Tamburitzans add Italian and Nordic numbers for Greensburg show

For the first time, the Tamburitzans perform songs from Italy and the Nordic countries.

Additions to their core repertoire of Eastern European folk music and dance are featured in the troupe’s current tour, “Symbols: The Awakening”.

Now is the perfect time to make the additions, said Marianna Hurrell, board member and former Tamburitzan.

“It really reflects the way we live in a global community now,” she said. “It’s an exciting, entertaining and fast-paced show. He honors the past and also talks about the future.

The Tamburitzans will perform “Symbols” at 2:00 pm on January 23 at the Palace Theater in Greensburg. The program includes the Croatian tamburitza folk songs from which the group takes its name, in addition to Serbian, Macedonian, Spanish and Greek numbers and Italian and Nordic suites.

The show includes many costume changes, highlighting the countries and cultures presented.

Courtesy of the Tamburitzans

The Tamburitzans perform Italian and Nordic songs for the first time during the troupe’s current season.

In the past, the group has also performed music from other Eastern European cultures, as well as that of Ireland, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

“We have songs and dances from many countries, and that changes with the performances each year,” Hurrell said. “This year we upped the show with new sets and new lighting, so it has a new look.

“George Kresovich, our artistic director, is a musician who worked with the Disney organization at Epcot, so he was involved in its creation. ”

Anniversary year

The group includes undergraduate and graduate students studying at colleges and universities in the Pittsburgh area. Students from across the country can audition for openings in the 30-member group each year, and a scholarship is available for them to attend schools in the area.

Members participate in a three-week summer camp to prepare for the upcoming season, which includes performances across the country from September through May. They also maintain full course loads at their respective schools, Hurrell noted.

The group is celebrating their 85th year, which will feature an end-of-season gala and performance at Point Park University.


Courtesy of the Tamburitzans

The Tamburitzans include undergraduate and graduate students from colleges and universities in the Pittsburgh area.

“Our history spans 85 years of scholarship and performance,” said Hurrell. “We have been overseas seven times with the US State Department. We have over 800 alumni. So, let’s celebrate it all.

The Tamburitzans also became a legacy organization for many members, including Hurrell, whose late father Stephen Kovacev was the ensemble’s deputy director.

“We have students whose parents and grandparents were Tamburitzans,” she said. “Our motto is: ‘Tradition meets modernity.’ Our hallmarks are performance, education and tradition.

House in Pittsburgh

The Tamburitzans evolved from a tamburitza trio that performed at Saint Thomas College in St. Paul, Minn., From 1932. The group visited Pittsburgh in 1937, where their mentor believed the multilingual community and multicultural would benefit the group’s pursuit. Success.

The group found a permanent home in the city through a scholarship agreement with Duquesne University, becoming known as Duquesne University Tamburitzans. In 2015, the Tamburitzans became a non-profit organization, with the separation from Duquesne partly due to a decline in applicants.

The agreement between the university and the group allowed the Tamburitzans to recruit students from other universities besides Duquesne, thereby increasing the pool of applicants and allowing the group to seek wider support from foundations, individuals and government agencies.

The current Tamburitzans headquarters on the north side of Pittsburgh includes a research and costume archive and a rehearsal space.

The troupe remains the oldest multicultural song and dance company in the United States, Hurrell noted, with a broader mission of preserving the songs, music, dances and costumes of Eastern Europe and neighboring countries.

Former members have gone on to perform on Broadway and even the Metropolitan Opera, Hurrell said, while others go on to careers in everything from medicine to finance and beyond.

“My experience as a Tamburitzan has been the most phenomenal experience of my life,” said Hurrell. “There is nothing like it. It teaches you so much about the world and gives you so much experience as a performer.

Tickets for the show at the Palace are $ 16 to $ 26. Ticket sales are final with no refund or exchange unless the show is canceled. In the event of cancellation or postponement, certain service and historical preservation charges are non-refundable.

For more information call 724-836-8000 or visit thepalacetheatre.org.

Shirley McMarlin is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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