If I can get away with declaring Saturday to be Italy Day, then I can get away with declaring this entire week as Steel Drum Band Week.
As odd as it may sound, our high school music program has a steel drum band, and it's good. It's not like a bunch of white middle-America kids pretending to be from Trinidad/Tobago. I suppose it isn't so odd when you consider Akron University has a well-developed steel band program that produces music teachers with thorough knowledge of the music and the instruments, but still--Ohio in winter and the tropics don't seem to mix at first glance.
Every year about this time, our steel band students are graced with a clinic led by Pan Ramajay, a professional steel band based in California. Three of their lead performers spend four days here and work with the kids, teaching them a few new songs. And on the last day, they all give a concert called Pantasia that is so unlike any high school music concert I have ever attended. It's a big giant party, and you leave feeling as though you have seen a professional group performing for you.
Well, this event begins this Thursday afternoon with the concert being held on Sunday evening. I have had a child in this group for at least four years, so I get to be a part of the whole experience through them. I have always been the kind of band parent who keeps her distance because band is about the kids, not about my reliving my adolescence through them. On this occasion, though, I indulge just a little.
It has been a tradition for the last three or four years that I host a small dinner party as Pan Ramajay and my music teacher friends as guests, so this Friday evening I will prepare a feast. I'll post the menu later in the week, and let you choose which recipe you would like to have. It's always fun, and my kids bring home a few friends who are practically giddy about getting to have dinner with these guys.
So, it's officially Steel Drum Band Week--break out a little calypso and give yourself a treat in this crappy February weather. Eye-eee.