Photo Courtesy of Alan Freed
It’s shaping up to be a busy – and exciting – year for the Ambridge Steel Band.
Now in its 30th year at Ambridge, the band is celebrating the milestone with a few unique opportunities to shine this year. First on the agenda was the band’s performance in the 38th Annual WPXI Holiday Parade. The steel band was invited to march in this prestigious local parade, which was held on Saturday, Nov. 24. The theme for this year’s parade was “Neighborhoods,” and celebrated the 50th anniversary of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.
“Much like the heartbeat of the once-booming steel town, the Ambridge Steel Drum Band has established a culture of excellence, hard work and pride for our students and the Ambridge community,” said Steel Band director Mr. Todd Hartman.
The band also will be performing at the revival of the B.E. Taylor Christmas Show at Heinz Hall on Dec. 17 and 18. Taylor’s family is reviving the concert series, and using it as a platform to feature some very talented musicians in the area. Learn more about the performance here.
The band also will be a featured ensemble performance at the 2019 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA)/National Association for Music Education (NAFME) Eastern Division Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh in April 2019. The appearance as a featured performer at the conference will be a first for any band at Ambridge. “This is an incredible opportunity for our students to be showcased in this way,” said Hartman.
Another thrilling opportunity is in the works for May 2019, when the band is hoping to host a collaborative performance with the River City Brass Band. World renowned steel percussionist Liam Teague is expected to participate in the event. Details still are being worked out for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, said Hartman.
“I think it’s safe to say this year is shaping up to be a big year for our Steel Band,” he said.