20.4.08

WE WILL PREVAIL. Today was a tease for the summer to come. The Northern Illinois steel band offered its spring concert. Before the concert, the CAFE Steel Band from Baltimore, regular guests at our event, offered an outdoor performance in the art campus courtyard. I regret not having brought my camera. There is a source of concert videos, and I did see a few digital cameras in action, but nothing uploaded to the most obvious source yet.

I enjoy the efforts of the pan faculty, and the Baltimore program, to demonstrate the versatility of the instrument. In addition to traditional and new calypsos, the university band offered the concluding movement of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony (take that, Josef Stalin!) while the Baltimore band adapted one of the swing-era numbers (it includes a quote from Yankee Doodle and some animated bass drum, help me with the title.) Although the G.I. generation that kicked back to such tunes is passing from the scene, the kids are determined to keep the music alive.

I also obtained enough information to work out that calypso composer Lord Kitchener adopted that stage name which honors a British commander whose work in South Africa met with the approval of Tribagonians.

There will be a fall concert on November 16 (that's a new offering for the steel band) and the 2009 spring concert is set for Sunday, April 26.

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