Phase One Steel Orchestra
2019 Tune of choice: “Savannah Grass” | arranger: Stephon Phillip
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Based in Coventry, the band has performed at numerous prestigious events, such as Notting Hill Carnival and Caribbean Carnival Extravaganzas in Morecambe, Newcastle and Arundel. As well as taking part in all of the UK carnivals, the band performed before HM the Queen in 1985 and has also performed at such fine venues as Symphony Hall, Fairfield Hall and The Wembley Conference Centre.
Phase One is no stranger to television; they have made a number of TV appearances on shows such as:- Stop, look & listen, Emu’s world, Play for Today, Pebble Mill at One, The Holiday Programme, Songs of Praise (Performing for bishop Desmond Tutu). Children in Need, Style Challenge and Going Live.
The band has also toured, visiting Germany on two occasions, Hong Kong, Trinidad and Tobago, and more recently Spain-Barcelona (2007), France-Paris (2009), Italy- Lake Garda (2011) and Belgium (2014).
Phase One Steel Orchestra is available for public events and private functions – feel free to contact us.
Phase One was founded by Victor Phillip in 1977. The band was originally started as Broad Heath School Steel Band, but so many children from around the area wanted to join, that in the end there were so many non-Heath School members, so the band had to change its name. And so Phase One was born.
The band enjoyed many successes, with a tour to Hamburg, Germany and many gigs up and down the country. After a few years the band was invited to Keele in Germany, which is twinned with Coventry. The band went to Hong Kong in 1984 representing Coventry and introducing the Cantonese people to steel pans, which for many, was the first time they had ever seen such an instrument.
Phase One were invited to take part in the very first episode of Emu’s World, a very popular children’s programme on the 80s. Another popular children’s programme the band appeared on, was Going Live. Phase One had also taken part in several Children in Need broadcasts.
In the late 80s a very popular band of the time was a group called A-Ha. Phase One was booked to greet them on the platform of Birmingham International train station, playing some of their most popular hits. A-Ha were so impressed, they immediately asked Phase One to perform that very night to play at their concert at the NEC in front of thousands of screaming fans.
Phase One has played at many festivals and competitions in their 30 year history, this year. In the beginning steel pan festivals were held in the Commonwealth Institute and then at Warwick University Arts Centre were steel bands from all over the country used to meet and share music.
Phase One decided to enter Panorama competition in London in 1987 for the first time. It was a great achievement for Phase One to even participate, and to everyone’s great surprise Phase One won the competition outright.
In 2007 Phase One teamed up with members of Steel Pan Academy and went on tour to Barcelona. The tour was a big success with every gig played seeing many local people coming out to listen to the bands play. As well as this being a musical tour, with great locations for the gigs, it was also enjoyed as a holiday for the steel panists who had worked so hard to raise the money to go in the first place.
The band has now moved into a more educational direction. Many of the band members are full-time Pan teachers in schools in Coventry, Birmingham, Warwickshire, Leamington, Rugby and Nuneaton.
Phase One is a working band – consistently in demand, especially at peak times of the year (May – September). Phase One’s future plans is to record a new CD and to attend an international music festival. Phase One will be moving premises and consolidating all their activities under one roof. This will include their Training school, workshop and band practice room.