Holiday Inn Virginia Beach - Norfolk

 

Tom Miller (high pans), Yuko Asada (middle pans), and Cliff Alexis (low Pans) will present sectional workshops concurrently, followed by an interactive clinic and mass steel band performance. These workshops are open to any band participating in the festival, as well as anyone with their own instruments and desire to learn!

Friday, May 11: 10:00AM-4:00PM

 

24th Street Pavilion - Virginia Beach Oceanfront

 

All ensembles will receive a trophy which will be presented at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening. A medal, if earned, representing the appropriate rating, will be draped around the trophy.

Saturday, May 12: 9:00AM - 6:00PM

 

Adjudicators 2018

Tom Miller
Steel Pan Composer, Arranger, Educator

Cliff Alexis
Director, NIU Steel Band Studies

Yuko Asada
Steel Pan Educator

Elizabeth DeLamater
Steel Pan Educator

Khuent Rose
Steel Pan Composer, Arranger, Educator 

 

Tom Miller - Steel Pan Composer, Arranger, educator

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Tom Miller’s vast experience as a performing percussionist, steel drummer, composer, arranger and educator has made him one of the most respected and sought after soloists and clinicians today. Tom has performed worldwide with his own popular group Pan Ramajay, as well as notable pan masters, Andy Narell, Ray Holman, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Othello Molineaux and the Our Boys Steel Orchestra. Tom was also a featured guest performer at Trinidad and Tobago’s annual “Pan and Jazz Festival”, in 2005 and 2010. Other credits include working with renowned bassist Michael Manring; woodwind virtuoso, Paul McCandless; Germany’s famed WDR Big Band; the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Orchestra; the Berkeley Symphony under the direction of Kent Nagano and as a member of the Windham Hill recording group, Montreux. He has added his unique style of percussive touch to numerous recordings covering a variety of musical styles with artists such as Grammy award winners, Allison Krause and the late John Denver, banjoist, Allison Brown and Venezuelan songstress, Maria Marquez. Tom’s playing has also been featured on film scores for the movies, Commando , Nina Takes a Lover , and The Mystic Masseur , as well as ads for Minute Maid, Sony, Brodia.com, the SIMs computer games and many others.

He is equally as comfortable in the studio as a producer having produced and mixed several critically acclaimed steel band recordings for his own group, Pan Ramajay, as well as master pannist, Ray Holman, The Chabot Panhandlers Steel Orchestra, the Miami University Steel Band and the Lamont Steel Drum Ensemble, “Roundabout Ways,” CD.
Tom is the founder of the chamber steel drum ensemble, Pan Nation , a steel drum octet performing original compositions composed by the group’s members and recently releasing their debut EP recording, “Altered Perception.” He is also a member of the newly formed trio, Pandoneon , the group’s members combining pan with bandoneon, violincello, and multiple woodwind instruments to perform an eclectic repertoire of world folk music styles.

Tom’s composing talents have earned him grants from the prestigious Meet the Composer Foundation on five occasions, fostering the creation, performance and education of audiences through his compositions featuring steel drums and percussion. This dedication to musical education has won Tom many invitations as an artist in residence at numerous universities and colleges throughout the U.S. He currently is the director of Steel Drum Ensembles at the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music as well as the founder and director of the Pan Ramajay Summer Steel Drum Festival, in Denver, CO, occurring annually in July. He has also served on the faculty of the JAZZ School in Berkeley, CA, the Mannette Steel Drum Workshop in Morgantown, WV, the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, the Lamont Summer Academy, and the University of Delaware Summer Steel Drum Workshop.

Tom is the founder and president of one of the foremost steel drum music publishing companies, Pan Ramajay Productions ( www.ramajay.com ). Pan Ramajay Productions





 

Cliff Alexis - Director, NIU STEEL Band Studies

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Cliff Alexis was born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 1937.  He began playing steelpan at age 14 in various steelbands in St. James/Woodbrook area.  From 1951 to 1964, Alexis performed in steelbands such as Trinidad Triopoli, Stereo-Phonics, Invaders and Hit Paraders, and arranged for Trinidad Tripoli, Stereo-Phonics and Joylanders.  In 1964, Alexis traveled to the United States as a member of the National Steelband of Trinidad and Tobago. He toured the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Europe and the United States with the ensemble including command performances for Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Princess Alice the Duke of Edinburgh; Prince Phillip, Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I; and the President Senghor of Senegal. 

