Snug faces

The Snug

Chelcy Bowles: Celtic harp, piano
William Peden: uilleann pipes, tin whistle
Alan Ng: fiddle, melodeon, bodhrán, tin whistle

Listen to sound clips from our demo

The Snug existed from 1995 through 2008, when it came to a graceful close. This page remains for historical purposes only.

. . . a snug is an enclosed booth in an Irish pub which offers its occupants both direct communication with the barman and privacy from the public. Not only sessioning musicians, but also thirsty priests have been known to frequent them . . .

The Snug, however, is a Madison, Wisconsin trio which performs traditional Irish dance music and airs on authentic acoustic instruments. Whether as feature concert artists or as musicians for private occasions, they concentrate on both the hauntingly beautiful airs from the vocal tradition and the infectious, driving dance tunes from the traditional music sessions where the The Snug was formed.

album cover? Bill Peden plays uilleann pipes (Irish bellows-blown bagpipes), has studied in Ireland, and has been performing traditional Irish music for over 15 years. Chelcy Bowles, The Snug's harper, comes to Celtic music from an ongoing professional career in classical and historical harp performance. Alan Ng has wholeheartedly dedicated his 20 years of violin performance experience and training to the fine art of Irish fiddling, and he occasionally switches to the bodhrán to add punch to the dance music. The tin whistles of both Bill and Alan further broaden the palette of sounds The Snug has at its command. All three members are instructors of traditional Irish music at the University of Wisconsin's School of Continuing Education in Madison.

The Snug's take on Irish music is decidedly traditional, in the best sense of the word. Their impeccable style is more inspired by the great masters from the early 20th century and the classic ensembles of the 60s and 70s than by the latest "world music" interpretations of Irish music. The Snug's performances open up the ranges of expression unique to traditional Irish music while remaining within the parameters laid out by the grandmothers and grandfathers of today's musicians.


The Snug played for festivals, concert venues, receptions, wedding ceremonies, and banquets.

Contact: Although The Snug is no longer accepting gigs, we are each still playing Irish traditional music and might be available individually. Try contacting fiddler Alan Ng at alan@alan-ng.nospam (replace nospam with net).

To get a broader idea of The Snug's repertoire beyond our sound samples, you can consult Alan's personal repertoire, which he has posted as one of the parts of his - Irish Traditional Music Tune Index. In addition to Alan's repertoire, Chelcy performs many beautiful traditional solo harp airs and pieces, and Bill maintains a large repertoire of classic solo piping tunes and airs.

The Snug on the Road
where we played

To name a few of our biggest public gigs . . .

See also our entries in the FolkLib Index and in the Madison Music Project.

Traditional Irish music aka Irish traditional music based in Madison, Wisconsin


Written, designed, and maintained by Alan Ng, © 1996-2005. Optimized for Netscape Navigator. Thanks to Janet Jensen for the excellent photography. Last update: March 3, 2008.