Steel Away

On Sunday, my son performed in his second concert of the weekend. It was his first time performing onstage with the JMU Steel Drum Band — though the instruments are more accurately called steel pans, not drums. He plays double tenor, and is already quite good, despite the fact that he had never played steel pans until he joined the band at the beginning of the semester. He was also the arranger of one of the pieces the band played.

He has been playing piano and violin since he was little, mostly serious classical music, and he has enjoyed it. But in all of the many concerts I’ve seen him in, I have never seem him looking like he was having so much fun onstage. He wasn’t the only one having fun; the performers were all high-energy, and the packed audience was having a blast. In fact, students in the audience were turning on their phone lights, holding them in the air, and swaying, as if it were a rock concert.

The piece he arranged is the second song they perform on the concert video, below. This was right up his alley as a Music Composition student. I might be biased, but I thought it was one of the best arrangements of the evening.

Two different bands performed in this concert, but his band is the one that played first. He’s hard to see because he’s in the second row. He is wearing a blue Hawaiian shirt and a Caribbean hat. (This is unedited footage; the concert begins about 3:30 minutes in.)

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