New York, USA - Under the musical direction of educator and arranger Damany “BoB” James - Eruption Steel Orchestra presented “Deck the Halls,” a Christmas-themed showcase for the school’s student steel orchestras. They played to a packed audience who braved the very chilly weather and, furthermore, thoroughly enjoyed the performances.
Quality concert fare from the likes of Unison Steel and Victory Music & Dance Company took center stage in the first half of the program. Student performers showed off their talents to the delight of proud and supportive family, friends, cheering fellow students and members of the community who were in attendance.
The display of talent continued in the second half, with Meyer Levin’s 7th grade, 8th grade and advanced level steel orchestras, the Eruption Quintet and also the Eruption Steel Orchestra. A series of holiday favorites including such as Silent Night, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, This Christmas, along with much-loved traditional Caribbean songs were enjoyed by all. Sounds of the season through the steelband art form reverberated throughout.
Eruption Steel Orchestra
It is indeed fitting this musical showcase with a focus on the steelpan instrument was held here in this auditorium in The Meyer Levin School for the Performing Arts - where only a few years ago the then-mayor, gentrifiers, rogue developers and city backers of charter schools attempted to put in place what they called ‘co-location,’ a plan to shut down the Steelband music program (one of the best in the country) and take over the school - literally. Essentially, they were claiming, in a public hearing/meeting held in this very same auditorium, that the community was dying or dead - and did not need such facilities and programs as tabled by the Meyer Levin educational institution in this neighborhood. The community and educators resisted and fought back fiercely - and won.
Meyer Levin’s 7th Grade Steel Orchestra
Fast-forward a few years later, the performing arts school with its respective programs prevailed, with one of its key music courses, the steelband, still going strong. Displaying resilience and adaptability with obstructionists always lurking behind various doors, this December 17, 2022 showcase presented by Eruption Steel Orchestra, Inc. successfully demonstrated the importance of tradition, custom and culture as an intrinsic part of the educational curricula in respective communities.
Eruption Steel Orchestra
The children and families surrounded with the spirits of generations of New York pan men and pan women let the wider community and world know via the “Eruption” of steelpan music at the Meyer Levin Theater - the show will go on.
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