Texas Tech University

Caprock Celtic Christmas Brings Tradition, Familiar and Not, to Annual Concert

Heidi Toth

December 6, 2016

Caprock Celtic Christmas

The 16th annual concert will include music, dancing and storytelling from Irish, British, French, English and Bassandan culture.

Caprock Celtic Christmas
Photo by Tif Holmes

WHAT: The J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts is hosting the 16th annual Caprock Celtic Christmas concert, "A Steampunk Christmas in Bassanda," when singers, musicians, dancers, storytellers and other artists gather to perform traditional Christmas repertoires.

Special guests include Rick Cunningham, trumpeter Andrew Stetson and the Bassandan Brass, bagpiper Roger Landes, songwriter Curtis Peoples and the new Bal-Folk band RattleSkull. The Tech Set-Dancers and the Caprock Ceili Band will provide Irish social dances; Caprock Morris and the Brothers Grimm dance teams will do the wild capers of the Border Morris; step-dancer Sarah Wykowski will perform slip-jigs and reels; and the Elegant Savages Orchestra will perform traditional Breton, French, English and Irish songs and seasonal favorites from "the lost world of Bassanda."

Returning guests include performances from local poets and readers William Gelber, Angela Mariani and Clint Barrick, with selections from Celtic and Bassandan holiday texts.

Tickets are $10.50 for adults and $4.50 for seniors. Texas Tech students with a valid student ID are admitted free. Advance purchase is highly recommended; purchase tickets online here or in person at the School of Music. The concert is a fundraiser for the Vernacular Music Center at Texas Tech.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 10)

WHERE: Charles E. Maedgen Jr. Theatre (18th Street and Canton Avenue)

What is Bassanda?

Bassanda is a mythical Eastern Bloc former Soviet satellite, created to give structure to the music the Elegant Savages Orchestra makes. The alternative history director Christopher Smith wove tells a story of diverse and adventurous musicians from the Soviet region called Bassanda, who created the Bassanda National Radio Orchestra, and the state, which sought to make the orchestra a tool for propaganda. Members of the orchestra went into exile, traveling the world and performing as a collective enterprise known as the Elegant Savages Orchestra. The mantra shared both by the mythical Bassanda orchestra and the real Elegant Savages Orchestra is "No boundaries. Fierce dedication to the traditions and to one another." For more information, go to www.elegantsavagesorchestra.com.

CONTACT: Christopher Smith, professor of music and director of the Elegant Savages Orchestra, School of Music, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-2775 or christopher.smith@ttu.edu

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