A day for swapping stories; Festival: Entertainers will spin yarns and play music Saturday at Western Maryland College's Tellabration '99 On the Hill.


A festival at Western Maryland College will give children a taste of ancient cultures -- and new storytellers a chance to test their skills Saturday.

Joann Hay, a professional storyteller and instructor, and students in her graduate course, "The Art of Storytelling," will tell stories at Tellabration '99 On the Hill.

The college's second daylong storytelling festival also will feature community storytellers and a matinee concert by Nery Arevalo, a storyteller and musician who performs nationally.

"Listeners will hear humorous tales, folklore, heart-warming stories and much more," Hay said. "There will be something for everyone."

The program also can be interpreted for the hearing-impaired.

The schedule includes presentations for preschoolers from 9: 30 a.m. to 10 a.m.; kindergarten and first grade from 10: 30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; grades two and three from 11: 30 a.m. to 12: 15 p.m.; and grades four to six from 12: 45 p.m. to 1: 30 p.m.

Programs for young children will be held in Decker Auditorium in Lewis Hall and are free. Although presentations are rated for certain ages, Hay said children are welcome at all concerts.

Steve Heacock of the Outdoor School, one of the featured tellers in the program for grades four to six, will bring one of the center's owls to illustrate his story, "Owl Moon."

Participants will be able to meet Heacock and the owl afterward.

Arevalo will present a concert for children and adults from 2 p.m. to 3: 30 p.m. in Decker Auditorium. Tickets are $3.

The evening storytelling concert (recommended for ages 10 to adult because of a ghost story) will be at 7: 30 p.m., also in Decker. Tickets are $5, with a $15 family maximum, and are available at the door.

"You really don't need to get a baby sitter for this concert if you have younger children," Hay said. "This concert does feature more sophisticated tales but nothing objectionable."

Arevalo, a percussionist who has performed with Sheri Belafonte and Rusted Root, and at festivals and workshops throughout the country, will highlight stories in the Native American and Mayan rhythmic traditions at his matinee concert.

Information: 410-857-2290. For a sign-language interpreter: 410-857-2518 by Wednesday.

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