News: UA Steel Drum Band concert airs May 21 on Western Reserve PBS

UA Steel Drum Band concert airs May 21 on Western Reserve PBS


Caribbean and calypso music by The University of Akron Steel Drum Band airs on Western Reserve Public Media (formerly PBS 45 & 49) at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21.

"Hammer on Steel: Steel Band Paradise" features highlights from the Steel Drum Band's April 2013 concert at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, including guest artists Calypso singer Keet Styla, master pan player Ray Holman of Trinidad, and percussionist Tom Miller, a 1984 alumnus of the UA Steel Drum Band.

"Steel Band Paradise" was produced by students from Z-TV at the UA School of Communication under the guidance of Z-TV general manager and Wadsworth resident Phil Hoffman, an award-winning documentary producer.

One of the country's oldest and largest collegiate steel bands, the Steel Drum Band was created in 1980 by Professor Larry Snider of the UA School of Music.

Fan favorite

Committed to showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the steel drums, the band has become a well-known favorite throughout Northeast Ohio and beyond. Performing classical to jazz to Caribbean music, the band always draws full houses for its performances at Akron’s First Night and its annual spring concerts at Thomas Hall.

In 1987, the band was one of the first ensembles of its kind from the United States to travel to Trinidad to study performance, rehearsal techniques and style from the original masters of the instrument. Graduates of the UA Percussion Program now number more than 110 and are working as musicians and music educators around the globe. For more information, visit The University of Akron Steel Drum Band online.

Snider, a resident of Twin Lakes, continues to lead the band and the Percussion Studies Program in The University of Akron School of Music. Matt Dudack, a resident of Akron, is the band’s artistic director. The student musicians include:

  • Daryl Belcher, undergraduate student from Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Clay Chabola, undergraduate student from Ashtabula
  • Jim Curtis, undergraduate student from Wadsworth
  • Colin Dees, graduate students from the University of Southern Mississippi
  • Matt Diehl, undergraduate student from Orrville
  • Matt Edick, undergraduate student from Akron
  • Joseph Fox, undergraduate student from Cleveland Heights
  • Alex Fragiskatos, graduate student from the University of Cincinnati
  • Austin Ferguson, undergraduate student from Brilliant
  • Blaine Klein, undergraduate student from Canton
  • Neil Lantry, undergraduate student from Stow
  • Emily Larson, undergraduate student from Pickering
  • Tyler Mashek, undergraduate student from Tallmadge
  • Sam McKenzie, graduate student from the University of Montana
  • Josh Minhinnick, undergraduate student from Columbus
  • Jonathan Monacelli, undergraduate student from Mentor
  • Jordan Morrison, graduate student from Malone University
  • Stephen Neal, undergraduate student from North Canton
  • Laura Runion, undergraduate student from Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Thomas Russell, undergraduate student from Hartville
  • David Singhaus, undergraduate student from Dover
  • Louis Turndick III, undergraduate student from Akron
  • Shelby Waters, undergraduate student from Newark
  • Cameron Weichman, undergraduate student from Ravenna
  • David Wolf, undergraduate student from Louisville

Media contact: Cyndee Snider, 330-972-5196 or