University of Pittsburgh
October 10, 2005

Pitt to Sponsor 15th Annual Slovak Heritage Festival Nov. 6

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The 15th annual Slovak Heritage Festival, featuring Slovak song and dance, educational lectures and displays, ethnic foods and pastries, and vendors selling Slovakian merchandise, will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 6 at the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

This year's free event will include artists from Slovakia and Pittsburgh performing in the Cathedral's Commons Room, among them the Pittsburgh Slovakians and the Pittsburgh Area Slovaks and, from the Slovak Republic, the Singing Revil'ak Family and Jozef Ivaska.

The Singing Revil'ak Family has performed a variety of folk songs in Europe, Canada, and the United States for 16 years. The five members of this family, who grew up singing in the city of Bardejov, Slovakia, are the parents, Milan and Ol'ga; two daughters, Zuzana and Julia; and their son, Milan. The group's repertoire encompasses Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn folk art songs, modern popular compositions, and many international favorites, including American folk songs. The Singing Revil'ak family has received numerous awards in nationwide laureate folklore competitions in Bratislava, Zilina, and Slovakia. The singers also have made numerous appearances in Eastern and Western Christian churches to sing for anniversaries, consecrations, and ordinations.

Ivaska, known in Slovakia as the Man of a Thousand Songs, is making his first concert tour of the United States. Noted for his tenor voice, he performs operatic operetta, rock, pop, jazz, and folk music. Born in Ruzomberok, Slovakia, Ivaska was forced out of the country during the Communist era; many of his songs were considered protest songs. He lives now in Baden, Austria, a spa town near Vienna, but is frequently called on to sing for important functions throughout Slovakia. He often performs at events for President Rudoff Schuster of the Slovak Republic and sings year-round with the Metropolitan Operetta Theatre in Baden.

Pitt's Slovak Studies Program and the Pitt Students' Slovak Club are cosponsors of the event. For more information, call 412-624-5906 or e-mail slavic@pitt.edu.

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