TTU HomeTechAnnounce


Printer friendly format

RECRUITING SINGERS, PLAYERS, DANCERS for the TTU Celtic Ensemble & Elegant Savages Orchestra


The TTU Celtic Ensemble is recruiting for Fall-Spring 2019-20!


MUEN 3110 (16167)/5110 (21252)


Seeking singers, players, and dancers; open to participants from across the TTU campus


[e/t/a: particularly seeking: clarinet, fiddle, horn, trombone, trumpet, viola]


The TTU Celtic Ensemble (http://ttucelticensemble.com; Facebook: is a “folk orchestra” of singers, players, and dancers dedicated to exploring the dance music & song of the Seven Celtic Nations (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, and the Isle of Man) and related traditions. All band, orchestra, and folk instruments and voice-types welcome. Many opportunities for soloes, chamber pieces, and orchestral tuttis.


The Celtic Ensemble concertizes, tours, and participates in collaborative events throughout the academic year (concerts, dances, theatrical shows, film scores, etc). Members are encouraged to explore both primary and secondary skills (other instruments, song, dance, etc) and some traditional instruments are available for loan and learning. The CE also works closely with other Vernacular Music Center Ensembles and partnered performance and arts organizations throughout the region.


Video performances at: (April 2019 concert performance) (Feb 2019 concert performance) (Sep 2018 concert performance)


The Elegant Savages Orchestra: Symphonic folk from a lost world

Major inspiration for the Elegant Savages Orchestra, the “big band” version of the TTU Celtic Ensemble, comes from the fictional country of “Bassanda,” a creation of Taos-based musicians and VMC partners Chipper Thompson ( and Roger Landes (, who for purposes of our January 2014 debut assumed their Bassanda personae (“The Rev” and “The General”) as guest performers. We imagined the fictional “Elegant Savages Orchestra,” in which, as part of an “alternate-history” frame, it’s alleged that a Soviet satellite’s official state folkloric ensemble (the “Bassanda National Radio Orchestra”) mutates, after the fall of Communism, into a free-lance ensemble engaged in a Never-Ending Tour.

The BNRO/ESO has thus been heard in many permutations and with widely variegated personnel, including “The Classic 1952 Band,” “The 1962 ‘Beatnik’ Band” (which nearly appeared on the cover of Life magazine under the headline “New Currents from Behind the Iron Curtain”), “The 1965 Newport Folk Festival Band,” who helped jump-start Bob Dylan’s notorious switch from acoustic folk to electric rock & roll, “The Mysterious 1885 Victorian ‘Steampunk’ Band,” the “Great Southwestern Desert post-Apocalyptic ‘Sand Pirates’ Band,” and the “The 1912 NOLA Cajun-Creole ‘Vodou’ Band” a/k/a “The ‘Ghost’ Band.”

Coming 2019-20: the “1920s ‘Yonder’ Band”


Video found-film “Silent Shorts” at:

Director: Dr Christopher J Smith


Also see “The Elegant Savages Orchestra”




Rehearsals: at TTU School of Music; Sundays 5-7pm (tutti) & Thursdays 7:30-9pm (reserved as sectional rehearsal time)


Annual CE back-to-school retreat: Sunday August 25 2019 1-5pm


Facebook “Event” at:


Past programs have included: “A Celtic Chamber Orchestra” (symphonic folk), “Echoes of Bassanda” (alternate history steampunk music), “Dancing Aloud” (collaboration with TTU Theatre & Dance), Nosferatu (original full-length orchestra score for the 1922 horror classic), “Into the West” (Irish-language songs and tunes), “A Celtic Chamber Orchestra” (symphonic folk), “An Irish country Christmas” (seasonal), "The Borders Imagined" ("big ballads" of England and Scotland), "Across the Western Sea" (Anglo-Appalachian transports), "Atlantic Celts" (music of Galicia), "Dancing at the Turning of the Year" (pan-Celtic dances), "Across the Western Marches" (music of Wales & Cornwall), "Fest Noz" (music of Brittany), "Crooked Tunes" (Irish/Balkan exchanges), "Pirates, Freebooters, and Jolly Jack Tars" (the Celts at sea), and more.


Admission by interview/audition.


Contact Dr Smith ( for more information.



Chris Smith


School of Music

Event Information
Time: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Event Date: 8/25/2019

M011 Band Hall School of Music