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Published on May 15th, 2015 | by Lynette Levy Yearwood


Pantonic Steel Orchestra UK

Pantonic Steel Orchestra was founded in 1988 by the late Biggs Yearwood and Raymond Joseph.  The pair came up with the idea of forming a community band to develop the artistic and educational needs for the local community youths encouraging them to keep focused and express themselves through music. Their main aim and intention was to keep the youth focusing on something positive and off the streets. The band began with both their family members and quickly grew and expanding with many youths within the community joining. The band became such a talking point in the community, the ex-Mare of Hackney. Mr Sam Springer became interested in managing the band and took them under his wings getting them bookings even in France and other parts of Europe.

The band was a success and went on to play year after year at the London Notting hill Carnival enter The London Panorama competition which is held at Kensal Rise every year on the Saturday before the Notting hill Carnival.   The competition consists of many steel bands from different communities within the UK competing to win status, financial prize and sponsorship.  On some occasions more than 20 bands will enter. At best Pantonic Steel Orchestra came 2nd with as many as 70 players from local communities as well as Europe and international players who came over to play in the band.

Many of the original players   have now gone on to teaching the instrument in schools, youth centres and privately. A few of them have even gone on to forming new bands.

Currently, the band has recently reformed as Pantonic Steel Orchestra, The Next Generation as many of the now players are actually off springs of the original band.  Pantonic now consist of 20 players with a mixture of adults and mostly youths.  It is growing rapidly and is very active with bookings from private gigs to local community gigs such a Black History and Christmas events and other festivals. In 2012 Pantonic done many gigs for the Olympics such as the Waltham Forest 2012 Torch Event, Jamaican Independence event at the Puma Yard, Brick lane  and The 1000 Pans event part of the Thames Music Festival Event. More recent events include The Hackney One Carnival which Pantonic was Awarded “Best Music on the Road” 2014, Hackney Wicked Festival, Hackney Jam, Pre Carnival BLOCKORAMA 2014, Run Hackney Marathon 2014 & 2015 plus many other private events as well as church events including a performance at St Paul’s Cathedral. Helen yearwood daughter of the late Ezekiel ‘Biggs’ Yearwood has helped revive Pantonic as the band Co ordinator for the last 4 years.

Pantonic Steel Orchestra is currently holding workshops and beginners classes on every Sunday at St Thomas Church in Hackney.   They welcome players of any ages and even disabilities from all community who would like to join the band as well as non-players wishing to learn to play the instrument.

Contact Pantomic through the following media – istagram : @pantonic_uk , twitter @pantonuk , email: pantonic_uk@hotmail.com, website www.pantonic-uk.com . Band Leader Lynette Yearwood; 07506 121 808

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