Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Power of a Shared Vision

How do you know if you are on the right path? Well, one of the ways is if others are there with you and they keep you true to the vision. It is the power of a shared vision.

We recently had a crisis here at the SPC. It is nothing that most small businesses and organization hasn't seen before. We knew we would get through it. But what was truly amazing was how we rallied to find a solution - fast. We are much stronger for it.

If there was any doubt about the perseverance or determination of any one steel pan community, that has all passed. We all share the vision. Here at the SPC, we got to experience just how strong the steel pan community is. There is definitely power in numbers and a shared vision.

We now enter into this new phase with a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm. We even managed to infuse a little humor which we sorely needed recently. (Members can see some of that "Pan Humor" in one of the Engine Room blogs put up by a member of our board).

The steel pan community is pretty powerful. We have accomplished some pretty amazing things when you think about it. Not bad for an instrument and community that is around 70 years old.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Top Five Things When Getting Your Logo

What do you think about our new logo? We are pretty excited about it.

Having a logo is huge. It means so many things on so many levels. Do you need one for your steel pan group? Well that depends....It might be worth the investment if your group has been around awhile or has plan to be a mainstay in the local music community.

Here are our top 5 things to consider when it comes to a logo.

1) Get references - There are a ton of graphic designers or folks who claim to be designers. Make sure you work with someone with a reputation and actual samples to show. Ask colleagues, friends, or businesses who they use.

2) Shop around - One of the biggest shocks for us was the range in prices. Price doesn't necessarily equate into value. So find someone that does quality work at a reasonable price. We saw prices ranging from $0 to $850.  The free quotes came from friends and family members. We actually decided to pay for ours. We wanted to make sure we got what we paid for.

3) Delegate it - The scariest part is how to decide on which designs to go with. The less than ideal way is to decide by committee. It slows down the process especially since everyone has different tastes. Since our organization is made up of musicians, needless to say we are better suited to playing steel pans than picking color palettes. Have one person do it and go from there.

4) Find Examples - The thing that helped us was to remember what we liked in other organizations. We picked a couple of logos that caught our eye and went with that theme. It is easier on the designer if he has some examples of what you like.

5) Get All the Formats - This is critical. We plan to use our logo for many different things from websites to T-shirts. It was absolutely important to have all the possible formats and sizes we needed. If your designer only plans to give you .jpg or .png file, run don't walk to the next designer. It is less costly to get everything up front rather than have that designer or someone else redesign your logo.

Well those are a couple of things we learned. Hope that helps.

Friday, July 31, 2015

SPC Logo and Brand

Between working on the new logo and finalizing some of the Pan People Music festival videos, we finally have time to jot down a couple of thoughts.

Working on those two things in particular has really helped us hone in on what we are about here at the organization. We learned that a logo is merely a symbol for our organization. We also learned a thing or two about branding. Branding is more of a longer term affair. The example that was pointed out to us was Nike. Everyone know the Nike swoosh. That logo is pretty recognizable. But did you know the company spends millions of dollars to publicize its brand? The goal is to get you to think about them when it is time for that next pair of athletic shoes. We want that for the SPC - not for athletic shoes but for steel pans and their community.

So we are working on that with the logo designers. While we don't plan to spend millions of dollars on building our brand, what monies we do have will be put to good use. Our brand is to make sure steel pan players in the U.S have a community resource they can call their own. That means providing the means to connect with each other, helping them find resources to learn more about what is going on with U.S. steel pan, and highlight our members' performances. That's what we are all about.

So when you see our logo on the new T-shirts, a brochure, or even an advertisement for future Pan People Music Festival, you know what that symbol represents.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tying Up Loose Ends - And Now the Work Begins

The Pan Association at the 2015 Pan People Music Festival

Phew. It has been awhile since I've had time to jot down a few thoughts. Been busy tying up the 2015 Pan People Music Festival. It was a fun event and we are already thinking of ways to make 2016 even better.

1) We are finishing up the video(s) for the events. We hope to have one video showing highlights of the event and another showing off some of the performances. The bands did great if you missed it. You'll get a chance to see what I mean in a week or two. We'll post them up on the SPC You Tube channel and website.

2) We had a good number of folks attend this event roughly 200 throughout the day. Some came as far away as New Hampshire and Nebraska. The bulk came from all points in Colorado.

