International News

Apr 9, 2017
GY - Letter: I was pleased to read, if belatedly, the Wednesday, February 22, Stabroek News editorial headed ‘Pan-O-Rama.’ As a member of the steel pan fraternity, I must say that while much of it was okay, I found some key points to be both extremely misleading and disturbing. O P Steelpan (Music) Nation, of which I am the founder/proprietor is a full service establishment, the leading supplier of quality steel pans and accessories for over thirty-five years. Our clients are both local (Allied Arts Unit, Ministry of Education, churches, private schools, community groups, individuals) and foreign from the USA, Barbados, Brazil, Belize and French Guiana. We are currently negotiating an order to supply our products to the Bahamas.

[Stabroek News]
Apr 4, 2017
USA - The tropical sounds of steel drums rang through the halls of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint on a rainy Monday, April 3. Nearly 30 people attended a concert and bake sale hosted by The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint's Steel Drum Band to help promote and fund their upcoming trip to New York City, where they are performing at the WorldStrides OnStage's Heritage Festival.

Apr 2, 2017
USA - Congratulations to Cliff Alexis for receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) degree from Northern Illinois University (NIU)! The doctorate will be conferred on Friday May 12th at one of NIU's commencement ceremonies. NIU Steelband will celebrate the achievements of Cliff Alexis on Sunday April 30th at 3pm (CST) at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, School of Music, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. The concert will also be streamed live at
Apr 2, 2017
T&T - Because when because when academia is merged with art and that produces world-class leaders, when you have the art as a discipline and you merge that with different sciences or different communication subjects, you become a deadly person, a powerful person. Yvonne Webb Akinola Sennon is a bold, brash, visionary whose seemingly outrageous ideas annoy the hell out of people. But that does not interrupt his perspective. Sennon has set about transforming the pain young people in his Siparia community have experienced as a result of crime and other social ills into a passion for music—not as a mere distraction but as a potential career.

Mar 30, 2017
USA - Appalachian State’s Steely Pan Steel Band played a free concert on March 26 at 3 p.m. in the Schaefer Center for Performing Arts. Steely Pan is composed of 22 students and director Byron Hedgepeth, an adjunct instructor of percussion. Hedgepeth took over the class three years ago after former instructor and the band’s creator Scott Meister retired. The band played a variety of tunes ranging from traditional steel band songs and children’s songs. Among them were Len “Boogsie” Sharpe’s “Birthday Party,” Roy Holman’s “My Band,” “Reptilia” by Julian Casablancas of the The Strokes, which was arranged by former student and Unaka Prong’s Jonathon Sale, “Pagliacci” by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, “Under the Sea,” by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman and “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” by Tim Rice and Elton John. Phil Hawkins’ “Cha Cha Sandwich,” featured a solo by vibraphonist and junior music performance major Miranda Stone. The traditional songs were Aldwyn Roberts’ “Pan in A Minor,” Ellie Mannette’s “My Paradise,” and “Tamboo Bamboo to Steel.”

[Appalachian Online]
Mar 30, 2017
USA - The IJ Lobby Lounge went on location for the first time to record our largest and most exotic group yet — Drums of Fire, the Davidson Middle School Steel Pan Band. More than 20 students from the San Rafael school performed on the steel pans for the Community Media Center of Marin cameras one recent morning. The teens opened with a sensational six-minute Santana medley, then moved onto the pop hit “Grenade” by Bruno Mars and finished with a traditional song from Trinidad Tobago. Now in its 31st year, the steel pan program was begun as an alternative to the school’s traditional music classes in brass, woodwinds, strings and percussion.

Mar 29, 2017
JM - High energy and a variety of musical genres helped to mark the 40th anniversary of the University of the West Indies’ UWI Panoridim Steel Orchestra. The fourth of six shows scheduled for the weekend, was held on Saturday. Titled ‘Panfest 2017, The 40th Journey: Steelin since ’77, the audience was given an amazing musical ride. They were guided by a pool of mixed-faculty musicians, who performed with conviction, thrilling the almost-full house with fancy choreographed footwork and arm twirls that created a web of musical magic. In turn, they were treated with continuous applause from the appreciative audience.

[Antigua Observer]
Mar 28, 2017
VI - Students from Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School and E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary School returned to St. Thomas with gold from WorldStrides music competition in Washington, D.C. Competing together under the banner of the EBO Steel Owls, the group wowed the judges and was the first group in the history of the competition to be asked for an encore performance.

[Virgin Islands Daily News]
Mar 27, 2017
VI - A group of 11 young musicians from St. Thomas, the The EBO Steel Owls steel pan orchestra, captured gold and received highest honors from judges at the WorldStrides OnStage Music Festival, held Friday through Sunday in Washington, D.C. The group of students from E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary School and Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School, were the youngest performers in this year’s competition, competing against high school music groups from around the country, according to a news release from the V.I. Department of Education.

[St. Thomas Source]
Mar 23, 2017
USA - In 2003, Paula Beaird started the Austin Community Steelband school in East Austin as a way to expose youths from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds to a musical world. The program, however, didn’t really find its rhythm until 2007 when other instructors came aboard from Trinidad and Tobago. The teaching staff at the time included musical directors Yohan Popwell and Leon Edwards as well as Natasha Joseph and Carl Caton. Beaird, who is the executive director, said her goal is to spark the imagination in young people the same way she was captivated by steel band over thirty years ago.

[Daily Texas]

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