Broken Brogue is a four-piece Irish band based in Decatur, Illinois that plays a variety of Celtic music rooted in the time-honored artistic traditions of Ireland and Scotland. Noted for their relaxed and warm-hearted performing style, their performances are informed by the diverse musical backgrounds of the members. Their sentiment is always to bring people together through a mutual appreciation of the Celtic musical tradition and the sincere emotion and enjoyment that comes with it.
The group regularly performs at venues throughout central Illinois, most often at brew pubs, restaurants, private parties, and festivals. They have been featured for several years as part of the annual Celtic concert with the Millikin University Choral Department as well as appearing in the popular Millikin Vespers performance in 2019 that was featured on WAND-TV and WSOY radio. Recently they performed at the Springfield Area Highland Games, the Allerton Park Concert Series, and the Peoria Irish Festival.
Thomas Hagan, is a Tyrone born singer, guitarist, banjo, and mandolin player. The first time his family moved from Northern Ireland to America he was a baby. Given his musical upbringing, Thomas sings with an Irish style/accent however, his formative years were spent in Illinois so his speaking accent is American: which inspired our band name - Broken Brogue. Thomas is currently working on immigrating to the USA permanently.
Neal Smith plays whistle, pipes, and keyboard. He is a professor of Music Education at Millikin University. Neal did his doctoral thesis on learning music by ear which led him to add Irish tin whistle to his already broad orchestral and pipe band performance experience.
Jeff Elvin slaps the Bodhran and sings back up. He is a carpenter by trade but spent years playing snare in the St. Andrew’s Pipe Band before picking up the Bodhran.
Tara Ulis plays fiddle. She is a classically trained violinist who performed in the U.C.L.A. orchestra before moving to central Illinois. She has deep Irish roots: her grandmother was Irish born and she can remember as a child her grandmother speaking to her in Gaelic.