3) We are still hearing rave reviews on the food truck we had at the event - Stretch Comfort Food. They were so popular throughout the day, that they ran out of food. We were pretty happy for them.

4) We were selling copies of the Pan! Our Music Odyssey film at the event. The cost is $35 + S&H if you would like a copy. Looking at the bin next to my desk, I see we have six left. So hurry. Send me a note at info@steelpancollective.org if you would like a copy.

We have some of our members out and about at various festival around the country. We are hearing some great things about what they are doing. We had a couple at the Mannette festival and several will be at Pan Ramajay festival in Denver. You all make us proud!!!

As always, continue to have a great summer and stay tuned for more news.


P.S. Thanks to our contributors at the Pan People Music Festival. We have begun work on your gifts as we speak.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Just Swaiting for You

Well, we're two to three weeks away from Pan People Music Festival. As a member of the festival planning committee, I see all of us dealing with a mix of emotions. On one hand, we are very excited about the event and the talent we've assembled. On the other, we are a little freaked because we just don't know what to expect the day of the event. I guess that is to be expected when planning an event. You just never how it will turn out. We'll be ready either way though.

We do have a few things going for us. As I mentioned, the talent is top-notch. Auraria campus in the heart of downtown Denver is perfect. It is in June which usually means decent weather (cross your fingers). We are showing an excellent film (Pan! Our Music Odyssey) and the dinner being catered by Relish Catering sounds scrumptious.

It feels very much like it does when we step out onto the stage for steel pan performance. We rehearse, practice, and plan. The performances is when it all comes together. Whatever happens prior to the event gets forgotten and we put on the best show we can. I guess that is the best way to approach when it comes to the Pan People Music Festival.

So the swaiting (sweating and waiting) continues.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Steel "Panning" for Gold

Panning for gold! Anyone who lives out West knows the terms. Pioneers used it as one of the ways to strike it rich during the gold rush. It took some patience and perseverance to be sitting in streams and rivers hoping to find that one nugget that made their efforts worthwhile. (I wonder if they had just turned it over and tried to tune it, would they have made a better living or more fun?)

So why bring up the ancient history? Well as we continue to work on the Pan People Music Festival, it seems we too are panning for gold.  Every once in awhile, we strike it rich. We catch a lucky break and things fall into place. Sometimes it actually involves money! Yeah! It is the life of steel pan players. We try our best to share some of our riches with the pan community too.

Here are our gold nuggets for this week.

The Pan Ramajay Summer Steel Drum Festival announced its dates - it is one of the premier summer camps for steel pan players of all ages and abilities. It is headed by Tom Miller and Tom always pulls together an all-star faculty. Many attendees make it an annual event. You should too.

Pan People Music Festival - We launched our fundraising campaign for the festival and our logo. Our goal is $2000. We are welcoming any contributions starting at $5 on up. At the festival, we will be running drawings between band performances. We are already getting donations from such places as Trader Joe's and Core Power Yoga. Who knows? We also may have a steel pan to raffle off. We finalized our caterer for the Pan People dinner. It is Relish Catering and their menu looks scrumptious. Can't wait there.

Pan Magazine - It is one of the few publications on pan out there and it is entirely free. We let our members know about it too.

Be sure to register for the Pan People Music Festival soon if you are attending the film and dinner. Remember if you are a performer, volunteer, or SPC member - register under those categories and save some $$. Also make a contribution to our fundraiser. The monies go directly to the festival and our logo.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Passion and Pan

                                                                                     Image courtesy of Zazzle

Fridays are great for reflecting on what happened earlier in the week. As you know, the SPC board and our volunteers are working hard on the Pan People Music Festival in Denver. Each day we make significant progress and every once in a while there is an obstacle that surprises us. But we persevere. Looking back on it all, it is entirely worth it.

This week's Friday reflection is the connection between pan and passion. The pan community is a passionate group. It shows in our love for the instrument. We live, eat and sleep pan. Why else would a bunch of volunteers work so hard to put on a festival in a country not exactly overflowing with Trinidadians? Because we love pan, that's why. It is that love of pans that's gets us talking passionately about the instrument to anyone who will listen. It doesn't matter if they are festival vendor or our neighbor. Pan is new, fresh, and cool.

Come on, admit it. We play a very fun instrument. We aren't mainstream - at least not yet. Maybe that's the appeal. We are doing something special that not a lot of people are doing. Yes, we still have  some educating in terms of our audiences. But that's ok. It just makes it easier to fall and stay in love with the instrument.

