On December 18th and 19th Pandemonium along with Panerrifix (Belmopan Steel Band) presented ‘Carol of the Pans’. It was panerrific as it was pure pandemonium.
Pandemonium, the newcomers to the steel pan scene is a group of vivacious set of youngsters. In 2013, NICH, along with partner organizations, RESTORE Belize, and UNICEF, embarked on a project to use Steel Pan as a tool for social outreach. The goal was to offer free classes to young people from neighborhoods that have been deemed to be “at risk.” The rationale was to give our young people a viable creative outlet as an alternative to some of the more negative options that are ever-present on the streets. Hence, the project’s tag line: “Beat a pan, not a man”.
This initiative is the product of a generous donation from UNICEF and the social guidance of RESTORE BELIZE, the initiative was spearheaded by the Institute of Creative Arts’ Music Department, a newly formed department whose tasked is to increase the quantity and the level of proficiency of Belizean youth playing music in order to build a National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize. This is to include orchestral instruments, voice, as well as cultural instruments such as the marimba, the Garifuna drums, and of course, the Steel Pan.
The band consists of students who have shown a high degree of skill, discipline and dedication along with a few long-time pannists, who serve as section leaders, teachers, and mentors.
The project’s point person and Musical Director, Alexander Evans states that this band embodies the idea that pan music should be fun and electrifying for players and audience members alike, and when they take the stage, what transpires can only be descried as a sort of controlled chaos; a harmonious cacophony, or to put it simply: pure Pandemonium.
Besides the Christmas Concert, Pandemonium did outstanding performance for the September Celebrations. They performed at the annual Pan Yaad Concert at the House Culture on September 5th along with Panerrifix and the seasoned Pantempters Steel Orchestra.
Additionally, their merriment continued on Carnival Day as the two bands’ (our Pandemonium & Belmopan’s Panerrifix) banner highlighted their presence of being the ‘Happiest Band Alive’