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Troupe is a family tradition for Pulaski, Pa., man

Published: 12:05 AM, Thu February, 7 2019


For Alex Hrishenko, being a Tamburitzan is something that runs in the family.

His parents – Michael and Diane – met while both were members of the troupe. Today, Michael works at Youngstown State University and Diane is a pharmacist in Hermitage, Pa.

His sister, Alyssa, also was a Tammie and attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, as was her husband, Vasili Bushunow.

And both of his grandparents on his mother side were also in the Tamburitzans and attended Duquesne together.

As is his familly’s tradition, Hrishenko also attends Duquesne, where he is a sophomore majoring in environmental science.

The Pulaski, Pa., native – a graduate of Kennedy Catholic High School in Sharon, Pa. – will be in the Mahoning Valley on Saturday for the Tammies’ performance at Ford Family Recital Hall.

Like most members of the troupe, Hrishenko started his training at a young age.

He studied violin and piano and was a member of junior Tamburitzan groups in both Youngstown and Pittsburgh. His parents also did their part.

“I learned accordion from my dad and dance from my mom,” he said.

A multi-sport athlete at Kennedy Catholic, Hrishenko said that background helped him master the vigorous dance of the Slavic world – to a point.

“I thought I was in good shape, but once you start practicing, it’s 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day...,” he said.

Even after he graduates and pursues a career in environmental science, Hrishenko plans to keep dancing.

“I want to continue dancing but just not at such a professional level,” he said. “I will always have this background.”

–Guy D’Astolfo, The Vindicator