As Dr. Kim Johnson said in his TedTalk, this community is very much like family. There is a connection and bonding that just doesn't happen if you are playing piano, or a saxophone, or even in a symphony. We have an awful lot of fun and it shows. We struggle together. We achieve together. There is nothing like the sound of a band who has nailed a musical piece.

Ok - clearly I could go on. But you get it. So this weekend if someone comes up to you and talks to you about steel pan or steel drum, go ahead and tell them. Let you passion show. Just know - you aren't alone. Somewhere out there, another pannist is doing the same thing.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Beating Heart of Music - By Kim Johnson

Anyone playing pan music will tell you that there is something special about it. For some, it is the love of the sound. Pans make some of the melodious music out there. For others, it is the ability to play music competitively. We all know Panorama is the crown jewel of pan competitions. Pan players are also notorious for wanting to be better each time we play. We compete against ourselves and others. There are those of us who just like being considered musicians and love creating music with others. There is a camaraderie - mainly because it is not something others do.

It wasn't until I heard Dr. Kim Johnson doing a TedTalk that I really felt a deeper affinity to steel pan. Johnson is the creator of the film Pan! Our Modern Odyssey.

On Fridays we usually find a great steel pan performance and plug that on one of our social media outlets. This Friday, I am offering up this video for your viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Beating Heart of Music - By Kim Johnson (TedTalk, approximately 20 minutes)

Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 Pan People Music Festival Talent Set!!

                                                                                  Photo of Pan Jumbies

This year's 2015 Pan People Music Festival talent lineup is set This year's groups promises to deliver  some memorable performances.

1) Bison Pan Groove - Led by steel pan artist, Don Prorak, this band is made up of students from Second Creek Elementary in Commerce City, Colorado. It will be the youngest and one of the largest groups performing at the festival. Some of students' parents may also join in to perform with their kids. 

2) Rocky Mountain Steel Bands - RMSB is made up of several community groups and is led by Rick Henson. Those in this group vary in skill level and music experience. However, every player in the group is a lover of pan. RMSB have performed a numerous festival, fairs, farmers markets and charity runs along the Colorado front range. RMSB also offers summer camps for kids during the summer. 

3) The Pan Association - TPA and includes Steel Pan Collective board member Andrew Neldon. Several TPA members have played in Trinidad's Panorama competition. The group performs steel pan in various musical styles ranging from traditional Calypso to modern jazz. The Pan Association also holds a number of workshops, clinics, and lessons for those interested in steel pan.

4) Pan Nation - Pan Nation is led by Tom Miller and includes members and graduates of DUs Lamont School of Music. Several members in this group are accomplished composers and soloists. Pan Nation concerts are known for its artistry, innovation and incorporation of various music styles. The group's versatility has them playing everything from traditional steel pan compositions to pop tunes. 

5) Pan Jumbies - Led by Don Prorak, Pan Jumbies and is known throughout the area for its fun and entertaining shows. In addition to steel pan, marimba plays an important part of this group's lineup and makes for great sounding tunes. Pan Jumbies performances are guaranteed to get you up and dancing. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Can Steel Pan Programs Last?

                                                      Members of the Miami University Steel Band

The recent April Steel Pan Collective newsletter struck a nerve. After reading through the two Profiles in Pan (Jerry Lopatin and Chris Tanner), we realized that a common theme kept coming up - lack of resources. Could that be the problem in the troubled marriage between pan programs and schools?

We know for a fact that when a pan program gets up and running it is usually successful. Chris Tanner said that a new program was cropping up in southwest Ohio alone every 15 months. There are some very dedicated pan leaders and champions out there pushing to keep pan in the forefront.

But what happens when that instructor or champion moves on or retires? Are they leaving behind pan programs too vulnerable to budget cuts and a lack of pan educators to continue the program? We are starting to wonder if U.S. programs are centered too much around the instructor and not on the instrument.

Jerry Lopatin's story was one that got us thinking. He built what was and still is considered one of the more sustainable pan programs in the country. But when Jerry finally retired from teaching elementary students for 30 years, his replacement was not pan trained or familiar with running a pan program. Jerry even offered himself up to others in the district. No takers stepped up. So the kids' pan program died from neglect. The pan world lost another generation of future pan players.

