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Steelpan gone Ivy League -- The Princeton University Steel Band

Course Info

The PU Steel Band course will focus on the history and performance practice surrounding the steel drum band and its traditional musics from Trinidad and Tobago. The repertoire will be chosen from traditional music from the Caribbean (Calypso and Soca) as well as other contemporary works from the United States.


Sep 13, 2017 - Jan 16, 2018

Thursday 01:30 PM - 04:20 PM

More on Josh Quillen

Well, this was fun. Princeton started a new steel band program, and here we are! Playing beautiful new drums by Kyle Dunleavy!
So Percussion helped to open the new Lewis Center for the Arts on campus with a slew of performances and events.
I could get into long diatribe about how the arts are essential, blah blah, but I'm gonna assume you already know I would say that, so instead I'll just leave a list of names who are the reason a steel band got started at Princeton. For some it's a direct connection, for others its the butterfly effect of their pioneering life's work that allowed for this to happen.
Cliff Alexis
Ellie Mannette
Andy Narell
Larry Snider (Cyndee Snider)
Joan Wenzel
Matthew Dudack
Jeff Neitzke
Murray Mast
Jonathan Haas
Dan Trueman
Wendy Heller and the entire Princeton Music Department
Kyle Dunleavy
Adam Sliwinski
Eric Bradley Cha-Beach
Jason Hussein Treuting
Kendall Williams
Me and my bandmates in So Percussion came from public school music programs. I'm grateful for that.
I'm lucky to teach steel drumming to some of the worlds smartest nuclear scientists and economists and biologists here at Princeton because Joan Wenzel's Dover High School steel drum band performed at an instrument zoo my mom and dad took me to when I was in 5th grade.
moral of the story: never underestimate the power of a good musical instrument zoo. It can change lives.
Thanks to Princeton University for investing in the arts, again.

Festival of the Arts brings together community, campus to fête new Lewis Arts complex

The Princeton University Steel Band fills the complex plaza with sounds of the Caribbean.

Jamie Saxon, Office of Communications

During a four-day Festival of the Arts, Oct. 5-8, Princeton University celebrated the opening of the new Lewis Arts complex with a bonanza of events, open to the public. More than 100 events across arts genres took place in more than 30 venues of every shape and size, from the expansive University Chapel to a tiny “Theatre for One” mobile unit, from a high-tech black box theater to a sun-drenched outdoor plaza.

The festival began on Thursday afternoon with poets from around the world reading from their work at the biannual Princeton Poetry Festival in McCarter Theatre Center’s Berlind Theatre, and ended Sunday evening with a community jam session in the new Lee Music Performance and Rehearsal Room led by saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, director of jazz studies at Princeton. In between, audiences were taken on a journey of the arts through the ages from medieval sacred song to the world premiere of a 21-century “guitar opera.”

At a dedication ceremony Friday morning, Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber greeted dozens of donors, alumni, staff, faculty, students and community members in the Forum, an 8,000-square-foot underground space designed to connect the complex’s three main buildings as well as promote collaboration and community.

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Gone Ivy League , but still in the dumps in the Mecca,

Our Ivy league, the annual steel-band panorama is second to none, but Trinis still forging ahead with their 'cap in hand attitude'.

T&T has done all they can for the Steelband /Pan, we just have to watch what do with it now [my opinion]

Never in their wildest dreams could that bunch of determined disadvantaged young men, harassed and disavowed by family and elders, harassed and pursued by agents of the law, but remaining committed to their individual rights and freedom to pursue their own --. (Self-actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. A desire “to become everything one is capable of becoming” (Maslow, 1987, p. 64)); believe that the instruments they invented and the music they made would one day capture the imagination and interest of the world.

We also need the current leaders to end the squabbling and pettiness and progress the instruments, the players and the music.

WOW, What detail....
Brenda H.
... and we can only watch them with our noses pressed up against the window pane!!!

WE do not have to reinvent the wheel.
QUEEN'S HAll was originally conceived by a committee of citizens led I believe by Mrs. May Johnstone. The committee, raised the original funding, later augmented by the government, promoted the idea and saw the idea to conclusion.
We could re-create the same thing for a PAN MONUMENT.
And solve the Columbus statue problem at the same time.
Form a working PAN MONUMENT COMMITTEE. It's OK if PanTrinbago gives the committee its blessing, but it does not have to be a PanTrinbago committee.
Petition for the renaming of Columbus square to the PAN MEMORY PARK.Send Columbus to the museum, red paint and all.
Start the process of planning, promoting designing, fund raising.
Mrs. Johnstone,s son may be able to give some information on how the original Queen's Hall committee got the job done.


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