International News

May 2, 2017

NIU Steelband director plays last show


ans, colleagues and friends of Clifford Alexis filled Boutell Memorial Concert Hall on Sunday to pay tribute to the retiring co-director of the renowned NIU Steelband. Alexis was born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 1937, moved to the United States in 1965. Even Anthony Phillips-Spencer, ambassador of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S., was in attendance Sunday night to see off Alexis, who has worked at NIU more than 30 years. He was previously working in a St. Paul school district in Minnesota when the program's founder, Al O'Connor, recruited him. He had bought some instruments for $500, but needed help maintaining them. He hoped Alexis would teach him about tuning the pans and arranging music.