New York -
The main attraction glistened under the spotlights directed
at the stage. The theater doors swung open – then, the undeniable
and familiar sound of the energetic voices
of children’s chatter, and the patter of hundreds of little
feet marching in droves, came through. Bright–eyed and
bushy–tailed, they poured into the
for the Performing Arts at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus,
from various schools within New York City’s (NYC’s) public school system.
Their awed ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aahs’ could be heard as they were ushered to
their seats with eyes affixed on the day’s main attraction –
the steelpan music instrument family.
students were brought to the theater
as part of the
Community Works NYC
initiative to bring
together diverse people, and offering a rich continuum of
arts and educational experiences that includes:
Hands–on workshops in theater, dance, music, creative
writing and visual arts.
Public art exhibits that tell the vibrant stories of our
local communities through photographs and text written by
Performances of music, dance and theater events at
multiple sites around the City.
The students were in for a very special
treat as a small contingent from CASYM Steel Orchestra
entertained and educated the young students on the culture,
history and mechanics of the steelpan family of
instruments. CASYM, coincidentally, is celebrating its
25th anniversary. For over two decades this
organization has maintained a stellar history of youth
development and tutoring about the steelpan music
instrument. In addition to its educational
endeavors, CASYM is recognized as one of the top performing
steel orchestras in the USA.
The presentation by CASYM included a
short history about the instrument followed by
performances by the musicians, and an explanation of the
different types of instruments in the steelpan family. The CASYM crew were extremely professional and engaging.
They clearly captured the attention and imagination of the
young people present whose exuberance,
fascination and participation in the demonstration were fabulous.
The high point of the show came when student members
from the audience were invited on stage to learn a quick
song and perform together. The teachers also received
an ovation from their students when they also took the stage
under CASYM’s guidance to try match the students’
As the previously–full theater then emptied with
buzzing and happy students who all looked forward at some
point to being able to learn to properly play the steelpan instrument, CASYM’s members took a quick break, as they were
about to repeat the whole presentation in it’s entirety –
for another capacity crowd of young people, this time at 12:00
Holding the event at the Kumble
Theater added another level to its authenticity – as many
of these students have never before seen the inside of a
theater house of this caliber. The Kumble Theater for
the Performing Arts at Long Island University’s Brooklyn
Campus is a dynamic, state–of–the–art performance venue
serving one of the most diverse campuses and communities in
the country. It is designed to nourish artistic
exploration and development by students and other emerging
artists, while providing the entire community greater access
to an exciting range of Broadway–quality, classical and
cutting–edge professional performances.
On this day CASYM, Community Works
NYC and the Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts more than
achieved Long Island University’s dedication to awaken,
enlighten and expand the minds of its students and the
community at large.
Click for more articles on CASYM
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