The Winnipeg Steel Orchestra has been a part of Winnipeg's cultural mosaic since 1972. The diversity of its members is reflected in its repertoire, which includes reggae, calypso, pop, classical, traditional Caribbean folk music and much more.
In 1994, the Winnipeg Steel Orchestra recorded a cassette, Mystery Band, for fans eager to bring the sound of "Sweet Pan" into their own homes.
Mystery Band - A panorama-style arrangement that serves to demonstrate the abilities of the arranger, musicians and tone of the instruments in a particular band. A panorama piece is a calypso composition that has a basic melody. The arranger takes the melody and interprets it for his particular band. The arrangement normally progresses through the various sections of the band beginning with the tenor or soprano 'pans' carrying the melody and moving through the alto, cello, and bass sections. Duane Sampson, a former Winnipeg Steel Orchestra arranger, arranged Mystery Band, a calypso by Lord Kitchener. This arrangement won the Edmonton Cari-West Panorama competition in 1993.
Down the Caroni River - An original piece written for pan (steelband) by Ray Holman (one of the pioneers of modern steelband music) at the 1991 Winnipeg music workshop. This piece evokes visions of a peaceful journey Down the Caroni River in Trinidad. In the third and fourth verses the tenor pans imitate the sounds of the scarlet ibis and other birds found nesting on the banks of the river.
Red, Red Wine - A reggae song popularized by Bob Marley as well as the group, UB40.
Surprise Symphony No. 94, 2nd Movement - The andante movement from this symphony was arranged to showcase each section of our orchestra while demonstrating the versatility of pan.
Niceness - One of the staples of our repertoire.
Dis Is Band-1, Dis Is Band-2 - Composed by Duane Sampson, former Winnipegger and Winnipeg Steel Orchestra Alumnus, this calypso was commissioned for the 2001/02 Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Bridges of Manitoba concert series. This arrangement approaches the complexity of a panorama piece and truly showcases the reason that pan has spread in popularity around the world.
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