A letter from MS music teacher and applied arts instructor Duncan Hardy:
Waynflete School is gathering a Steel Drum Band, grades 8-12, to perform at the 2015 New England Steel Pan Festival.
This festival is an incredible event that has been hosted all over New England featuring steel bands from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and beyond. This year, the festival will be hosted in my hometown of Blue Hill, Maine. It is a special place for the tradition of steel band and calypso music because this is where it all started! In the mid ‘70s my teacher and good friend Carl Chase went down to Trinidad for the annual carnival festival held in the city of Port of Spain. The sounds of the Caribbean island inspired him to bring the music back to Maine and start his own band. Soon after, calypso music began to appear in schools, parks, and concert halls around New England.
The 2015 New England Steel Pan Festival will take place on Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3. During the day, students will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and classes like stick making, arranging for steel band, and performance techniques, meeting others who are passionate about steel pan. There will also be opportunities to explore Blue Hill via the many beautiful coastal walks and hiking trails that are maintained by the Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
To prepare for this event, students should enroll in the After School Enrichment Workshop called Festival Steel Band, where we will prepare and practice a number of tunes. Enroll here or send a check for $160 made out to Waynflete School to Director of Enrichment Rachael Thrash). This activity meets on Thursday evenings from 4:45–6:00 p.m., March 19-May 21. Please be aware that the cost of travel and lodging for the festival is not included in the $160 registration fee.
I also encourage families to attend the Festival; it is just as much fun for adults as it is for students! I will be acting as a chaperone and will need another parent(s) to assist. Attached is the schedule and fee information regarding the festival. I am really looking forward to getting started rehearsing! I hope to hear from you all as soon as possible.