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Steel Pan Concert

At Woodside all children in year 3 learn to play steel pan. Pan playing developed in Trinidad in the mid 20th century as people banged on empty oil drums and discovered a way to play melody and harmony on them as well as percussive rhythms.. This makes pan playing much more interesting than salsa or African drumming. At the front of the band the single pan "tenors" play the tune, backed up by the lower double seconds. Underneath this larger pans play a rhythmic chordal accompaniment, with the lower instruments needing more pans per player as they have less notes per pan. The lowest bass pans are complete oil drums and the player needs four or five pans as they only have room for three notes each.


After playing steel pan for a year each class made up their own steel band to play for their parents and were joined by the bands from our before school and lunchtime clubs. The before school club played publicly at the recent Windrush celebration under the name Woodside Steel and returns to Tilbury to play for the Queen Baton Relay. This our youngest and largest performing Steel Band and we hope to hear them becoming even better as they grow older.  We are grateful to Steve Sayer of Thurrock Music Services for teaching pan to all of year three and directing the band.