Monday, July 18, 2011


From Milan Opacich

he St. Sava Historical Society presents "Tambura Spectacular" to be held in the north wing of the church on August 5th, 6th, and 7th during the annual award winning "Serb Fest" of 2011.

A pictorial tribute to the late Steve Barich is being planned. Steve taught and directed the youngsters of the church to play tamburitza. The group was called the St. Sava Youth Tamburitza Orchestra and at times exceeded 70 youngsters. Steve was also a member of the excellent tambura orchestra called "Zora". This fall in California he will be awarded the hall of fame plaque posthumously.

Tamburitza fans will be able to view over 300 pictures of orchestras past and present. There will also be photos of many fine vocalists.

Another feature will be the display showing over 50 vintage instruments that will include Russian balalaikas and Greek bouzoukis as well as a large number of Tamburitzas by our most outstanding builders like Groeschl, Hlad, Bencic, Kovachevich, and many later contemporaries that followed.

For museum patrons to view there will be on hand a 26 year collection of the "Serb World, USA" magazines with subscription forms.

A conglomeration of jigs and fixtures for constructing tamburas will be shown with side tools that are necessary. Also to be seen will be an array of work in progress tamburitzas.

Tamburitza Extravaganza programs from the first program in 1971 to the present from last years event in 2010.

A Hall of Fame plaque issued to the late Vaso Bukvich will be on hand.

A continuous slide show on three monitors will be on at all times for the public to view tambura related events.

Historic tamburitza music will be shown, many by the master tambura musicians of long agao.

Drawings by the National Heritage Award winner Adam Popovich. Also for viewing will be his wrought iron tambura wall ornaments.

A complete set of hand carved wood miniature tamburitzas by Marko Popovich.

Steve Barich's hand crafted set of stainless steel tambura

Mini tamburitza music boxes made from black walnut wood playing the theme song "Laura"
Linkfrom the movie "Doctor Zhivago".

Framed recording company logos that promoted tamburitza.

To be viewed the original prima tamburitza that was crafted in Washington D.C. during the Smithsonian fair named "Old Ways in the New World". This was part of America's bicentennial celebration. A duplicate prima will be raffled off during the three day fair.

In a place of honor will be the historic priceless gusla that belonged to the famous guslar "Perun".

A number of CDs will be on sale as well as Dusan Brankov's book showing how to build tamburitza instruments will be for sale. The book "Tamburitza America" will also be available for purchase.

Copies of the 1937 newspaper called "Tamburitza News" will be displayed and information on the tamburitza guild that followed.

A complete set of master luthier Andrew Groeschl's instruments will be in the display. They include a prima, brac, cello, and a tambura berda with it's carved back and top.

Steve Barich's first instrument a turtle backed prima along with another that belonged to the famous prima
š Janika Balaz of Novi Sad.

A replica of a sheep herders "Samica".

A beautiful fretted stand up cello made by Ivan Hlad. This version of the cello was the predecessor of the held in arms cello. Along with it will be one of his outstanding turtle back primas.

The beautiful kontra Hlad created for the World Fair of 1933 that was held in Chicago, Illinois.

For guitar fans a copy of the guitar made famous by the greates Jazz player of all time, Django Reinhardt.

Tribute to two of America's greatest tamburitza orchestras, the Popovichs and their many long play recordings and the Crlenica Brothers with their long list of credits for the movies that they played the sound tracks for.

The Stauffer guitar of 1800 made in Germany. It was from this model of guitar that the tamburitza adapted the tuning buttons all on one side. Pictured along side the instrument is a photo of a group of Serbian Army cadets with their tamburas. On the far right rear two of the cadets are holding their converted Stauffer guitars that were re-altered to tamburitzas. The photo is from the 1850s. Almost one hundred years later guitar maker Leo Fender wrote that he saw a group of tamburasi playing and it was from their instruments he got the idea for the guitar tuners to be placed all one one side.

Place the dates August 5th, 6th, and 7th on your calendar and make sure you attend the "Tambura Spectacular" at St. Sava's mini museum on the north wing of the church.