Pan Ramajay Festival

I spent the past week at the Pan Ramajay Steel Drum Festival, and the last couple days recovering!  If you've never attended a festival like this, you should really consider it.  You get to spend 5 days rehearsing with some of the world's best pan players and teachers.  This year, the faculty included the Pan Ramajay members Tom Miller, Alan Lightner, and Jim Munzenrider.  Also teaching and performing throughout the week were Ray Holman, Don Prorak, as well as myself.  

The daily schedule was certainly exhausting.  The day started at 9:00 with "Musical Calisthenics" for about a half hour.  This was followed by two, 70-minute rehearsals, each with a different teacher.  After lunch, there was an open session that was different every day, followed by two more rehearsals.  Each evening held a concert of some kind, usually featuring the faculty.  The whole event concluded with a mass concert on Friday night which featured all of the festival participants – almost 60 pan players combined on the last song!!!

Experience necessary?  No way!  This year, I spent most of my time working with the beginners.  Several people in our group had very limited musical backgrounds, or none at all.  There is also an intermediate and advanced band.  The intermediate group can be challenging, but the advanced group is only for those who really want to be pushed to their musical limits. 

The dates for next year's festival should be published soon.  If you would like more information, please visit www.RamajayPanFest.com , or check my website for more updates as things get set for 2012!  

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