Ouachita Baptist University will host the Tiger Steel Drum Ensemble’s spring concert on Wednesday, April 9, at 8 p.m. in Mabee Fine Art Center’s McBeth Recital Hall. The performance is free and open to the public.
“Steel drum music makes people smile; it makes them feel like they are on a cruise. It brings people joy, and that is such a blessing for us,” said Dr. Ryan Lewis, director and founder of Tiger Steel. “Those in attendance will hear a wide variety of songs, hear songs they know and will leave smiling.”
Tiger Steel has been on campus since the spring of 2013 when Lewis formed the band as a collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Clark County.
“I was searching for a way to bring steel drums to OBU, and the Boys and Girls Club of Clark County was looking for new and interesting activities,” explained Lewis, who serves as assistant professor of music. “The result was the forming of a relationship, and students in the OBU steel band mentor a student on the same instrument in the Boys and Girls Club Steel Band.”
Tiger Steel is open to all students on campus so there are a variety of student musicians involved.
“I am most looking forward to seeing the steel band students on stage,” Lewis added. “They always have so much fun during performances.”
The April 9 concert will include the calypso standards “Matilda,” “Yellow Bird” and “Jump in the Line (Shake, Shake, Shake Sonora)” popularized by singer Harry Belafonte. The Afro-Cuban tune “El Montuno,” Bob Marley’s reggae hit “One Love” and Jimmy Buffet’s “Volcano” also will be performed. The concert will conclude with Dave Brubeck’s jazz standard “Take Five,” featuring soloists Brent Nessler on saxophone and Bret Steed on trombone.
Tiger Steel members include Elizabeth Baker, a senior music performance major from Grapevine, Texas; Aaron Breeding, a freshman instrumental music education major from Springdale, Ark.; Troy Daniell, a freshman pre-pharmacy major from Benton, Ark.; Robert DeSoto, a freshman mass communications and Spanish major from Sheridan, Ark.; Carter Harlan, a sophomore instrumental music education major from Fayetteville, Ark.; Chris Hogan, a junior instrumental music education major from Bartlesville, Okla.; Ben Lange-Smith, a sophomore psychology major from Harare, Zimbabwe; Justin Massey, a sophomore instrumental music education major from Weatherford, Texas; Van O’Rorke, a freshman instrumental music education major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Stephanie Westberg, a freshman early childhood education major from Arkadelphia, Ark.; and Weston Willis, a freshman instrumental music education major from Norphlet, Ark.
For more information on Tiger Steel contact Dr. Ryan Lewis at email@example.com or (870) 245-5421.
By Chelsea Whelpley