Cultural opportunity dances its way into WTAMU

In their first visit to WTAMU, the Texas Tech University Celtic Ensemble will give a free performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Northern Recital Hall on Feb. 2. The ensemble is sponsored by the Guest Artist Series and the College of Education and Social Sciences and they will also give a master-class for all WT students from 2 to 2:30 p.m. the same day.

“The master-class is an opportunity to learn traditional forms of Irish and Scottish musical dance in a participatory environment,” Dr. Richard Rose, assistant professor for the Department of Education, said.

Before the performance, the 16 members of the Ensemble will teach the students of the master-class.

“It’s mostly entertainment,” said Rose. “It will be similar like the River Dance except on a more intimate scale and they will learn about Irish and Scottish culture.”

Dr. Christopher Smith, Director of the Celtic Ensemble, said the Ensemble will perform both dancing and listening music as well as songs from Counties Kerry and Cork in Ireland.

“The area is called ‘Sliabh Luachra’ or ‘The Rushy Mountain’ and from the Highlands and western Islands of Scotland,” said Smith.

According to Smith, the ensemble will sing in Irish, Scots Gaelic and English and will dance the eight-person figures or “Irish sets”. Many instruments such as fiddles, flutes and guitars will also be playing.

“We certainly want everyone to feel they can enjoy the music and dancing in whatever way they wish,” Smith said. “But we believe in the capacity of this music to create a sense of joy.”

If they manage to create a connection between the community, Smith said they will feel like they have succeeded.

“I’d be interested to go,” Cali Saye, an Animal Science major, said. “It’s a part of culture that not everyone gets to see every day.”