The Kennedy Center

The Queen’s Royal College Steelpan Ensemble Program



Biography

The Queen’s Royal College Steelpan Ensemble Program is the brainchild of Mr. Reynold Howard.  In November 2010, he thought it was time for QRC to utilize the steelpans donated to the school by the Pan in Schools Program in 2008. 

With a donation of $5,000US from the QRC Washington DC Chapter, the program started in the gymnasium with 13 students instructed by Michele Huggins-Watts, a music teacher at Trinity College and arranger for Valley Harps Steelband.  One year later, with the support of Principal Mr. Lennard Hinkson, the Ensemble was relocated to its permanent “Pan Room”, a remodeled, air conditioned portable classroom next to the Science Block.

The Program was initiated not simply to teach the students music theory and performance, but more importantly, to prepare them for life – to enhance their academic performance and assist them to become better human beings wherever life may take them.  The program is an investment in the students because we care about them. The current Management of the Ensemble consists of Mr. Reynold Howard, Mrs. Ferial Khan, Mr. Koreece Graham (instructor), Mr. Nyree Joseph (Captain) and Mr. Ian Jones.

The Ensemble is a mix of experienced players who perform with community steelbands and students who are having their first introduction to Steelpan.  The repertoire includes calypso, jazz, pop, classics, Latin and contemporary music.  It has performed at QRC Achievement Days (Queen’s Hall), Jazz in the Courtyard, Pan On the Drag, The Launch of Dr. Eric Williams Institute, QRC Chef Royale, 2013 Steelpan Jazz Challenge, and Parang and Steel.
For Carnival 2014, QRC Steelpan Ensemble joined forces with Providence Girls’ High School to participate in the Secondary Schools Junior Panorama Competition for the first time.  Playing a Koreece Graham arrangement of Merchant’s “Pan In Danger”, they were crowned Champions and got opportunities to perform at Champs in Concert at the Queen’s Park Savannah, and to play the national anthem at NAPA for the unveiling of the Pan Trinbago logo for its 2015 International Conference and Panorama.

Watch Past Performances

Video 8/3/2017: Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra and Queen’s Royal College Steelpan Ensemble

The sounds of the steelpan come from the award-winning Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra, directed by Josanne Francis, as well as the Queen’s Royal College Steelpan Ensemble of Trinidad and Tobago, directed by Maureen Clement. Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra is part of the Cultural Academy for Excellence (CAFE), a non-profit art in education program based in Mount Rainier, Maryland.

 The Queen’s Royal College Steelpan Ensemble Program