The Steelband provides instruction in steel pan music by master pannist Roger Greenidge. The music repertoire consists of Caribbean and calypso, rhythm and blues, jazz, hip hop, and gospel. The Steelband performs at a variety of events and venues throughout metropolitan Washington, DC.
The Steelband program provides music theory education teaching students to read and write music.
To complement music instruction, life skills sessions include academic reinforcement, health education, substance abuse prevention, etiquette, and social skills, and topics of interest and relevance to participants.
Infused in all activities is the history and culture of the African-diaspora, locally and globally. This is translated in additional arts activities, field trips, and workshop sessions.
With the vision of Dr. Gladys Whitworth Bray, the East of the River Steelband was founded in 1993 to bring this unique, cultural, and musical experience to youth living east of the Anacostia River. Over the years, the program has provided music training and arts and cultural education to hundreds of children and youth through its core steel pan and youth development programs.
The Steelband program also teaches student how to read and write music through its music theory classes. The Steelband family combats negative influences by reinforcing life skills, exposing youth to new experiences, fostering greater awareness of their history and cultural heritage, and sharpening their social and interpersonal skills.
The Steelband’s operational base is the Episcopal Church of the Atonement, 5073 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC. Practices are held Monday and Wednesday evenings 5:30 – 8:00 pm. Music Theory classes are held Saturday mornings. Join the Steelband, open enrollment.