annual River City Festival of the Arts will return after COVID shut it down a couple of years ago.

Scheduled for Memorial Day weekend — May 27-30 — the festival features a number of artists and is dedicated to all those who lost their lives during the pandemic.

The festival will be held in the Janet and Imre Szilagyi Center in Rowlesburg.

Soprano Christina Nassif (Submitted photo)

Cristina Nassif will be featured in an inspiring concert titled, “Songs My Mother Taught Me” at 2 p.m. May 28 in the Szilagyi Center/Historic Rowlesburg Auditorium. Passes and tickets will be available two weeks prior to the concert and at the door. Nassif will present a program of arias of different styles and languages and will be accompanied by her father Thomas John Nassif. Nassif holds a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Maryland and an artist diploma from the Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia.

She has performed leading roles with the Washington National Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Tampa, Opera Delaware, Opera North and Allentown Symphony. Nassif has also sung in London’s Royal Albert Hall and in London’s O2 Arena, South Africa State Theater in Pretoria and Civic Theater in Johannesburg. She has also given performances in Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and has performed in concert halls in China, Spain and Lebanon.

The May 27 program consists of educational tours to include Crossroads in Rural America and more. Afternoon guests are invited to a free session titled, “The Creative Process — Bring Your Own Book,” held in the Michael and Carolann Hooton Library, followed by a late afternoon program, Back Porch music, featuring Clyde Sypolt and Band. Friday’s events conclude with a tap dance performance featuring The Motown Strutters and Morgantown Dance Junior Acts.

On May 28, Return of the Buckwheat Stars, a Tribute to the Memory of Michael Lee Hooton, one of Rowlesburg’s great athletes, will be followed by Nassif’s concert, as well as a dinner prepared by Christ United Church Women and an evening of dancing with the Allies Band.