Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Occupation: I am a musician and a student at the same time. I play gudulka with a few Bulgarian groups in L.A. I gig a lot with Aaron Strelnikoff, who is another scholarship recipient, and his brother; we are all three Americans. We play at UCLA cultural events, for the Bulgarian Society of Los Angeles and for folk dancers in Santa Monica. We play with Ivan and Tzvetanka Varimezovi every week because they run the UCLA Balkan Ensemble. I am an ethnomusicology student at UCLA.
Number of times at Balkan camp: About four years.
Studied at camp: Gudulka.
Memorable moment at camp: At camp, I was playing a kafana set with Aaron on tambura and his brother Sasha on tupan. We would rehearse in the cabin or sitting around outside. One day when we were rehearsing for that set we went about five to six straight hours of rehearsing. It impressed me that there were people that dedicated to performing Bulgarian music, and that made me very happy. To this day we still have those sessions that go on for hours and hours. It makes me very happy that there are at least one or two other people as interested in this music as I am.