So what are some possibilities to reducing the risk to pan programs?

1) More Pan Instructors - Clearly, there are not enough instructors trained in pan, running pan programs, or who understand the versatility of the instrument. More exposure to the instrument might help. We do our part by playing concerts/festivals in our local communities. Education and certification in pan is one such option for those with an interest in teaching pan. Who does it and where that happens still has to be figured out?

2) Music Education - Scanning the web will provide a listing of various music education programs. Few offer pan as a principal instrument. If steel pan is offered at all, it is likely lumped under percussion instruments. It might make sense on the surface. But consider this. A whole orchestra of sound can be formed with steel pans. Can the same be said for drum sets or congas? Maybe its time for pan to step out of that catch-all category of percussion and take its rightful place alongside piano as a special kind of "percussion" instrument.

There is still hope for pan in the U.S. The pan community can either work through the existing traditional university system or come up with an education alternative. Being the rebels we are at the Steel Pan Collective, we lean towards the latter.

There is no reason why pan can't live on in programs around the country. We don't have to rely completely on one person or champion to carry that burden. That may be too big of a risk to pan's future in the U.S. It is a solution we all need to solve together.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Stand and Play!

Steel pans are a physically demanding instrument. Just getting instruments to and from gigs can take a toll on any pan musician or group. But there is so much more to the instrument. "Playing" steel pans is just as physical. It just makes sense that the better you use your body, the better you play.

One of the struggles of steel pan players is where to stand in relation to their pan(s). Here are some suggestions from the website MyPanyard:

1) Pans should be position waist high,
2) Give yourself about five inches out from the pan to allow for movement,
3) Feet planted firmly on the ground.

We have found at the Steel Pan Collective that keeping elbows at or little above waist high works well too. Using foot mats are ok because they take some of the pressure off your feet. Keeping pliable knees and loose shoulders also prevents strain and injury. Staying limber and loose is one of the keys for getting the most out of your steel pan playing.

MyPanyard offers specific suggestions for tenors, doubles, guitars, quadrophonics, and basses. General resources such as the Musician's Way also offer suggestions that will help you play better and for longer.

This is the season when our steel pan gigs and performances pick up. Events and festivals, like the 2015 Pan People Music Festival, are chances to showcase our talents. Making sure your body is prepared for the season will make sure your performances are the best.

Friday, March 13, 2015

How Different Steel Pan Gigs Pay

"Music is spiritual. The music business is not." - Van Morrison

McDonald's recent decision to now pay bands for playing in its SXSW Showcase was huge. The reversal comes on the heels of a scathing Facebook post by one of the bands, Ex-Cops.  The post offered a blistering account of how the company asked participating bands to come and play for free.  In return, bands were promised increased exposure. After intense public pressure, McDonald's finally got the message and backtracked. The whole situation is another reminder of that age old problem artists face - getting paid.

It got us thinking about our steel pan community and how we survive when it comes to gigs. It doesn't matter whether you are a seasoned professional or a community band playing a local farmer's market. You have to be compensated for your time, talent, and effort. Here are a couple of thoughts on the types of gigs steel pan musicians run across.

Paying Gigs
It is a very simple concept. You show up, play, and someone pays you money. Hopefully, it will be in a currency you recognize. How and what amount varies on the arrangement and event. Typical arrangements gigs range from by-the-hour to a flat fee. Paying gigs are most common for weddings, private parties, concerts, festivals, etc. The promoter will often times pick up your expenses if the event is large enough.

Pay can also vary based on how much business you can bring into an establishment.  You might see this when working with clubs and bars. The person doing the booking is banking on your band bringing in enough people so they can make a profit on the food and drinks sold.

Gigs that pay in food, access to special services, or the promise of future gigs are riskier. You are in essence paying for free in a gig that is making money off your talent. Those kind of gigs can suck the life out of you. And when it comes down to it, promises and free food don't pay the rent. Here are a few tips on negotiating the best deal.

Pay for Play
Pay for Play is without question one of the most controversial gigs available. The Steel Pan Collective is not a big fan or supporter of any deal where you pay the gig to perform steel pan. We believe you should be paid or understand upfront it's a volunteer event. Pay for Play is not a win/win for everyone involved. Someone always goes home a loser and it is usually the musician. Look at it from the event planner or promoters point of view. Not paying performers makes for a better bottom line for them, especially if they charge the public AND the band.

