Tamburitza folk music is inherently a genre of many cultures – it’s played by a family of lute guitars that combine the Persian tanbur with a mandolin and classical guitar. The music traditionally celebrates the culture of Eastern European countries, but the new executive director of the Pittsburgh Tamburitzans is hoping to expand the reach of their repertoire to include countries like Greece and Ireland.
Robin Miller, incoming executive director of the Tamburitzans, is taking the group’s traditional live stage show and transforming it into a new experience that incorporates a number of other cultures and styles of dance and music. She says she wants to take the audience on a journey.
“As you go through our show, you’re sort of transported from one culture into the next,” she says. “We’re just trying to bring more diversity to our group.”
The "Tammies" were for many years known as the Duquense University Tamburitzans, but after the group became an independent nonprofit, students from other area colleges have applied to become members. Miller joins The Confluence to discuss her vision for the group’s future, increasing diversity among its members and what she’s looking forward to in the Tamburitzans’ upcoming season.
Later in the program:
Every year, Riverside Community Church partners with churches, schools and nonprofit groups to host Serve the Burgh, a weekend-long community service event that works to address the unique needs of people in the Pittsburgh region. 90.5 WESA’s Brian Cook spoke with Dave Longstreth, the event’s director, about the collective acts of kindness that improve communities. This year’s Serve the Burgh is May 18-19.
Medical helicopters circling the city’s hospitals is common today, but it wasn’t always so – Pittsburgh’s medical air transport program was created less than 50 years ago. As part of our Good Question! series, 90.5 WESA’s Katie Blackley looks at what it took to build the emergency helicopter program from the ground up.
Pittsburgh’s universities and hospitals receive millions of dollars of funding for research each year, making it competitive with other science hubs across the globe. But what sets Pittsburgh apart from other cities is its collaborative spirit, says Sean Luther, executive director of InnovatePGH. The organization’s Life Sciences Week aims to capitalize on Pittsburgh’s unique position and to establish the city as a juggernaut in life sciences.
And more than 15 years after Allegheny County Council passed an ordinance requiring its elections division to create a system for candidates to file their campaign finance reports electronically, that system has yet to be designed. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Chris Huffaker has been asking questions about the hold up. He reports that for over a decade, concerned citizens have only had access to a database of paper filings scanned and posted online by the county. The reports are not searchable, meaning users have to read through the report manually.
90.5 WESA's Julia Zenkevich and Avery Keatley contributed to this program.
The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.