Kekionga Steel Drumz to release first CD

Press release from Fort Wayne Community Schools:

Kekionga Steel Drumz to release first CD

The Kekionga Steel Drumz will release its first CD Saturday, Feb. 6, at a fundraiser dinner and

The Kekionga Middle School band performs “Margaritaville,” “Evil Ways,” “Wipeout,” and more on the CD, which was recorded at Sweetwater Sound. The CD is $10 in advance and $12 after Feb. 6.

The Steel Drumz perform under the direction of Michael Horan. The program for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders began in 1999 with eight members and has grown to about 40 students participating in the beginning extra-curricular ensemble, advanced ensemble, which meets daily as a class, and a
high school ensemble made up of former band members. The band has performed at several festivals and other events as well as with the Panyard Steel Orchestra from Akron, Ohio, professional pan player Tracy Thornton and the Central College Flying Pans Steel Band from Pella, Iowa.

Steel drums, also called pans, originated on the island of Trinidad/Tobago where islanders were not allowed to use traditional skin-covered drums. Instead, they used various lengths of bamboo poles to bang out rhythms to which they could dance. When they found the bamboo was susceptible to
splitting and breaking, they started using old biscuit tins, lard cans, trash cans and other objects, including oil drums. Pan competitions are now held during Carnival time in Trinidad each year.

The Kekionga band has become a premier middle school program in the United States. The fundraiser will help pay for the students to travel to New Paris, Ohio, where they will participate in the National Trails Middle School Festival, Akron, Ohio, for a tour of Panyard, a steel drum manufacturer, and Cleveland, Ohio, for a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The fundraiser will feature a pulled pork dinner from 4-7 p.m. followed by a concert at 7:30 p.m. at Kekionga Middle School, 2929 Engle Road. The Steel Drumz will perform with Steelin Hearts Duo featuring Steve and Angie Lawrie. Tickets for the event are $10 per person for the dinner and concert, $5 for the concert only and $8 for the dinner only.

To purchase tickets, contact Tammy Parke, 478-7137. To order a CD, contact Michael Horan, 467-6618.

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