When Steel Talks

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The Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra

In the summer of 1981, Judge Verne A Hodge, then Presiding Judge of the Territorial Court of the US Virgin Islands set out to change the course of the youth that were appearing in front of his judicial bench. Using the adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," he began an experimental steel drum program, with the goal of preventing school dropout and juvenile delinquency among our youth. The program's focus was to recruit students between the ages of 10 and 18 from public, private, and parochial schools and help guide them to successfully complete their high school education. The program that initially started as a summer project became so successful that it was then made into a year round program, under the name of the Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra.

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Comment by chad smith on May 3, 2012 at 4:50pm

I remember my years in this orchestra. Rising Stars Massive.

Comment by terry on April 30, 2012 at 10:21pm

Totally agree Glen. Below is a track from a concert performance which better highlights their skill (Trini influenced ??) starting at the 1:40 min point:



Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on April 29, 2012 at 7:40pm

One of the least reported and most important roles of the steel band in the community is its ability to fight delinquency by presenting a great option for youth instead of just hanging out.

This traditional community role of the steelband cannot be forgotten as we focus on its business aspect.

Thank you , Rising Stars for a positive example.

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