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Steel Panthers Band


It's a form of music which made its American debut in the 1960's. The upbeat, feel good sound is becoming quite the hit at Walcott School. The Walcott Steel Panthers are a steel drum band. There are about thirteen members.

The drums are made out of oil barrels. The band also uses a brake drum from an automobile. Add some mallets with rubber tips, a few other music makers, and occasional strings, and what you have is the makings of a steel band.

The sound is Caribbean, calypso. Monike Hill is the Band Director. She formed the Steel Panthers a few years ago. The student musicians are called pannists. Playing the drums requires a delicate approach. A musician cannot touch the inside of the drum because grease from a person's fingers will cause the drum to rust.   

The history of steel drum music goes back decades. During World War Two, empty oil barrels on ships were pushed overboard and the barrels washed up on the shores of Trinidad. That is where this type of music originates.

The Walcott Steel Panthers play several concerts, and have also entertained at community events. The school has both an elementary and intermediate band.

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