The only time you should pay to play is if you are taking lessons or if you enter a steel pan competition. Your payment might come in the form of fees on the front end for the latter.  However, those fees are another expense steel pan musicians and bands have to cover on top of travel and accommodations.  This ultimately cuts into any profit you hope to make.

Pay for Play gigs are ones you should be particularly careful about. Websites like Neverpaytoplay.com offer some additional hints to look out for.

Volunteer Gigs
These gigs are the kind you do for a good cause or a specific non-profit. The event is not expected to be a huge revenue generator. The promoter ends up shouldering the burden of raising revenue through other means like sponsorships. Some non-profits or special causes will offer some kind of payment to musicians in the form of a small fee, T-Shirts, merchandise, food, or access to other events.

The difference between Pay for Play and volunteer gigs are the reason for the event. In a volunteer event, everyone participating believes in the cause and it is their way of showing support. Organizations like Musicians on Call take it a step further and organize volunteer musicians to go and play for hospital patients. Your performance at a volunteer gig furthers the cause of the organization and makes you feel good too. Your payment comes in the form of a good deed.

So what has been your experience? We would love to hear what makes for a good or bad gig when it comes to getting paid. Drop us a line at info@steelpancollective.org.

Thinking of going to the 2015 Pan People Music Festival? Bring a friend and we'll see you in Denver.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Top Three Reasons for Playing in a Steel Pan Band

"Band members have a special bond. A great band is more than just some people working together. It's like a highly specialized army unit or a winning sports team. A unique combination of elements that become stronger together than apart." - Steven Van Zandt.

The Steel Pan Collective is a community of steel pan players and band members. Everyday, we hear and see stories of why playing in a steel pan group is so special. It doesn't matter whether someone is a solo steel pan player in a jazz group or one of of many players warming up for Panorama, there is an appeal and attraction to playing with others.   Here are our top three:

There is a special bond among steel pan players. We don't talk about it. It is a feeling. We know we are doing something cool, something unique. We cheer each other on no matter what.  It could be in rehearsals, traveling to a gig, or performing on stage. Steel pan players belong to a special musical family. And like any family, no matter the ups or downs, the love shines through. Watch a steel pan performance on YouTube. See what happens when players make eye contact with each other. Chances are you are going to see a genuine smile come over them. They share a love of playing steel pan.

Overcome Risks Together
Getting that new piece of music can be overwhelming. Once a steel pan group overcomes the initial shock, they get to it and learn the piece. It takes time. But bit by bit, note by note, they find a way to get through it. We help each other figure out the hard parts. Steel pan players will play a piece  several times until it sounds right. Even our best professionals iron out the details. They too, will practice something over and over again.  And that's ok because steel plan players are truly invested in creating the best sounding music on the planet.

Shared Learning
Learning steel pan has changed little since its beginning. Many of the early players learned by rote. That tradition continues today. Most players are shown the notes and the pattern to play. They watch others over and over again before trying it themselves. When a difficult part comes up, the ask someone. Eventually they get it because its a supportive, learning experience for everyone.

Part of Something Bigger
There is nothing like being in a steel pan band. It is one of the best parts of playing. Your growth happens because you have a chance to be a part of something special, something bigger than yourself.  That is what steel pan is all about.

Those smiles will be on display at the 2015 Pan People Music Festival. Come and see what it is like to be part of a steel pan band.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Denver's 2015 Pan People Music Festival

Registration is now open for the Denver 2015 Pan People Music Festival. We are looking forward to showcasing the steel pan talents of musicians and bands. The musical performances are open to the public and are free. We will also be offering the chance to attend the SPC networking reception and dinner as well as the film Pan! Our Modern Odyssey. Those two events require an advance ticket purchase.

We are so excited to host the upcoming 2015 Pan People Music Festival in Denver. It promises to be a great event. The team is working hard to get preparations under way. We are especially excited to be holding it on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver.

Our partners for the event is University of Colorado at Denver's College of Arts and Media. Luckily for us, they will be holding their summer camp for high schoolers during the same time. The camp is called Lynx and is part of the Lynx National Arts and Media program. For many of the camp attendees, it will be their first exposure to steel pan. We love sparking some interest. Who knows? Some future players may come out of it.

We were especially excited to already see our information up on When Steel Talks, the website for steel pan news around the U.S. That was cool.

