"I had fun!" and "Are you coming back tomorrow?", were some of the comments from the participants from this afternoons workshop "Steelpan With Sue" at the Sanderson Library. As part of Culture Days, the 3 day cross Canada event showcases artist and their art and gives them a chance to share it for with the public for free.
The instrument is still pretty new to a lot of people. Sometimes you meet someone that is in total awe and can't understand how the sound is produced. I have had a few people even look for the "button" to see where I turn on the music.
Why did I choose to be part of this festival?
I found it necessary to educate not only through discussion but really wanted the participants to be hands on the instruments. There are so many stereotypes and misconceptions about steelpan. I really wanted those that attended to understand the struggles that people had decades earlier with their instruments and throughout the development of this one. I guess you can say that I want it to be given the same respect one gives as any other instrument. It's not a "metal garbage can that we've turned upside down, hit with sticks and notes come out of it". It doesn't "only play calypso and reggae music" and isn't "only played by men". This 20th century musical wonder has come a long way and is widely accepted by people all over the world.
Special thanks for making this workshop possible: CultureDays, Dyann from CultureDays, Sung-Min and her staff from the Charles S. Sanderson Library, Ian Jones of the Ontario Steelband Association, L.E.A.P. Branding, Margarette D., Earl L., Wayne D, Isaiah V-D)