Hall of Fame - George Ruzich
Inducted - San Francisco 2011
| George was born in Detroit in December of 1926, just before the stock market crash - not saying that he may have caused it! He studied the violin under the tutorship of a Detroit Symphony Orchestra violinist and the city's grade school musical educational system. By the time he was advanced to the first violin section of the District Orchestra, our country was attacked at Pearl Harbor (another set-back?)
When he was 17, and attending a technical high school, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp, and upon completion of his studies, he was called to active duty. After serving almost 2 years in the Army, with overseas duty in Italy, he enrolled at the University of Detroit.
George met his wife of over 60 years, Lillian Kramarich, while attending a dance (with Tamburitza music) at, where else – the Croatian home of CFU Lodge 351 in Detroit. They were married in 1949 and had three sons. The first son was two years old when their father received his Bachelor's Degree in Architectural Engineering in 1953.
In 1957, he was one of the co-founders of what is now the Detroit Tamburitza Orchestra (DTO) where he played bugaria for 9 years and brac for 4 years. From 1960 – 1970, he taught children's beginning and intermediate tambura classes for Detroit's Lodge 351 Mother's Club. Simultaneously with the above, for the last 5 years of his tenure, he played burgaria with the "Crescendos" featuring young Tom Kosovec and his younger brother, Ken (the latter being the current director of DTO).
After being transferred to California in 1970, he formed his own combo which included his teen-age sons, Randy on 2nd brac and Rob on bugaria. It wasn't long before they were billed as "Tanac" of San Francisco and entertaining at numerous Slavic functions in the Bay Area and even out of state.
From 1977-1991, George also arranged music and taught tambura to youngsters and adults not only in the Bay Area but in many locations east of San Francisco Bay, as well. Contiguous with the aforementioned, from 1986 – 2001 he was the musical arranger, instructor and director to the 21- member singing society, "Dalmacijo". Toward the end of this period, George felt it was time to change directions so he and his wife (and former prim player) resigned from this activity to join their friends with Caroline Bahr and her "Novi-Stari Tamburasi". As of this writing, they are both still active with Caroline and her Tamburitza ensemble, with George playing cello for the last 10 years.