After the tour, Alexis moved to the US in 1965.  In Brooklyn, NY, he arranged for BWIA Sunjets, arranged and performed with his own band called Cliff Alexis Trinidad Troubadours. He traveled throughout the US with his band until 1973.

Alexis was employed by St. Paul Public School District 625 in the state of Minnesota for 12 years, where he served his role as a steelband director and tuner.  On two occasions, Alexis received the prestigious Minneapolis/St. Paul "Outstanding Black Musician" award. 

In 1985, he joined the staff of the Northern Illinois University School of Music.  He, along with Al O’Connor, created steelpan studies program where students could major in steelpan as a primary instrument.  His responsibilities included maintaining and upgrading the school's large inventory of steel pans, arranging, composing and co-directing the NIU Steelband with Liam Teague.

Alexis was commissioned by the Percussive Arts Society to compose and arrange all of the music for the mass steelband concert organized for the 1987 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in St. Louis.  In 2000, Alexis composed “Pan 2000”- one of two pieces performed by the NIU Steelband at the World Steelband Music Festival in Trinidad. The ensemble achieved second place in the competition.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards from the Percussive Arts Society, Pan Trinbago, Trinidad and Tobago Folk Arts Institute, Northern Illinois University and others. In addition, he has been inducted into the Sunshine Hall of Fame with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.  In 2011, Alexis was featured in the film entitled “Hammer and Steel” produced by the University of Akron and Public Broadcasting System (PBS). 

Alexis is also in high demand as a speaker, clinician and tuner.  He has worked for various school systems and organizations throughout the world.  He lectured at the National Public Library in Trinidad, delivered the feature address at the launch of the Pan Development Fund at the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago’s residence, and was a featured guest speaker at the University of Akron Steelband’s 30th Anniversary Celebration and the Silver Stars Steel Orchestra 60th Anniversary. In 2010, Alexis was featured as a guest clinician and an adjudicator at the 8th Annual PANorama Caribbean Festival held in Virginia.  In April 2011, Alexis was featured as a clinician and performer at Humboldt State University Steelband’s 25th anniversary concert.  In May 2012, Alexis was selected to be the keynote speaker for the first International Steelpan Conference held in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  Also, in May 2012, Alexis was nominated by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for two categories, Special Event Coverage and Musical Composition/Arrangement. 

In November, 2013, Alexis was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.  And in March 2014, he was honored by Pan Trinbago at Panorama finals for his distinguished service to the steelpan movement. 

Yuko Asada - Steel Pan Educator

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­­Yuko Asada is a steelpan educator, performer, builder, tuner, arranger and transcriber.  Her passion for steelpan grew during her undergraduate years at West Virginia University (WVU) where she was first introduced to steelpan building and tuning by Ellie Mannette.  Before she graduated from WVU, she participated in her first panorama competition playing with the Invaders Steel Orchestra in Trinidad and Tobago in 2001.  Those experiences led her to further her studies at Northern Illinois University (NIU) where she received her Master’s degree and Performance Certificate in steelpan. Studying under Cliff Alexis and Liam Teague, she acquired skills to play multiple pans, build, tune, teach, arrange and transcribe.  Yuko currently directs the NIU Community School of the Arts Steelband in DeKalb, IL and Naperville District 203 Junior High School Steelband and High School Steelband in Naperville IL. She is the steelband director of the District 203 Riverwalk Percussion Camp in Naperville, Illinois and the assistant steelband director at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin.  She recently became the Director of Publications for the Illinois Chapter of Percussive Arts Society.  Yuko co-founded and arranges for Pastiche Steel Ensemble (PSE). PSE was selected as guest artists to perform at International Conference and Panorama in Trinidad and Tobago where the ensemble will be premiering the Virtual Steelband project which she serves on the committee.  This year will be her third consecutive year adjudicating at Virginia International PAN Fest in Virginia Beach, VA.  Yuko has been transcribing recordings from Trinidad and Tobago for Mark Loquan, a composer and founder of Music Literacy Trust, preserving the music for archival and educational purposes.  Her transcription works include 4 calypso lead sheets, 2 pieces from A Tribute to the Mighty Sparrow by Len “Boogsie” Sharpe and over 20 panorama arrangements by Cliff Alexis, Liam Teague, Ken “Professor” Philmore, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Michelle Huggins-Watts, Rudin and Milton Austin, Earl La Pierre and others. 

