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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


An instrument of necessity

Will Ferguson / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Will Ferguson
Will Ferguson / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Crowder Hall felt an island breeze last night with a double-header performance by the UA’s two steel drum bands, Blue Steel and UA Steel.

The bands are in their 23rd year and play the traditional music of Trinidad and Tobago, with instruments ranging from the small lead pan to the tamboo bamboo, a hollow bamboo tube dropped vertically on the ground to produce a deep thump.

Last night’s concert also featured trombone professor Moises Paiewonsky as a guest performer. Paiewonsky worked with students in the group on improvisation, a prominent attribute of the music.

The bands are directed by graduate students in the percussion studio, who are responsible for selecting material and leading rehearsals, Norman Weinberg, director of percussion studies, said. Stephen Tipping and Eric Hines, both master’s students in music, direct the groups.

“”(Tipping and Hines) have carte blanche to do whatever they want,”” Weinberg said. “”If the concert comes off, it’s because they pulled it off. If it falls through, it’s because they fell through.””

Many students join the group with no steel drum experience but quickly get hooked, Tipping said. “”It gets addicting.””

Higher education doctoral student Russel Potter is a textbook case. Potter joined the group as an undergraduate in 1993 and has been around ever since. His reason?

“”It’s more fun than anything else,”” he said.

—Arizona Daily Wildcat


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