Yuko Asada - Steel Pan Educator
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.