Expired: TJC Steel Drum Band offers multicultural opportunity for student musicians

US – The Tyler Junior College Steel Drum Line has been performing sounds of the Caribbean since its inception in fall of 2004.

Originating in Trinidad and Tobago, the steelpan, or steel drum, is a chromatically pitched percussion instrument made from 55-gallon industrial drums.

Familiar traditional steel drum songs include “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett and “Jump in the Line” and “Day-O” by Harry Belafonte, all of which are in the TJC Steel Drum Line repertoire.

TJC Steel Drum Line Director Tom McGowan said the organization brings a multicultural element to campus and offers musicians an opportunity that competes with that provided four-year universities.

Because TJC is a two-year college, McGowan said most fall semester classes are geared toward students learning the steel drums, lending spring months to performances once they get the hang of them.

The Steel Drum Line is currently rehearsing for a joint performance with the TJC Percussion Ensemble set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at a location yet to be determined.

For more information, email McGowan at or call the TJC music department at 903-510-2214.