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America

Published on October 16th, 2015 | by Ray Funk and Andrew Martin - Trinidad Guardian Newspapers

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Quillen is a pan dreamer

Josh Quillen is playing, teaching, drilling, thinking, and perhaps dreaming pan from campus halls to concert halls, from Trinidad to Brooklyn, from dance performances to a digital album. On his return from the International Conference and Panorama competition where he performed with the Brooklyn Steel Orchestra (who earned a respectable fourth place tie with Phase II), Quillen was at the Brooklyn Labor Day Panorama where he drilled the Crossfire Steel Orchestra along with his former student Kendall Williams, the band’s arranger.

Reflecting on the summer of pan activities, Quillen very much enjoyed his time at the International Conference and Panorama, noting that “I had a blast!” and he had strong praise for the Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra and their manager Junia Regrello for their hospitality, support, and use of instruments. Like other foreign bands attending the International Conference and Panorama, different note configurations on the low steelpan sets proved a challenge for several players.

But overall, Quillen noted that for the rank and file of the Brooklyn Steel Orchestra, “It was a good experience all round.” The Brooklyn Steel Orchestra combined some of the best players from New York-based steelbands including the Crossfire Steel Orchestra, CASYM Steel Orchestra, and Despers USA Steel Orchestra among others.

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