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 Women of University of
Alaska Fairbanks

The Steel Drum Ensemble Speaks

There has been a steel drum program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 1997.   Currently 3 steel drum classes are offered serving both traditional students and community members.  The UAF Steel Drum Ensemble performs calypso, Latin, and jazz arrangements for Caribbean steel drums. The Steel Drum Ensemble is a very active performing group, generally giving ten to 15 performances a year.  Likewise, the group plays for community events throughout the Alaskan interior.    UAF Steel Drum Band – Northernmost steel drum band in the world.

Lisa Indigo
Director


I retired from the University of Alaska in 2001 and decided to start steel drum classes in the fall of 2003.  I had been aware of the band for several years prior to that, but just couldn’t find time to look into it.  In the Summer of 2002 I was at a park downtown with my grandchildren when we stumbled upon a “Concert in the Park” put on by the band.  I loved the music and the band seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely.  By the summer of 2003, having run across the band again, playing downtown, I was even more excited than the year before…..and when they played “Watermelon Man”, one of my favorites, I was hooked.  I told the elderly ladies standing next to me, “You’re going to see me there next year”….and sure enough, I was playing there the following summer.  Our winters are long and dark and practicing for class and a few gigs brings a little sunshine to the cold and darkness of our long winters.  Summer is VERY exciting, as the sun never sets and we can play in the sunshine all summer, day or night.  The summer finds us playing most of our gigs outdoors which our community enjoys as much as we do.

  As a retired single woman in Fairbanks, Alaska, the UAF Steel Drum Band has become a large part of my social life.  There is much camaraderie within the group and I have made many new friends and have especially enjoyed making music with all of them.

Sue Royston

More On the UAF Steel Drum Band


© and Courtesy University of Alaska Fairbanks Steel Drum Band

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03.10.05

March 10, 2005 

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