Be sure to continue to check our site for the latest info. Don't forget to register too!

Hope to see you at the 2015 Pan People Music Festival.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Five Traits Of Solid Steel Pan Players

Did you watch some of the Panorama performances recently? You can't but wonder what separates solid pan players from the rest. They all have something in common. You see it in those performances, various You Tube videos and when we think about it in our own personal playing. Here is what we see:

1) Attitude - one of the most important. Positive attitude is something you can see in a pan player's face. Even during those long, sometime difficult rehearsals and practice sessions, you can't help but see and feel a positive attitude about the instrument they play. It is a attitude of self confidence, especially when it is time to perform.

2) Determination - perhaps this comes from steel pan and its history. It means playing in spite of all the obstacles and hurdles. Many of us play steel pan as a hobby. Few of us do it as a profession. We have plenty of other "happenings" in our life to keep us busy. But we carve out time to play steel pan. We want to be good at it. And we are determined to get there.

3) Relentless - This is one of the most admirable traits. We are relentless in the sense that we will go to any lengths to learn from others. We will seek out others doing what we want to do. We watch videos. We listen to old recordings. We rehearse and rehearse and rehearse. Our relentlessness drives us to be better each time we pick up out sticks.

4) Learner - Steel pan is in a constant state of evolution. When you listen to pan players some 20 to 30 years ago, you hear a different style. With each year and decade, new players come along layering what they learn on top of new directions they want to take the instrument. You'll are gradually seeing that in some of the pan competitions and performances around the world. We are all learners.

5) Happy - This is different than attitude. When I perform or I watch others perform, they all seem to be enjoying what they are doing. As a matter of fact, that is one of the comments we hear most from audiences. We all look so happy. I have yet to see a performing pan player who doesn't seem to be enjoying doing what he is doing.

Do you have others traits we haven't mentioned? Let us know at info@steelpancollective.org.

Button at the top of the page can be purchased at www.zazzle.com


Monday, February 2, 2015

We're Back and Ready to Play!

As many of you, we took the month of January off. We didn't do a lot of social media stuff. So it may have seemed like the lights at Steel Pan Collective had gone dark. But that was not the case.

We have been working behind the scenes with the goal of making 2015 a great year for the SPC. Members of the board and our volunteers are busily working on the 2015 Pan People Music Festival in Denver. Since this is our first event in the city, we are certainly learning the ropes of working with the various agencies and locations. Honestly, it hasn't been easy.

The city had decided to put a halt to any new festivals in 2015. The reason being that Denver is VERY festival friends and we have close to 300 festivals between May and September. That puts enormous pressure on some of the city's resources. They, the city of Denver, is taking the year off to get a better handle on the festival load.

So, with the city saying no - not this year. We began searching for another location and had to get creative for our festival. Right now, we hope to finalize the location soon. We are very excited about it. So cross your fingers.

The format for the festival is a one day fun filled event featuring public performances of steel pan groups, exhibitors, a networking reception for participants and the public, and a screening of the film Pan! Our Music Odyssey. Dr. Kim Johnson will be on hand to talk about the film. (We've seen the film and think attendees will REALLY enjoy it). So stay tuned.

By the way, did anyone learn any good steel pan songs over the past few weeks?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Drudgery, Craft, and Calling

It has been awhile since I blogged. Holidays and settling back into the daily grind have taken a priority. Now I have the time to collect my thoughts as I turn my attention to this upcoming year for the Steel Pan Collective.

I am very excited about the future prospects of the organization. It is a solid organization with a great board and good leadership. As for the Pan People Music Festival, I think we'll easily pull that off this year unless no one decides to come. I doubt that will happen though.

One thing I learned during the holidays is how each of us gets motivated. I was reading a book called the Highly Sensitive Person at Work. It describes several different types of jobs - Drudgery, Craft, and Calling. Drudgery are those jobs we have to do. Those are the ones where our heart and our head are not into it. We've all done those - some of us are working those now. Craft jobs are those jobs are those where either our heart OR our head is into it. It is never both. It is one or the other. Calling is that job where both our heart AND head are very much into what we are doing.

As I think about our organization and the volunteers who make up the organization. We are definitely working our calling. And for those of us who play steel pan - it is very much a calling for us. We approach the work with both our heart and head.

So as 2015 gets underway, having that Calling feeling will certainly continue to drive us forward.