Tamburitzans’ production highlights full spectrum of culture
The Tamburitzans organization has undergone some changes in the past few years, but the troupe of young performing artists based in Pittsburgh is as devoted as ever to bringing the music, songs and dances of other lands to audiences all over the country.
The heart and soul of the group — artistic director George Kresovich of West Mifflin — knows what it’s like to be a member of the Tamburitzans. He was one of the performers from 1976 to 1980.
His theme for this year’s production, which comes to The Palace Theatre in Greensburg for one performance Jan. 27, is a fitting message for the times. “Prism: Full Spectrum Culture” compares
“international culture” to light passing through a prism, comprised of various “hues of heritages” that come together while also celebrating and embracing the diversity they represent.
Kresovich says that unlike the Tamburitzans of the past, the new nonprofit organization is no longer reserved for Duquesne University students who love performing.
A growing number of students from other area colleges and universities, including Robert Morris University, the University of Pittsburgh, Community College of Allegheny and Point Park University, are proud performers in the 29-member Tamburitzans troupe.
A very diverse group
“And the interesting part of our organization is that the smallest portion of students are studying music,” he says. “We have pharmacy, nursing and business students — a very diverse group.”
Students have an opportunity to visit other regions of the country as they perform in three tours throughout each season. This year’s production transports audiences through music, song and dance to a dozen countries and cultures, including Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine — along with Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Kresovich returned to the Tamburitzans after working in Orlando, Fla., as a contract producer for Walt Disney World, where he was responsible for producing shows, primarily at Epcot.
He works alongside tour manager George Salopek, also a former Tamburitzans performer from West Mifflin, maintaining the costumes, lighting, sound and video equipment and props that accompany each performance.
“We have a lot of costume changes in our show,” he says. “Every performer wears 15 to 20 different costumes for a performance.”
Continuing to grow
The artistic director hopes to continue to grow the organization, recruiting new members and eventually taking a tour to perform abroad.
“This group is the longest-running stage show in the country,” he says. “People see a professional performing ensemble that just happens to be students.”
The Tamburitzans show at The Palace Theater is presented by Westmoreland Cultural Trust.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review