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Published on June 15th, 2017 | by Claire Falcus


Cramlington Caribbean Crew (CCC) Steelband spreads the steelpan gospel.

‘Cramlington Caribbean Crew’ Steelband and registered charity is based in South East Northumberland. The band was set up in early 2009 by Claire Falcus, lawyer and UK pannist from Newcastle. The band started it’s journey with five steel pans, a bunch of enthusiastic children and teachers excited to play pan for the very first time. Very quickly the band became an intrinsic part of the school and local community and CCC opened it’s doors to the wider community.

Claire with the support of Laura Hall, recruited Jenny Chan, an ex pan student of hers and an inspirational young pan player and trainee primary school teacher with an incredible talent and passion for pan. Claire, Laura and Jenny co-ordinate all the activities and projects on behalf of the charity.

The band is regular booked to perform all over the region for festivals, community events, corporate events, weddings and private functions. Claire also tutors and leads workshops in a number of schools and organisations across the region.

They are very lucky to have a wealth of dedicated and committed players of all ages from aged 7 to adult. Caitlin Lockey, 16, a pannist of 7 years says that “she does not know what she would have done without it as it has been such a major part of her life and it has shaped who she is as a person”.

CCC’s supportive trainee music leader programme allows their members the opportunity to get involved in steelband leadership and arranging music for the steelpan. Sophie Purvis, an original member of the band, has grown with the band from a very young age and with them she found her love for music. Sophie is now a Grade 8 drummer currently studying Music Performance at Newcastle College. She is training to become a music leader in the steelpan tuition team where she leads weekly steelpan classes and assist in leading workshops. She hopes to continue to pursue a career as a professional musician.

Claire said “I am passionate about pan in the North East and committed to providing opportunities for people to access pan and experience for themselves the joy it has brought me for the last 16 years. Within the heart of the steelband culture that I know and love is the sense of unity. I find it amazing to see unlikely friendships develop out of a shared passion for pan. My players continue to make me proud and surprise me with their energy, efforts and ability every single day and their amazingly positive attitude week in week out makes being their MD such a pleasure. As an organisation, we really pride ourselves on being fully inclusive and opening our arms to anyone in our community who seeks the solace of playing pan”

You can find more information about them at www.cccsteelband.com, www.facebook.com/cramcaribbean, www.twitter.com/cramcaribbean


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