Ouachita Baptist University will host the OBU steel drum ensemble, Tiger Steel, in concert with the Boys and Girls Club of Arkadelphia’s steel drum ensemble, Club Steel, on Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center. The performance is free and open to the public.
Dr. Ryan Lewis, assistant professor of music and director of Tiger Steel, said he can’t wait to bring “parents and friends of the band members from around the community into JPAC to support a wonderful partnership and terrific music, both of which bring joy to others and make them smile.”
Tiger Steel is not exclusive to music majors, and each Ouachita student mentors one of the 6th-8th grade students at least one hour per week at the Boys and Girls Club.
“Ouachita students will get to perform side by side with the students they mentor and get to perform with an ensemble that is twice as big as what we are used to,” Lewis noted.
Members of Tiger Steel include Erin Cheshire, Chris Hogan, Cory Thackston and John David Whitmore on tenor pan; Leslie Colbert, Carter Harlan, Kristen Liles and Natalie Williams on double seconds; Ian Olmsted, Cody Osborn, Ben Lange-Smith and Sara Williams on guitars and cello; and Tori Clark on bass pans. Olmsted and Osborn also perform on drum set.
Tiger Steel will perform selections from their inaugural concert on April 16, and Club Steel will perform “Comedians’ Gallop” by Dimitri Kabalevsky and “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” by Harry Belafonte. After performing separately, the two groups will come together to play “Jump in the Line,” also by Harry Belafonte, and “Marianne,” a traditional Calypso tune.
Club Steel is voluntarily directed by Aaron Seel, assistant band director and percussion teacher at Arkadelphia High School. Club Steel is comprised of 6th grader Ja’Vonte’ Brown; 7th graders Khennedy Brunson, Allis Harris, Ryan Motl and Ashlyn Taylor; and 8th graders Michaela Forthman, Addy Goodman, Tierra McCraney, Kierstyn Noel, Cristo Rivera, Alexis Summerford. They rehearse once a week at Goza Middle School, and they have access to the instruments to practice after school as well.
For more information on Tiger Steel or Club Steel, contact Dr. Ryan Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5421.
By Ryleigh Salmon