Steel Pan Day

Texas High percussion takes on OBU


submitted photo

Band students stand alongside their directors in front of a mural on their trip to OBU. Students spent their time learning new skills such as identifying certain pitches.

Story by Lourdes Quijas, Staff Writer

The halls are filled with Caribbean-style music. Students watch the unknown musicians play their chords with excitement in their eyes. As the students finish their piece, rounds of applause go around. They turn around and see everyone clapping, their faces bright with fulfillment.          

As UIL season comes to an end, the percussion studio gets prepared for the “Night of Percussion”. The percussion ensemble gets to take a trip to Ouachita Baptist University, with a steel pan day hosted by Dr. Ryan Lewis.

Steel pans are definite-pitch acoustic, or in other words, percussion instruments that originated from Trinidad in the Caribbean. There are four voices of the pans– lead, doubles, guitar, and bass– also known as, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.

“I found Steel Pan Day to be a very fun experience,” junior Crow Dodson said. “ I would love to be able to do it again and hope it returns next year.”

“I would love to be able to do it again and hope it returns next year.”

— Crow Dodson

Steel Pan Day was a great experience for the percussion studio. The musicians learned how to play the pans, remember where the notes are, understand the force you need to use for the mallets, and much more.

“It’s hard to learn where all of the notes are on the pans since most of them aren’t in a particular order,” junior Max Henry said.

The piece the ensemble played was ‘Try Jah Love’ by Third World. They spent about an hour and a half working on the piece, went to lunch, and returned to put it all together. Each pan has notes all over it and might be difficult to remember where they’re at.

“I think the piece we played was fun and challenging at the same time,” freshman Grayson Davis said.

The piece was difficult in a way for every instrument but some say it was an overall fun experience.

“I think the piece that we played was a great way to introduce beginners to the steel pan instruments,” Henry said. “And I enjoyed getting a hands-on experience on what college music education looks like.”