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Published on May 17th, 2016 | by www.newstribune.info

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Pan Jammin’ to host Steel Drum Festival May 21

Pan Jammin’ Steel Drum Studio is hosting a Steel Drum Festival in Keyser on Saturday, May 21. The festival will feature area steel drum bands with continuous music from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the South End Park. The purpose of the festival is to further promote interest in Caribbean and steel pan music in the area as well as provide a performance venue that brings together those with an interest in steel bands. The Keyser High School Band Boosters will be providing food and beverages as a fundraiser for their music program.

Steel drums became popular in this area when in 1991 the “father of the modern steel drum,” Ellie Mannette, was invited by West Virginia University to show interested students how to build and play steel pans. What was meant to be a guest semester eventually turned into a longtime relationship called the University Tuning Project and later on, the company Mannette Steel Drums, which is currently located in Morgantown.

Pan Jammin’ Studio, located in downtown Keyser, teaches persons of all ages how to play and perform in a Caribbean-style steel band. Group lessons consist of weekly 90-minute sessions. Extra practice time is also provided at the studio. More information about the studio will be available at the festival as well as a chance to try out the instruments in between performances. The event is free and open to the public. Festival-goers should bring lawn chairs, although some seating is available.

For more information, contact Fred Kesner at 304-813-7469.

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