 

Elizabeth DeLamater

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Dr. Elizabeth DeLamater is a steel pan performer, pedagogue, clinician, and researcher based in the United States. She first studied the steelpan as an undergraduate at Northern Illinois University with Clifford Alexis and G. Allan O’Connor. Since that time Elizabeth has amassed over 20 years of experience as a steelband director, arranger, and educator for steelbands of all age and experience levels. Elizabeth currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she directs Titan Steel. She has also directed steelbands at Arizona State University, Florida State University, Waubonsee (IL) Community College, and Leon (FL) High School, who performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in 1998. Her mission to expand steelpan education led to the founding of steelband programs in Illinois District 204, the International Music Camp (International Peace Gardens, ND/Manitoba), and most recently the Titan Steelband Academy, a summer community program based at UW-Oshkosh.


As a performer, Elizabeth has shared the stage with Liam Teague, Boogsie Sharpe, Tom Miller, Clifford Alexis, Robert Greenidge, Mia Gormandy, Leon Foster Thomas, Mat Britain, and Ray Holman. She performed as an alumni member of the Northern Illinois University Steel Orchestra at the 2000 World Steelband Festival, and with Phase II Pan Groove in the 2005 Trinidad & Tobago Panorama competition. In addition to Virginia PANFest, her festival and conference appearances include the world premiere of Jenny Olivia Johnson's "COMA: I was in Pink” for double second pans and electronics at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference in 2015, as well as several PASIC mass steelbands. Elizabeth is also a percussionist, and has traveled to study the folkloric musics of Senegal, the Gambia, Ghana, and Japan, and directs the annual World Percussion Sessions at the International Music Camp.

Elizabeth earned her Master of Music Performance degree from The Florida State University, and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University, where she completed a dissertation on the role of “College Boy” steelbands in Trinidad and Tobago in the 1950s.
Additional publications can be found in the Instrumentalist, Percussive Notes, and Panpress. Elizabeth is a board member of the International Music Camp, a member the Percussive Arts Society Diversity Committee, and the US liaison for the Fundación Artes Educativas Coros Y Orquestas de Honduras (FARECOH). She is a proud endorser of Innovative Percussion, Remo and Zildjian.

Khuent Rose

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"Next to water, music is the most essential element of our existence.” This is the kind of Philosophy that has molded the works of Khuent Rose. Born January 16, 1985 and raised in the Afro/ Latin- Caribbean haze of Brooklyn, New York, he was able to reconcile his Honduran, Costa Rican, European and Amerindian ancestries into a seamlessly unique music style. Heavily influenced by the music of the Church, the Steel band, and the plurality of the Caribbean, his works represent the colorful people and history that his Brooklyn home emanates. 

At an early age, Khuent was remarked to have a strong disposition to the art of music. Often staying home and listening to recordings of Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Luis Guerra, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Tito Puente, Sparrow, Lord Relator, Lord Kitchener, Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Art Tatum, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and countless others that his father- a native Costa Rican- had at his disposal. Even at church with his Honduran mother he was known to make his way to the piano or organ whenever he could to faithfully reproduce something that had been sung or played earlier that day. This sparked enough of an interest that shortly after a modest keyboard was given to him around the age of 9 (that he still possesses) to practice with. 

