Don't know what a steel band is? Never played pan before? No problem! Most people come to Miami with no experience or exposure to the instruments, and so we have designed the Beginners Ensemble to introduce students to the world of steel band. The Beginners Ensemble is a course for academic credit (as with all music ensembles at MU), and meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30-7:30 P.M. in Presser Hall.
So, how do you join the band? At the beginning of each semester, an information session is held on Tuesday of the first week of classes, during the course's normal meeting time. Anyone interested in joining the program is welcome to attend this session, whether they have pre-registered for the course or not. At this time you'll get to meet some current members, check out the instruments, ask questions, and find out what it's like to be in a steel band.
The following night (Wednesday), those who want to be in the group meet to audition for the director and two senior members of the Steel Band. Put off by the idea of a formal audition? Don't be! It's a low-stress environment where we determine if you have the minimum requirement for entering the program—the ability to read music notation. Basically, if you are comfortable reading music, then you can be in the group.
After one semester of the Beginners Ensemble, students may elect to continue by playing in the Miami University Steel Band, one of the most exciting groups on campus. The Steel Band plays with nationally and internationally renowned guests artists, makes recordings, performs off-campus at various venues, and grooves hard! Don't miss out on this opportunity while you are Miami. Join the Beginners Ensemble and start your journey in pan!