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.
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.