Adamantly, refusing to attend lessons and determined to educate himself, Khuent did just that and soon became fluent at sight-reading elementary piano music and basic theory by the age of 10. It was also during this time that his love affair with the art of the steel pan was also fostered. After attending WIADCA pre-Labor Day Panorama Competition, he was completely imprisoned to the instrument and its powerful allure. He Joined the Casym Steel Orchestra where Dwight DaSilva was the band Captain and was an active member for over 10 years. While under the leadership of William Jones and Arrdin Herbert, Khuent Rose went from being a player to an instructor and even partook the cap of arranging with the band. During his residence with the organization he performed at easily over 1000 venues with crowds at times in excess of 20,000.

Such was the case of Khuent’s entries into the steel pan competitions of both New York and Trinidad. As a soloist he received mixed accolades ranging from the “peculiarity” of the performance to the “brilliance of the compositions” themselves. Though victory had never been his stated intention when partaking in these competitions, he did at least enjoy coaching others into improving themselves to perform better. Immediately after graduating Midwood High School with high accolades, Khuent traveled to Florida Memorial University (Steel pan performance/ jazz influenced) under the tutelage of one of the most dynamic forces in the steel band international community Dr. Dawn Batson-Borel. Of all his mentors she was by far the most iconoclastic. She fed him the sobering realities of his art and his personal shortcomings with a hand full of honey. He was also closely influence by several members of faculty namely, Melton Mustafa (Jazz), Dr. Richard Yaklich ,Feliz Spengler and students like Freddie Harris, Collins Peters, Joanna White, and Alea Nicholson. During his stay there he had advanced so rapidly that even the faculty had suggested that other venues would have probably been better suited for his studies; so said so done. He returned to his Brooklyn home after two years of attendance at FMU.

An illustrious sense of harmony and minimalist melodic structure became the corner stone of his composition style exiting the Florida school. He continued his studies at Brooklyn College (Music Composition), ironically across the street from the very high school that he had attended. He also begin performing with the CASPLASH entertainment as a keyboardist and arranger. While touring, the east coast Rose, honed his "lefty-bass" technique.

During this period of explorarion and shift of collegiate venues, his spiritual venues also shifted. His desire to reconnect with his traditional African spirituality and culture nagged him insistently. He made several attempts to manifest this growing desire through songs in honor of his ancestors and local historical figures of West African Indigenous traditions. In the birth of the music of the drum came forth drumming and Orişa tradition music had a profound impact on Khuent Rose’s already eclectic pool of sonorities. 

The years of separation from Casym Steel Orchestra made Khuent realize that it was time to become something more. Khuent appointed himself as a consultant to various arrangers and drill sergeant to bands gearing up for competition. During this period he under went the sacred ordination of an Osun priest in the Orisha Tradition, while simultaneously securing a position as a music director of Premier Baptist Church in Brooklyn. It was a widely controversial move on his part but he reconciled the fact that he was born of two different spiritual lineages that made not only him but also more importantly his music a product of centuries of distillations. Khuent Rose expresses in his music the germination of a spiritual act takes place, whether the setting is secular or not. So the same attention to the flow of energy and body language seen at a party should be expressed at church shout or a circle drumming. We are all united by the drum and our blood. 

Between 1995 and 2009, Khuent has done over 70 major works including Piano, Steel Pan, Strings, Flute and Voice were penned. These works represent the varied styles and cultural influences that have shaped Khuent’s over-arching musical philosophy. Under the Executive Direction of Martin Douglas-40 year pan veteran – Khuent was commissioned as the Musical Director of Crossfire Steel Orchestra in April of 2008 and is the youngest arranger that the band has ever had. 

Rose has been the Musical arranger steelbands and has operated the Musical director for over 6. His new position as music teacher at The Achievement First Brooklyn High School has offered him the opportunity to start one of New York city's only High school Steelband program geared toward Steelpanists in Brooklyn being College-ready. Amongst these accomplishments he has also cultivated the art of steelpan tuning while mentoring several members of the Caribbean music community, in NEW York and abroad. His services in intonation have graced the pans of Pan Sonatas, Pantastic, CASYM Steel, Utopia Pan Soul, Meyer Levin. In 2017 he worked for the first time as co-tuner with PESO steel Orchestra in the NY Panorama competition with Augustus Peters, under the musical direction of Panorama champion arranger Andre White. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the musical world and has a vision to see Caribbean culture herald the face of the African Diaspora. ­­