Roanoke Catholic Steel BanD

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”

– Victor Hugo

what makes Steel band special?

RCS Steel Band differs from the general music class, or most other courses, in that we seek to develop and put to use a skill. It involves learning and applying math concepts (rhythm) and a new system of notation, developing fine motor skills and the ability to really hear, and becoming sensitive to the sounds we make, to the sounds others make and to the musical demands of the piece. It requires cooperation among a large team of musicians working together toward a common goal.  And of course, it also requires practice at home, performances, and investment in an instrument. 

Steel Band involves responsibility to the group.  The sound each student makes changes the sound of the entire group.  I have encountered few students who lacked the musical and mental skills necessary to be fine student musicians.  Success is assured if the student desires to learn, the parents and student understand what is required for success and the parents share responsibility for the music education of their child.  Being in a band program provides skills and learning experiences that will be useful in any endeavor your child pursues.  And perhaps most important, they experience the joy of accomplishment.

RCS Steel Band

Students in grades 8th-12th at RCS have the unique opportunity to become “pannists” – by joining our steel band featuring the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. You may think a steel drum band is just for percussionists, but it is really for all types of musicians!

Students will enjoy a high energy program that hones their music theory, ear training, rhythm, sight reading, and improv skills. Steel pans have a different sound and history than any other instrument, leading to great exposure for young musicians in appreciating and experiencing another culture.

Our steel pans are handmade in Trinidad from 55 gallon oil drums. They include Lead Pan, Double Second, and Triple Guitar. We also will use an electric bass, marimba, xylophone, congas, bongos, drum set, brake drum, and hand-held percussion instruments (cowbell, claves, woodblock).

Steel Band students can audition for the instruments they would like to play. There will be some crossover and sharing with steel pans and percussion instruments.  We are currently seeking students with bass guitar or percussion/drum set experience. If you are interested, contact Mr. Carr. 

Did you know? Steel pans are the only non-electric musical instrument invented in the twentieth century.
They are an awesome example of doing a lot with very little and finding creativity by recycling what you have.