Ouachita Baptist University will host the Tiger Steel Drum Ensemble in its spring concert May 4 in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall. The concert will be held at 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Founded in 2013, Tiger Steel includes both music and non-music majors.
“It is a high-energy ensemble, and we have a great time working and performing with one another,” said Dr. Ryan Lewis, assistant professor of music at OBU and director of Tiger Steel.
Tiger Steel members learn a variety of musical styles. Among styles that will be featured in the concert are Trinidadian calypso, Brazilian bossa nova, Latin jazz and American jazz. Members also are learning how to improvise and solo over repeated chord progressions, something Lewis describes as “a truly educational and freeing musical experience.”
Over spring break, the group performed at Epcot in Disney World. The May 4 concert at Ouachita will feature some songs from the group’s tour as well as several additional songs.
To begin, the group will play their signature opening number, Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line.” Other pieces will include: Alan Menken’s “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid; Dizzy Gillespie’s Latin jazz tune “Soul Sauce;” Bobby McFerrin’s a cappella hit from the 1980s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and Aldwyn “Lord Kitchener” Roberts’ Panorama classic “Pan in A Minor.”
Several pieces will also feature guest accompanists. For John Williams’ “Cantina Band” from Star Wars: Episode IV, the group will be accompanied by Megan Archer, a senior elementary education major and music minor from Osceola, Ark., on flute; Becky Bloodworth, a senior instrumental music education major from Carrolton, Texas, on clarinet; and Addison Crow, a junior English and secondary education double major from Malvern, Ark., on clarinet. Lauren Hutcheson, a junior musical theatre major from Bossier City, La., will provide vocal accompaniment on Harry Belafonte’s calypso standard “Island in the Sun.”
Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “The Girl from Ipanema” also is included in the line-up. Solo accompanists for the Brazilian bossa nova hit will include Dr. Craig Hamilton, Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music at OBU, on trumpet; Jason Potts, a junior instrumental performance major from Springdale, Ark., on trombone; C.J. Slatton, a sophomore instrumental music education major from Paragould, Ark., on saxophone; Chris Hogan, a 2015 OBU graduate, on tenor pan; and Brandon Lovelady, a senior instrumental performance major from Hot Springs, Ark., on the drum set.
“Steel drum music always makes people smile, and if all we do is bring some joy to even a few listeners, then we have done our job and brought a blessing to them,” said Lewis, adding that he is most looking forward to “the wide variety of music and performers” that will be featured during the concert.
For more information contact Dr. Ryan Lewis at email@example.com or (870) 245-5421.
By Anna Hurst