Caribbean, jazz and classical mix for April 14 concert by UA Steel Drum Band


Caribbean, jazz and classical music will mix when The University of Akron Steel Drum Band performs Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m., at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, 198 Hill St., on the UA campus. A big-screen "pan cam" — a popular feature of the band's annual spring concerts — will put the audience in the middle of the vibrant sights and sounds.

Tickets are available in advance and at the door. Regular-price tickets are $18 for reserved seating. Discount tickets are $16 for seniors, children 12 and under, and UA faculty, staff and retirees and $9 for UA students with Zip Cards. For tickets and event information, call the Thomas Hall Ticket Office at 330-972-7570. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster at all Ticketmaster Centers,, or 1-800-745-3000. Discount tickets are available only through the Thomas Hall Ticket Office. For more information, visit

This year’s guest artist is Victor Provost of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Provost is one of a handful of pan players in the world to incorporate a Bebop foundation into his playing. He has performed at the DC Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center), the Umbria Jazz Festival, Pure Jazz Den Haag, and at other major venues throughout North America, the Caribbean and Europe.

Band grows in stature over three decades

The University of Akron Steel Drum Band is celebrating its 32nd year. The band was one of the first collegiate steel bands in the United States when it was created in 1980 by Professor Larry Snider of the UA School of Music. Since then the band has grown in size to feature more than two dozen student musicians and has become a favorite at Akron's First Night and throughout the region.

"Hammer on Steel," the UA Steel Drum Band's 2011 documentary DVD and concert CD, is racking up awards. Within the past few weeks, it has won two AVA awards for Best Documentary and Best Concert Film from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals and two Telly awards for Best Documentary and Best Concert Film.

Available for purchase at the April 14 concert, the "Hammer on Steel" DVD documents and celebrates the history and heart of steel drum music and its journey from tropical Trinidad to northeast Ohio. The CD showcases the UA Steel Drum Band's 30th anniversary concert at E.J. Thomas Hall in 2010. Both are available through

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. This year's student musicians include:

Daryl Belcher, undergraduate student from Las Vegas, Nev.
Clay Chabola, undergraduate student from Ashtabula
Jim Curtis, undergraduate student from Wadsworth
Matt Edick, undergraduate student from Akron
Doug Feig, graduate student from SUNY Fredonia
Andy Flanagan, undergraduate student from Cuyahoga Falls
Joseph Fox, undergraduate student from Cleveland Heights
Alex Fragiskatos, graduate student from the University of Cincinnati
Matthew Hunsaker, graduate student from Baldwin Wallace College
Blaine Klein, undergraduate student from Canton
Joe Leaman, undergraduate student from Lima
Tyler Mashek, undergraduate student from Tallmadge
Sam McKenzie, graduate student from the University of Montana
Jonathan Monacelli, undergraduate student from Mentor
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
Elliot Wallace, undergraduate student from Canton
Cameron Weichman, undergraduate student from Ravenna
David Wolf, undergraduate student from Louisville

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