History of the Tambura

The tambura is a stringed instrument related to the Russian Balalaika, the Ukranian Bandura, the Italian Mandolin, the Spanish Guitar and other similar instruments. All these instruments have their origin in what is now Iran, where the ancient Assyrians over 5,000 years ago had an instrument quite like the tambura. Some people think the southern Slavs came to the Balkan area more than 1,300 years ago bringing the tambura with them. Others maintain that Turks brought the tambura to us 500 years ago. In any case, Bosnia is the oldest Balkan center for the tambura and from Bosnia it spread to Slovonia and Backa where more than 100 years ago the first tamburitza orchestra was formed. Reference: Dr. Joseph Andric

The Tambura in Lorain

1920 - One of the first people in Lorain to be associated with the Tambura was Stephan Galovich, (prim player) who lived in the neighborhood of 29th and Wood Avenue. After a short stay in Lorain, he moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where he became noted for his work with young children and the Tambura. At about this same time, Lorain had many extremely fine Tambura players. One outstanding person was Mike Kozarich(prim). Mr. Kozarich was also known for his compositions of music for the Tambura. For a short period, Mr. Kozarich played in an orchestra with a very popular Cleveland musician by the name of Frank Muza. Matt Novacic (known to many as Matt Vuk) played 2nd brae and Cello with Kozarich. Matt Novacic also wrote many compositions for the Tambura as well as for vocal. He became well known throughout the country for his choir work. Another Matt Novacic (who lived on Stop 7) played 1st Brae. There were other individuals and orchestras associated with the Tumbura active in the area over the years. One such orchestra consisted of leader Mike Kozarich (Prim), Matt Novacic (1st Brae), Matt Vuk (2nd Brae), Frank Pribanic (Bugarija), Milan Vlatdch (Bass), - later Steve Kudrin.

The first Lira Tamburitzans were formed in 1931. It consisted of the following people: Tony Yakovich (Prim), John Kudrin (1st Brae), John Blazina (Bass), Mike Blazina (Bugarija), John Frencakovic (Cello). Also with this orchestra at a different time were John Hunyad (2nd Brae), John Vidovich (Prim), and Mr. Dren (2nd Brae). After this period there was a lull in the Tambura movement...

The beginning of the new Tambura movement began in the basement of St. Vitus Church. This was part of a movement that seemed to be spreading across the country. (About 1953) This new blood, namely: Jimmy Tomasic, young John Vidovich, young Joe Novak, and Joe Gustin were taught by John and Roy Kudrin. Perhaps this movement was a little premature because it lasted only a short time. The Lira Tamburitzans were once again organized in May of 1959. The driving force in this "new movement" was a young group of high school students, namely: Carol Chaszar, Lillian Mikulan, Anne Erdelac, Mary Lou Sabolich, Jerry Fulton, and many others who will be named when this history is completed.  List of Tambura Players and Orchestras Mr. Popovich (Vermilion), Farkash Prim, and sons Agnes Sennia - Bugarija Steve Kadoich Charles Vidovich , Mike Vidovich (& Children) Robert Vidovich, John "Tootsie" Vidovich Kudrin's String Quartet (John Kudrin, Viola, Roy, Kate Rupcic, and later Mike Vidovich) Nick Lovrekovic - 1st Brae (Sreniish) About 1920, using the Farkash system instruments were: Mr. Mlinac, Mr. Kostelich, Paul Tudich, Sam Kezema, and Mr. Golubich. A small group also taught by John Kudrin consisted of Mike Ralich, Nick Zunich, Peter Dudukovich, Bob Marovich, Mike Govich, and Mike Dudukovich. - Roy E. Kudrin July 5, 1969