Steel Band performs in Tuesday concert

Mazyar Azmi and Abby Beckler

Laughter, smiles, and percussion lit up the stage on Tuesday night, as the Steel Drum ensembles’ performances filled the cafeteria during the Holiday Concert series with the sound of energetic and rhythmic music.

This was the Steel Drum groups first major concert of the year, they played through all of the pieces they have practiced so far in the semester.

There are three sections of Steel Drums in the Upper Division (UD) that meet during A, C, and G periods as a half credit music elective for students. A period’s section played “La La Jam Back” by R. Nelson and “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65; C period played “Samba Reggae” by Jimmy Cliff and “Feel it Still” by Portugal the Man; and G period closed out the steel band’s performances with the songs “The World is a Ghetto” by War and “Take On Me” by A-ha.

“I think it went great,” Lauren Gay (10) said. “Before the concert we actually didn’t really know how to play the song really well, but once we got there, it was really nice,” she said.

“I think one of the best things about steel drums is the great community. We have each other’s back, but above all else we’re just out there having a good time.” Solomon Katz (10) said.

“I always feel energized on stage. I used to think that energy came from the audience, but now I know it comes from my band ensemble and Mr. Bates,” Katz said.

Acting as the human metronome on stage, Steel Drums Teacher Alan Bates played the drums or a cowbell at all times to keep a consistent beat throughout all of the performances so that students were in sync.

One of the big hits of the night was G period’s rendition of “Take On Me,” an old classic from 1984 by the hit Norwegian snythpop band, A-ha.

A more recent hit performed by C period, “Feel it Still” by Portugal the Man, was also a crowd pleaser and had the audience clapping along with the beat of the drums.

Natalie Sweet (10) enjoyed hearing the period C group play the song “Samba Reggae” by Jimmy Cliff. “It was nice to hear a piece that was not what you normally hear a normal steel band play. I just thought that was really interesting, especially on a week when different cultures are having a bunch of different holidays going on, it’s nice to hear from seemingly different perspectives,” she said.

“Each steel drum ensemble was augmented by percussionists from the other steel drums groups to form an engine room, the percussive backbone of each song,” Katz (12) said. G period also incorporated some dancing into their performance by spinning and switching partners in the middle of their songs.

“We all played well and are looking forward to our next concert where we hope to crush it again,” Max Migdon (10) said.