The university’s latest performance ensemble, the UofL Steel Drum Band, will perform at 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 17, at Comstock Hall, 2301 S. Third St. Other student groups from the percussion department also will perform at the show which is free and open to the public. 

The current version of the Steel Drum Band features nine students led by music professor Greg Byrne. They will share the music of the Caribbean and Trinidad with the Louisville audience. 

Steel drums are just one of several new percussion styles now available at the School of Music. Students also have the opportunity to learn Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and West African genres. It’s all part of a movement from Byrne to broaden the musical horizons of UofL students.

“I want our students to come out of here not only knowing concert percussion, but world percussion,” Byrne said.

The percussion department began putting a focus on world percussion into the curriculum as early as 2010. The Steel Drum Band is the first public performance group to come out of that effort. 

As UofL students are learning international styles, they also are teaching those styles to the next generation of local musicians. Byrne and several of his students routinely visit the West End School to teach students Brazilian and West African music.

The UofL Steel Drum Band is available for public appearances. For more information or to book the band for an appearance, contact Greg Byrne at greg.byrne@louisville.edu or 502-852-4665.

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Erica Walsh
Erica Walsh is the senior marketing manager in the Office of Communications and Marketing where she manages the UofL Magazine and the President’s Report and contributes to the university’s branding and advertising efforts. Walsh joined UofL in 2014 after previously serving as the public relations specialist at Indiana University Southeast for seven years. Prior to her career in higher education communications, she was a reporter at The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown, Ky.