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Steel drums bring spring

There’s something about a steel drum band that banishes bad moods and conjures up warm weather and mild breezes.
Steely Pan Steel Band, a steel drum band from Appalachian State University, is certainly not the exception to that rule.
“When it was raining the other day and so cold, I played their music and listened to the sounds,” said Mary Whisonant, chairwoman of the Lincoln County Concert Association’s publicity committee.
The music worked like a charm on Whisonant’s mood. She believes the same results can be attained at the band’s performance at the James W. Warren Citizens Center, which will take place on April 8.
“It’s just a wonderful way to celebrate spring, and it will be really appealing,” she said.
The band is made up of 19 performers who play 38 steel drums. On these drums they play a variety of music. Of course, there is traditional island music reminiscent of palm trees and the beaches of Jamaica. The band, however, also breaks out into rock and roll, classical and Appalachian Mountain Music.
During the show, performers also take a break from their steel drums to bring out traditional African and Middle Eastern hand instruments.
The performance also includes lessons from the band’s director, Scott Meister.
Meister is a professor at ASU and a builder and tuner of steel drums. While he talks about the instruments, the ensemble provides demonstrations.
The band, which is 16 years old, has traveled throughout the south performing at colleges, conventions and festivals.
“They’ve performed everywhere,” said Whisonant.
Everywhere includes a trip to Trinidad and Tobago in January.
The group will visit Lincolnton on Friday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the James W. Warren Citizens Center. Adult tickets are $15 and student tickets are $5. For more information call 704-736-8168 or 704-732-9055by Sarah Grano

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