Friday, October 31, 2014

College and Pan

Members of Bates Steel Pan Orchestra (Bates College) 

Got a great email from a parent interested in finding steel pan for her kid after high school. Her kid wanted to continue playing, but didn't want to necessarily major in steel pan. I got to thinking about it and I thought our community needs to do a better job at promoting pan programs for those entering college.

I sent her a list of the schools in the states the kid was looking at. Hopefully that helps. She seems awfully nice. (Hopefully, we add another student to the membership group).

But, I thought I really should do more than that. It seems like a simple problem with maybe a simple solution. We offer access to the Haskett Directory of U.S. Steel Drum Bands based in schools and universities to our members. This list is geared more to school directors. But what about the kids planning to go to college? No need to stop playing once you graduate from school, right?

Hmm? We will have to noodle on that one for a bit. I think the Steel Pan Collective can come up with something. There are too many great programs out there to not come up with a solution.

Stay tuned.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Learning Every Day

Phew! The one thing you can say about us here at the Steel Pan Collective is we are constantly learning something every day. Couple that with working in any kind of steel pan practice can result in our waking hours just flying by.

This week, we learned all kinds of new stuff about the business world and ourselves.  We learned about contracts and getting commitments and why they are important up front. We learned about musicians differences and similarities when it comes to how they got involved in pan. We learned that not all of us in the pan community actually play the instrument. We learned that online fundraising takes some planning. We finally learned that music festivals have to have a purpose. Otherwise, why would bands come and also the public?

Still, we continue to move along. We plan plan plan the Pan People Music Festival. We work hard to make sure our board stays on track and keeps the organization humming along. We realize that the phone vs. email might work best. (Isn't it funny, that we fall back to the phone to get stuff done)

Today I wrote an article  that will appear in next month's Profiles in Pan. Members will hear the story of Rick Henson and how he became involved in pan and how he is building a steel band community in Colorado. It is a very inspiring story.

So I guess this week, we as pan players take that talent for persistence, perseverance, and determination and apply it to not only steel pan but running a non-profit organization. We take are inspiration from the kid in the picture.


Skip Waugh
Steel Pan Collective
Learn. Connect. Perform

Friday, October 10, 2014

Passion and Pan - Making stuff happen

One of the great things about steel pan is the community that has grown up around it and supports it. Each day, we meet new folks who are interested in connecting with us here at the SPC. The common interest is their love of pan. The passion also comes through when we do the Profiles in Pan for the member newsletter. It came through loud and clear in the interviews with Tom, George, Ruth, Char, Ansel, Jim, Mia, and George. Some found their passion for pan when they were very young. Others found it later on in life. It is really exciting to talk to them and share their story.

I can't think of another "instrument" that fires up the passions in so many people. Is it the same for the violin, the drums, the guitar, the clarinet. Doubt it. This is a community instrument and one with a lot of people who love it.

We are in the midst of planning the 2015 Pan People Music Festival right now. On some days, it seems like two steps forward and one step back in getting stuff done. Still, it is the passion that drives us on.

Today, we secured the film we wanted to show on the Friday before the music performances. It is Pan! Our Music Odyssey. We'll get to see that passion for pan on the big screen. We wanted to have the film for the Pan People "Film" Festival. The filmmakers were passionate about getting it shown in the U.S. We are so excited that they picked our venue.

Have a great week and live the passion.