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RMU student member of elite Tamburitzans

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RMU student member of elite Tamburitzans

Photo credit: Anka Gataric

Photo credit: Anka Gataric

Photo credit: Anka Gataric

Photo credit: Anka Gataric

Sarah Gabany, Reporter

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The Tamburitzans have been making their mark in Pittsburgh since the late 1930s, celebrating various international cultures through the art of folk dance and traditional music. The group originally had an agreement with Duquesne University in order to provide scholarships for those students who perform with Tamburitzans, even being coined the “Duquesne University Tamburitzans.” As of 2014, Duquesne has agreed to have the Tamburitzans become an independent organization, which has opened auditions to students attending other Pittsburgh-area universities.

Anka Gataric, a sophomore at RMU, is currently a proud member of this famous performance group. Gataric’s journey to the Tamburitzans started early with her grandparents taking her to the Junior Tamburitzan dances. This inspired her to participate in the dances herself, performing with the North Hills Junior Tamburitzans and with the folk ensemble Hrvatski Tanac. Having grown up surrounded by her Croatian heritage and her love for learning about other cultures, she was inspired to perform with the Tamburitzans.

The organization’s goal is to teach people about different international heritages through entertainment. As a result of working for the Tamburitzans, Anka is able to travel around the country doing what she loves most.

A recent Tamburitzan performance showcases cultural heritage.

“It is always fun for us to tour around the United States,” Gataric said. “Some kids will never get to do this in their lifetime, so to be able to say I have is unique. But, the best part is spreading our performance’s cultures. I love to see the audience’s smiles and reactions to the things we portray on stage.”

Now that the Tamburitzans are an independent non-profit, any student from a Pittsburgh-based school, such as Point Park, RMU, CCAC or Duquesne, can receive scholarships from the group.

“The process is broken up into three sections: your initial audition, the dance audition and the interview,” Gataric said. “The first audition begins in the beginning of February. For your first audition, you show a variety of things, such as your singing, dancing and musical ability. From there, you have callbacks, which then puts you through to the dance audition. At the dance audition, you are following an instructor and learning little sections of dances from the different regions in Europe … the last part of the process is the interview. You are introduced and have a discussion with the artistic director of the group, George Kresovic. This whole process takes about a month to do, and you know if you had made it into the ensemble in early or in the middle of March.”

The Tamburitzans perform for the audience.

After Gataric became a part of the Tamburitzans, she filled a dancer role. In addition, she also plays an instrument for most of the numbers. Many of the performers have multiple talents and excel at singing, dancing and playing musical instruments. Now that the Tamburitzans are open to more students, the opportunity to spread different heritages while creating a beautiful performance is open to more people than ever before.

“The message we are trying to send is that culture is what embodies you and how important your own culture is,” Gataric said. “Without that, what is your identity? So, as we instill this question in the audience, I hope they gain a better understanding or want to learn more about their cultural background! And if they get that or any more satisfactions from the show, that is the greatest achievement I can create with the Tamburitzans.”

If any RMU student wants to spread their own culture by becoming a Tamburitzan, the organization always welcomes new members interested in a unique opportunity.

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8 Responses to “RMU student member of elite Tamburitzans”

  1. Rachel on January 30th, 2019 3:03 pm

    Fantastic article as always! Would love to see this group perform!

  2. Michael on January 30th, 2019 3:07 pm

    Oh boy sarah I am cold in Virginia, it is has been 5 days since electricity and heat. Please answer my calls I need your company as I am cold and my nipples are permanently hard

  3. Janine Opfer on January 30th, 2019 3:07 pm

    Always enjoy reading Sarah’s articles. They are very interesting and make you want to learn more about the subject she is reporting about.

  4. Sue M Oden on January 31st, 2019 10:58 am

    Very good article Sarah.

  5. Andy on February 2nd, 2019 12:46 pm

    Great article Sarah, learned a lot about the Tamburitzans. Keep the articles coming. They are enjoyed

  6. Christina on February 7th, 2019 8:02 pm

    This is a great article. Tamburitzans seem to be a fun group to be in cause i love to dance. Would like to see them in person.

  7. Padre on February 9th, 2019 8:11 pm

    Hola me amor’ im wondering why you didnt respond to my request on craigslist i love your articles and im hooing to connect on craigslist please respond to my multiple messages love your man

  8. Diedra on February 13th, 2019 4:28 pm

    Enjoyed the article, very informative. Would like information about how to possibly join the tamburitzans. I have relatives that may want to join. Again, nice article.

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