Planning the Tamburitzans show happens months before production camp, which begins in mid-July on the campus of Washington and Jefferson College. In about three weeks, the new show is learned, rehearsed, and costumed to take on the road. During production camp, choreographers and arrangers from around the world work with the Tamburitzans, teaching them all of the steps, notes, and words they need to know to make each segment of the show authentic and exciting.
At the soul of every Tamburitzans’ performance is its music. Every nationality represented by the young folk artists has its own unique sound and flavor. The exceptional variety of folk and classical instruments on the stage amplifies the integral importance of live music to the performance which is carried out by an in-house orchestra. Great consideration and intense preparation go hand-in-hand to capture the authentic and captivating sounds which these artists present to the audience, and transport them on a musical journey to the past, simultaneous with entertaining, cultural learning.
Music is paramount in the Tamburitzans’ show. The ensemble actually began in 1937 as a strictly musical group of tamburitza players. With the passage of time, and a wider variety of folk and orchestral instruments added to the production, music remains the driving force behind the Tamburitzans’ show.
Ensemble musicians have undergone years of training in the musical folk arts, having learned from masters of the craft – including virtuosi from Eastern Europe, the U.S., and Canada. When presenting such an array of style, it is important to portray each nationality’s or country’s music as authentically as possible. The Tamburitzans engages outstanding composers, arrangers and musical artists when formulating the new season’s production to perform such authenticity, in tandem with some of the latest advances in sound and musical technology. The result is a fusion of modern ideas with time-tested folk motifs, pleasing the most discerning purist, as well as the average music lover.