CURRENT VMC ENSEMBLES
Look at the different ensembles below that the Vernacular Music Center and TTU School of Music offer - all with unique opportunities and experiences!
TTU's Celtic Ensemble is a small ensemble (winds, strings, percussion, voice) specializing in group performance of the traditional dance music and song of the seven Celtic nations: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, and the Isle of Man. We play recitals, guest concerts, and participate in many service performances both on and off-campus: Celtic Christmas, Madrigal Dinners, Reading Marathon, and so on.
More colloquially, we refer to this ensemble as The Elegant Savages Orchestra / ESO (the Symphonic folk orchestra from the lost world of Bassanda)
The ESO is a unique ensemble of winds, strings, and rhythm instruments, voices, and dancers, providing classical and sight-reading musicians the opportunity to explore various traditional and vernacular music “by ear” genres in a chamber orchestral format: strings (violin, viola, ‘cello, double bass), winds, and percussion. Repertoire is drawn from Celtic, English, Appalachian, BalFolk, Caribbean, and Scandinavian music & dance traditions, and the Orchestra collaborates extensively with composers, songwriters, choreographers, and virtuoso soloists to create unique symphonic realizations of their creative visions.
Director, Dr. Christopher Smith
ESO Silent Short Films
Founded by director Angela Mariani in 2001, this ensemble is a welcoming community of musicians in the TTU School of Music who come together to explore medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque music through the medium of performance. The experience of working with period instruments and investigating the performance processes of early western music is enjoyable, illuminating, and also deepens our understanding of the music to which we are introduced in our music history classes and seminars.
Currently, there are three groups within the ensemble including the Choir, Recorder Concert, and Loud Band. Along with regular rehearsals, this ensemble also has master classes with Bob Wiemken from Piffaro, The Renaissance Band.
Director, Dr. Angela Mariani
TTU's Balkan Ensemble is a small ensemble of musicians and dancers (including all orchestral & jazz instruments: winds, strings, percussion, voice; also keyboard, guitar, mandolin, etc) specializing in group performance of the traditional dance music and song of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean: Bulgarian, Romanian, Czech, Hungarian, Greek, Cretan, Turkish, Jewish, and related ethnic traditions. We typically learn and play by ear and participants are assisted in learning traditional instruments (saz, gaval, fiddle, clarinet, accordion, bouzouki, etc) and in appropriate languages insofar as possible.
Director, Roger Landes
CURRENT COMMUNITY ENSEMBLES
Caprock English Bagpipe Consort
This ensemble is a community based ensemble that is a partner of the VMC.
Caprock English Bagpipe Consort is the only ensemble of its type in North America, one that performs, arranges, and composes music for an ensemble of English Border Bagpipes. Much of the repertoire comes from England and France, as well as Belgium, Brittany, Spain (Galicia and Asturias), and other European regions with rich bagpipe and hurdy gurdy traditions. The composition of new works by ensemble members is also a priority for CEBC. Their drone-based bagpipe polyphony is much in the tradition of recent English and French revivalists such as Moebius Trio, Zephyrus: the English Bagpipe orchestra, as well as French ensembles such as La Grande Bande des Cornemuses, and Le Quintette des Cornemuses, and so perhaps has more in common with chamber music than the more ubiquitous North American and British bands of Scottish Great Highland bagpipes.
Based at the Vernacular Music Center at the Texas Tech University School of Music, CEBC was founded as a trio in early 2017 by director Roger Landes with Anne Wharton and Rob DeVet, but in the fall of 2017, they quickly became a quintet when Jordan Langehennig and Justin Glosson joined, soon followed by Patrick McLaurin in 2018 to make a sextet. Their inaugural recital was given on International Bagpipe Day in March of 2020.
The members come from a variety of musical and piping backgrounds: Irish Uilleann piping, Scottish Highland piping and competition, liturgical music, choral and band music, Irish traditional music, Balkan traditional music, as well as modern dance, ethnochoreology, and European BalFolk traditions. These myriad traditions and influences are all drawn upon for the intoxicating mix of regional styles and innovative approaches that are the hallmark of any Caprock English Bagpipe Consort performance.
CEBC exclusively play English Border Bagpipes made by Jonathan Swayne of Glastonbury, England.
Director, Roger Landes