Cramlington Caribbean Crew Steelband - Spreading the Steelpan Gospel in Northumberland
The CCC steelband started in 2008 at Northburn Primary School in Northumberland. Back then, they held two classes, one for children and one for teachers and parents. The band very quickly became an intrinsic part of the school’s performance calendar and enquiries from other organisations and schools in the region started flowing in. With the support of Northburn Primary School (the band’s panyard for the entirety of its life), doors were opened to the wider community and the children who left us in year 6 returned to progress their playing skills. Many of those young people now form the core and experienced band that are seen regularly in their performances.
In 2012, the bands MD Claire Falcus and her team decided to concentrate their time and energies into developing the band within the region, offering out more classes, performance opportunities and projects with the primary aim of promoting steel pan music within South East Northumberland area. The band has been busy for a number of years with performances of all kinds including weddings, festivals, community and corporate events.
In 2016, the band launched as a registered charity and now offers various steel pan programmes for all ages from as young as 3 to adults. At the same time, they were lucky to secure a significant Arts Council England grant which aided the purchased of a full set of new pans. At the same time, a young leader programme was launched offering the young people who work with the band, the opportunity to work with groups of steel pan players, gaining experience in arranging, teaching and leading steel pan lessons.
Claire plans to bridge the gap between London and the North through collaborative projects in the aim of widening the skills and experience of the young people of CCC Steelband and all of its supporters, friends and participants. One of these projects was to work with the incredible Delphina ‘Panness’ James on a new piece of music in April 2018. This was Delphina’s first visit to Cramlington and the players were very excited. She taught them a calypso version of 'Heal the World' by Michael Jackson. Laura (Tenor) ' loved the choice of music!' and Elize (Tenor) 'loved working with Delphina'. The band is looking forward to working again with Delphina in the near future to aid their progression as a band.
2018, marks their 10th anniversary, in which time the band has grown in size and stature at Northburn Primary School. They now have more participants than ever before providing steelband tuition and performance opportunities for all ages through their various projects from age 3 -adult. The band is led by Claire Falcus and her team of dedicated and enthusiastic tutors, volunteers and the participants of our young leader programme.
They are aiming to make this year extra special and throughout the year will be celebrating their special milestone in various ways - so watch this space!