• Welcome

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    Thank you for visiting the Northern Illinois University Steelband fan page.  This is a simple way for you to keep up to date with what’s going on with the band.

    If you have any questions about anything on this site, or have comments about anything you would like to see on the site please e-mail us here.

  • Gearing up for April!

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    Well, it’s almost April again and that means steelband concert time! Last year, alumnus Matt Potts of The Steelpan Store and Potts & Pans started the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival. It was a huge success, and it’s back even bigger and better than it was last year! GLSF14 is coming back to Crystal Lake, IL on April 12, 2014.

    This year there are 6 bands coming from around Illinois, Michigan and Mississippi to take part in the full day! GLSF14 will also have special guest artists Gary Gibson, Freddy Harris III, Kurry Seymour, and Potts & Pans Steelband. The day starts at 9 am with band clinics that are free and open to the public, there are workshops in the afternoon, and the day concludes with a concert starting at 8 pm featuring a 80+ piece steelband! Tickets for the concert are available here.

    But wait there’s more! The next day is NIU’s spring concert.

    So, get a full weekend of pan with tons of music and education at GLSF14 on Saturday and a concert from NIU on Sunday.

    For more information check out:







  • The NIU Steelband Concert is Coming Up!

    The annual spring steelband concert is coming up on April 7th. The special guest this time is Robert Greenidge.

    Also, check out the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival the following Saturday, April 13th. The featured guest artists are NIU alumnus’ band, Potts & Pans Steelband, Clyde “Lightning” George, Gary Gibson, and even Ellie Mannette! For those that may not know, Ellie Mannette invented many of the steelpan instruments and has been one of the main innovators that brought the steelpan to where it is today. Although the NIU Steelband will not be present, NIU is supporting the event and will have flyers and brochures available for attendees. For more information, check out http://steelpanfestival.com.

  • Update on Great Lakes Steelpan Festival

    The Great Lakes Steelpan Festival is coming together nicely. Some of the confirmed guest artists include NIU alumnus Matt Potts’ band - Potts & Pans Steelband, Clyde “Lightning” George, Gary Gibson, and even the father of pan himself – Ellie Mannette! With educators of this caliber, this is sure to be an absolutely incredible festival!

    This festival is aimed at being an educational event for school and community bands that typically do not get a chance to hear feedback from such esteemed individuals in the steelpan world. Due to this, the NIU Steelband will not be taking part in the festival. This is a great opportunity for school and community bands to get a chance to hear from some very respected people in the pan community and also learn some history about the instrument.

    The festival will feature one on one clinics with each registered band, workshops put on by the guest artists about various steelpan topics, and a featured concert at night.

    This festival rivals any other education based steelpan festival in the world, and it is happening right here in the Chicagoland area! You will not want to let this opportunity pass you by, check out steelpanfestival.com for more information and like them on facebook.

  • Freddy Harris III was Great!

    Tonight’s concert with Freddy Harris III was great! Freddy brought such an incredible energy to the performance, it was amazing! Seeing the passion that Freddy plays with along with his incredible dexterity on the steelpan was quite a treat. His combo, comprise of Robert Chappell, Rodrigo Villanueva, and Adam Bockman complimented FH3′s playing beautifully. I really cannot say enough about what a treat it was to have seen Freddy Harris III playing in DeKalb tonight. Great, great job!!

  • Concert Coming Up

    The next concert is November 18th at 3 pm. Freddy Harris III will be there, so you know it’ll be good!

  • New Steelpan Festival in Chicagoland Area!

    NIU alumnus Matt Potts has teamed up with Denette Lynch to create the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival. This is an education focused festival that will be April 13th and 14th in 2013. 2013 will be the first year for this annual event. Publicity has just started about a week ago, and it has already seen great responses and interest from the bands in the area.

    Unlike other festivals, this one will not have any competition part to it and will solely focus on education. Guest clinicians and guest artists will be brought in to work with bands and also to perform. There will also be various clinics throughout the weekend to talk about different aspects of pan including arranging, tuning, history, and more! The final segment of the festival will include a mass band segment along with a concert by the featured artist.

    For more information check out steelpanfestival.com or facebook.com/steelpanfestival

  • NIU Alumnus’ Band is Gaining Attention

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    Potts & Pans

    Upon graduation from NIU, Matt Potts decided to start up his own steelband in order to continue playing, provide a place for other NIU alums to continuing playing, and educate his community on the instrument. Just last week, Potts & Pans Steelband returned from being featured artists at the Montreal International Steelpan Festival.

    This was the first international experience for Potts & Pans, and they were very well received. Many audience members, including Darren Sheppard, Hameed Shaqq, Salah Wilson, and Jimi Philip gave a multitude of compliments to the band.

    Upon returning home, Matt has figured out what their niche is and is working on further exploring that. For more information about the band, check out their website at pottsandpans.org. You can also find them on facebook, twitter, google+, yelp, youtube, and pinterest. You can also contact Matt directly at matt@pottsandpans.org.

  • Alumnus’ Band Performing in Chicago Today!

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    Make Music Chicago, Chicago’s portion of an international all day music celebration, is going on throughout the city all day today. Potts & Pans, a steelband started by NIU steelband alumnus Matt Potts, will be performing at 1:00 PM at Nichols Park in Hyde Park and again at 5:30 PM at the International House.

    Their performance at 5:30 will be broadcasted over WFMT 98.7 Chicago’s classical radio station! It will also be streamed online at http://www.wfmt.com so you can listen to us even if you can’t make it to see them.

  • Special Guests!

    The NIU will be playing with two special guests this year!

    Leon “Foster” Thomas will be performing with the band at their concert on November 20th


    Steelpan Store Artist Jonathan Scales Fourchestra will be performing at their concert on April 22nd

    Looks like this is going to another great year!!

  • New School Year!

    Well, it’s the start of a new year at Northern Illinois University and the band is starting to get everything ready. With their first rehearsal behind them, the work has just begun. We would like to take a moment to welcome back all the returning students and also the new grad student, Barry Mannette. As always, the world awaits what the NIU Steelband can deliver this year. Good luck everybody!

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