By Kevin Shannahan
NSU’s Steel Drum Band gave a concert before a delighted audience on NSU’s Alumni Plaza on April 30. The 12 members of the band play distinctive styles of music named soca and calypso that originated in Trinidad and Tobago. The band also rounded out the concert with several Reggae pieces. For one set, the audience formed a Conga line and participated in a Limbo contest.
The band was joined onstage by a group of NSU students, faculty members and Buckeye High School Band member Ray Price, who performed a piece that was totally new to them. This performance not only involved a piece that was totally unfamiliar, but also learning how to play steel drums, a new experience for them. They worked hard, and in the space of a few hours mastered the new instruments and gave a wonderful performance.
The concert was the second one for the NSU Steel Drum Band. They were formed a bit over a year ago after an enterprising faculty member, Dr. Oliver Molina, landed a grant from the State Board of Regents to fund the purchase of the instruments. The band, NSU’s newest musical ensemble, was quite a hit with the audience as they brought a carefree island atmosphere to a year that has been anything but carefree. One of the unique aspects of the Steel Drum Band is that one does not have to be a member of the Spirit of Northwestern Band, or even a music major, to join. Any student willing to learn and put in the work is welcome.
The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to thank the NSU Steel Drum Band for a most delightful evening. We would also like to commend you for your hard work, dedication to your craft and superb musicianship. From theater to music in all its forms, NSU’s School of Creative and Performing Arts is an amazing font of talent!