Pitt's Carpathian Music Ensemble, founded and directed by Professor of Ethnomusicology Adriana Helbig, is featured this week in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It's an extensive article and you will want to read the whole thing, but here's a snippet that provides good insight into what the Carpathian Ensemble is all about. According to Helbig,
"[The music school] said I could start whatever ensemble I wanted. I looked at what I knew, and what would fit with Pittsburgh — there are so many Eastern European immigrants in this area — and instead of going country by country, I decided to choose the name 'Carpathian' which is regional. It includes Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland, so I can focus on ethnicities from that region."
As the Ensemble congealed, however, Helbig realized that there's already a strong Balkan music scene in Pittsburgh, so now they play music from that area of Europe as well. "We seem to have developed a genre that people like. Instead of doing it traditionally like you'd hear it in a village, we play the instruments in our own interpretative way, like a fusion approach."
Pitt's Carpathian Music Ensemble is throwing a dance party on Saturday, December 5 at 8 p.m. in the Willliam Pitt Union Assembly Room. The party is free (but donations will be accepted) and will include regional food and lots of great music.