Steel Pan Ensemble

Victor Provost

Ensemble Director: Prof. Victor Provost

Students learn to play the steel drum (steel pan, or pan) in a variety of settings. This is a performance-oriented class, focusing on repertoire from several of genres including various musics of the Caribbean. The ensemble performs in public and for Dewberry School of Music events throughout the semester. The class reinforces music theory concepts and helps teach improvisation, as well as familiarization with rote learning.

The steel pan is part of a continuum of African drumming traditions that developed on the island of Trinidad, particularly in the context of Carnival. Originally sourced from found material, the instrument is a unique marriage of highly syncopated African rhythmic traditions and Western European tonal conventions. The music most closely associated with the steel band include Calypso - the indigenous folk music of Trinidad and Tobago - but the instrument developed a tradition of playing Western Popular and Classical music early on.

For information regarding how to join this ensemble, please email Victor Provost.

George Mason University is one of three universities in North America where students can choose steel pan as a primary instrument of study.

Professor Victor Provost
Mason Steel Pan Ensemble with professor Victor Provost, far left.
Mason Steel Pan Ensemble, Fall 2021. Photo by Gabriel Rivera-Martinez. 

Mason Steel Pan Ensemble performs at International Jazz Day 2021.

Victor Provost and the Steel Pan Ensemble perform for Mason Arts At Home.

The above performance for the Mason Arts at Home series was recorded in the spring of 2019 and featured original compositions by ensemble musicians Domenic Lewis and David Singhaus as well as a piece by the group's ensemble director, Victor Provost.

Eljhaie Brathwaite
Eljhaie Brathwaite - Steel Pan

Eljhaie Brathwaite, a steel pannist hailing from the beautiful island of St. Thomas, graduated in the Spring of 2021 with a Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies under the tutelage of Professor Victor Provost. While at George Mason, Eljhaie performed with the Steel Pan Ensemble, Mason Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Workshop, Jazz Combos and Latin American Ensemble. Eljhaie is now a music educator at Charlotte Amalie High School on the island of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where he teaches steel band and Jazz band as well as continuing to compose and perform with various ensembles.