Seifert Cultural Series Brings Tamburitzans to PennWest Clarion

Jacob Deemer

Jacob Deemer

Published January 29, 2024 5:25 am

CLARION, Pa. — A Pittsburgh-based folk dance and music ensemble will launch the 2024 programming of the endowed Clarion series of art and culture.

The Tamburitzans, who have incorporated a wide variety of international folk dance and music for nearly 80 years, leads the billing for the historic Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series, which was established to provide the university community with cultural experiences that inspire learning through thoughtful discussions.

Dazzling audiences across the country with elaborate costumes and incredibly versatile musicians, singers, and dancers, the Tamburitzans, will perform “Reflections” at 7:30 p.m. February 9 in the auditorium of PennWest Clarion’s Marwick-Boyd Fine Arts Center. The performance is free and open to the public.

As part of the Tamburitzans’ visit, the ensemble will perform at Clarion Elementary School.

The Tamburitzans exist to preserve and celebrate international cultural heritages through artistic performance, while awarding talented performers with scholarships to Pittsburgh-based universities for their contributions and dedication to the arts.

Mary L. Seifert ’46, whose rich family history with PennWest Clarion can be traced to 1907, possessed and encouraged a passion for learning. She graduated with education degrees in secondary social studies and geography and a minor in English from Clarion State Teachers College, then taught for 35 years and retired from Edison Junior High in West Mifflin School District.

As an investment in young people, she chose to endow a culture and lecture series at Clarion. All Seifert Series events are free and open to the public.

Since being formed, the Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series has brought memoirist, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou; film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor Spike Lee; Tibetan monks; comic strip creator and author Alison Bechdel; Pulitzer Prize finalist poet Martin Espada; Holocaust survivors photographer Lisa Shifren; and renowned poet and visionary Yehoshua November, along with many others. Programming has inspired discussion on topics including Work and the American Dream, In God We Trust?, Beauty Matters, and The United States of Gender.

A goal of the series is that individuals who attend events will begin to think differently about an issue, not just because they showed up, but because they actively listened and participated in conversations with others after the events ended.

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