steel drums with wind band

samarkandy

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I work at a Middle School with a small set of good quality steel drums. Bass, guitar, leads, etc. But I can't recruit enough kids to keep the ensemble going. Has anybody ever tried using steel drums together with a brass band or woodwinds? I mean just taking Middle School band music and writing steel drum parts for it.
 

Tornado

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I haven't. I played in a steel drum band in college though. I think it would work really well! Don't see why it wouldn't.
 

Pedal_Pusher

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I think that is a great idea. It's unusual for a middle school program to have steel drums, especially a good set. I don't know of any existing arrangements for such a group but can suggest that you might be able to use stock beginner and intermediate mallet percussion ensemble music as a basis or starting point for your own arrangements. I think a lab band type of big band with a steel drum section might be a really interesting combination and very rewarding for all of the students involved. If you have students that are interested in making arrangements (or a local composer) that would be even more fun. Best of luck.
 

Pat A Flafla

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Stands tunes are short and pop based so those types of things might work well.

My first year of public school teaching, I couldn't get any of the steel band kids to play kit. I had to supply the socas for our gigs. It was weird. They were more hyped about pans than drumline... in Texas!
 

bpaluzzi

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I played in my university steel band (drumkit and six bass), and we had a chance to do a world premiere of a piece with the university contemporary ensemble (small orchestral ensemble -- strings, winds, brass, percussion).

In general, it went really well, but we had to make a bit of an adjustment to the arrangement due to some weird tuning going on between the pans and some of the percussion instruments.

Piano, marimba, and vibes were okay, but the higher-pitched metallics (celeste, crotales, and especially glockenspiel) had some weird beats going on.

These were Deagan Parsifal bells and Ellie Mannette pans, so it wasn't a construction issue (or out-of-tune instruments) - it was just that pans are correctly tuned to octave + fifths, and glocks are tuned to octave + fourths, plus the normal wolf-tones present in glocks.

No issues with the winds / strings, although the players may have been adjusting their intonation / tuning on their own -- these were all upperclass / graduate student conservatory students.
 


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