Brent Holder, World Champion Soloist, formed the Caribbean Steel International steelband in 2004, after obtaining invaluable experience from working with some of the top steel bands in the UK, Trinidad and Japan with three members owing to the demand for small gigging bands.
After ensuring that their small steel band was well established on the gigging circuit, CSI founding members decided to start a community group which would involve their local communities in the steel pan art form.
The Caribbean Steel International Community Group was established in November 2007 in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London.
With their classes aimed at giving the public the opportunity of learning about, and how to play the steel pan instrument.
CSI felt classes would be especially beneficial to those who are disabled, socially excluded and an advantage for the youths in the borough as it would keep them off the streets and teach them a culture they may not already know about, also giving them the opportunity to enhance their teamwork skills and take pride in themselves and what they can achieve.
Community Group members are given the opportunity to perform their new repertoire of music at gigs and various steel-pan events held throughout the year including the BAS Trafalgar Square Steelband Jamboree and the Notting Hill Carnival celebrations.
There is also the great opportunity to enter steel pan competitions like the BAS Pan Explosion and National Panorama competitions. CSI also visits organisations, schools and institutions to conduct workshops for those groups who are unable to attend their weekly sessions. The ‘I’ in CSI identifies the fact that they have players from all over the World, hence the name ‘International’.
Panorama arrangements are available, musically scored by Crystal Holder and in midi format for those living abroad or too far away in the UK to attend regular practice sessions. This enables them to learn the 10 minute tune and join CSI a week or two before the National Panorama competition allowing more players from around the world to experience the UK Panorama with CSI.
In just over a year, CSI has established a Community Group, acquired a rehearsal space (pan yard) based at the Ravenscourt Theatre School in Hammersmith, London and run three weekly practice sessions for children and adults which are fully attended and for which there is a waiting list.
They have become a Registered Charity and also attracted over £37k lottery funding through winning a public vote. CSI has also been victorious at the 2008 British Association of Steelbands/Children and Parents Carnival Association’s Junior Panorama competition, capturing the coveted title in their first appearance at this competition.
In the current economic climate, we face numerous challenges and difficulties which will no doubt prevail in the coming year so should remember CSI achievements and know that, with determination, effort and team work anything is possible.
If you ever wanted to try the steel pan or have played this instrument in the past and would like to get back into it, now is a great time to start. Their classes run weekly, everyone is welcome from age 8-adult.
To contact CSI email them at
or contact Brent on
07932 400 166.
CSI is committed to providing equal opportunities to all regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion …read more…