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Pan in Schools

Teaching  Pan in Sydney Schools 2002 - 2016

In 2000 we founded the NSW Schools Steel Band Association - it's aims being to set up steel bands in NSW schools, to introduce  children to the joys of making their own music playing steel pans and to educate them about the culture of Trinidad and Tobago as being the inventors of the steel pan.

100 YEARS - Tiny Mighties

Showcasing the 5 - 8 year olds


BBangor School Band

The first band was set up at Bangor Primary School with 8 children, and over the following years another 11 schools also joined the project. The average number of children in each band was 35 with several teachers also joining. The steel bands became increasing popular, with Bangor School Band eventually having a membership of 66. The children ranged in age from 5 to 12 years old, many staying in the steel band for up to 6 years, moving through the different sections of band (bass, double second, double guitar, tenor) as they became more skilful.

We purchased and collected as many steel pans as possible, many crafted by an  Australian  - Stan Brown. These pans were affordable and suitable for little children. We also imported 16 quality tenors from Gill in Trinidad. The steel pans were tuned by Charles Moller and Gordon Ramsay who also made better quality instruments used by the schools.

Childrens Panoramas

The first Children's Panorama was held in 2003 and became an annual event held in various school halls. Each band performed a competition song and a panel of 3 Trinidadian judges awarded the Panorama trophy to the winning school. Many other trophies,  medals  and ribbons were awarded to individual children for "Most Improved", "Pannist of the Year", "The Tiny Might", etc. There were other awards for bands - "The Wasie" (most exciting), "The Tightest Band", "Best Backing Pans" etc. 

The event was funded by Wind on Steel cds, band fees, raffles and cds of the Panorama songs which Denis recorded prior to the event.

It was always a big day for the children and their proud families.

CUANDO CUANDO - Calypso Kids

Carlton South School Band


In addition to the Panoramas the school steel bands appeared at many high profile venues:

The Schools Spectacular.

         For many years the school steel bands were a popular musical presentation performing outside the entrance to the Sydney Entertainment Centre each year before the indoor entertainment.

              "One of the most memorable evenings was in Sydney when we chanced upon the school steel orchestra                 playing outside the Entertainment Centre. They were wonderful "  (Quote from passing tourist)




















The Official Opening of the School Year   

           2005  Gala Performance at Darling Harbour

           2007 Performance at the Sydney Town Hall

           2006 Performance at the Sydney Equestrian Centre - 77 children + 6 teachers (83 players) from 3 different schools playing together - the largest steel band to have ever performed in Australia and the Pacific region.

The Primary Principals Annual Conference at the Wentworth Hotel 2003

          "Wow! Please let your wonderful boys and girls know that we thought they were the highlight of the                          conference "(Principals from Gilgai and Gum Flat Public School)

            " It was fabulous to hear them (the steel band) as soon as I walked through the front doors of the                              Wentworth Hotel. It was obvious that everyone at the Conference enjoyed listening to them                                      perform ....  (Andrew Refshauge MP  Deputy Premier. Minister for Education and Training)

Schools Expo 2004 at Rosehill Gardens

 The Australian Youth Olympic Festival 2005 Opening Ceremony at Homebush

   In addition the bands performed at many music festivals, end of year performances, fairs and fetes.



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MONEY,MONEY,MONEY - Illawong Panjammers
BALI HAI - Fields of Pan

Interview with Duane Le Woo

JINGO - Panango

Pan Pirates

In addition to our school band teaching, we also presented the "Pan Pirates" a school performance featuring the history and culture of Trinidad and Tobago, and performing well known songs for the children on steel pans 

Local Community Events

In addition to school teaching, we also ran workshops during school holidays at many holiday centres and at festivals. We also gave a workshop at Silverwater Remand Centre and spent several terms teaching disabled children (some in wheelchairs) at Broderick Gillawarna Special School.

A steel band course was also introduced to a local community night school and continued for several years as the Southern All Stars Steel Band

!00 YEARS & DANCING QUEEN- Revesby Revellers
PERFIDIA - Woronora River


ABBA CD label final copy.jpg
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