As the curtains open and the melodies of our past fill the concert hall, our hearts embrace the present and our eyes peer into a future so very bright. The American Zagreb Junior Tamburitzans have been performing and perpetuating the beautiful culture of our dear homeland, Croatia, for the past 66 years. Generations of children and young adults have cherished the opportunity to learn the songs, music and dances of Croatia, while honoring the traditions and customs that are uniquely represented by the diverse regions that passionate Croatians call home. For decades we have transported our audiences by taking a step back in time. From a Slavonian village during the wheat harvest, or the joyous celebration of a wedding in Podravina, to a quaint Dalmatian village with the sweet sounds of klapa echoing across the sea, our performers strive to provide an enjoyable and entertaining portrayal of village life that resonates in the hearts of those who are fortunate enough to have lived in or visited Croatia.
How lucky we are to watch our youngest performers grow into their own talent! The apprehensive five-year-old becomes the excited seven-year-old that gets handed a tambura. Their tiny fingers gingerly playing the notes that become the song that perhaps their grandparents or great-grandparents loved as a child. As the juniors become senior performers their passion grows. Their experiences become greater, and their friendships become the foundation of their future. They are afforded the opportunity to travel around the United States with other members of the diaspora that share the love of their homeland. The opportunity to perform in Croatia is often one of the most treasured memories of a junior tamburitzan. The pride of the performer pales only to that of their ancestors. Whether they are in the audience or sending smiles from above, the pride is palpable.
We are extremely grateful and always proud of our treasured collection of authentic nosnje (costumes) and handmade tamburas (instruments) that our performers utilize for each and every performance. We cherish our committed teaching staff who work so hard at each rehearsal to instill an appreciation of our rich culture and develop every child into a confident performer, both skills that will last a lifetime. Our board of directors and parent members are the pillars of our organization. They are entrusted with the daily operation and funding of our ensemble of over fifty performers…a monumental task! Their dedication, comradery and unending support of the ensemble has been a mainstay for over 60 years. The faces and names have changed, but the heartfelt devotion to AZJT withstands the tests of time. There are new families and new generations intertwined with those that have been members for decades. The result……the fabric of our existence is stronger than ever!
For decades our mission has remained steadfast and our goal to instill the spirit of Croatia in our children has been achieved over and over again. The American Zagreb Junior Tamburitzans realize and appreciate that the community support we have received over the years has been an essential part of our survival. For every monetary, instrument or costume donation… for every ticket, candy bar, potica, or concert ticket purchased… for every person and organization that has contributed to our success, we whole-heartedly say, hvala!
Providing instrument instruction for those in 2nd grade and older, coupled with teaching music and dance to those aged 5 and up is a costly and time-consuming endeavor, a labor of love! Our many fundraisers and events help defray this cost. Those who realize the importance of our mission and appreciate the cultural opportunities afforded to our students ask how they can help! We often have family members that inquire how to donate in honor or memoriam of a loved one. Monetary donations, instruments and costumes are all very much appreciated. Additionally, we would be honored to set up a scholarship fund in your loved-one’s name to assist with lesson costs to our students.
AZJT is a 501c3 organization. We are pleased to announce that we can now accept online donations.
Contributions can be made to our general fund by scanning or clicking on this QR code:
Please enter the word DONATE as a comment when giving a donation
These donations will be used for the day-to-day operation of our ensemble, instruments, costumes, and travel expenses.
We thank you for your time and consideration. Each child that dances across our stage, sings a well-loved melody or embraces a tambura, echoes our sentiment of gratefulness for your generosity.