Chapel Hill starting steel drum band after instrument donation - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Chapel Hill starting steel drum band after instrument donation

(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)

Thousands of dollars in steel is expanding the sound of one East Texas high school band. Chapel Hill ISD received an entire steel drum band, worth $17,000.

The drums which have Caribbean origins will now be a centerpiece in the Chapel Hill High School band hall.

"You get to dance while you play,” said Senior Chase Miller.

Each instrument has its own range of pitches. Some are higher and others are lower.

"You can see how there are so many different surfaces in one instrument," said Tim McCormick, President Youth Steel Band Foundation.

The entire set of steel drums was donated to the Bulldog Band by the Youth Steel Band Foundation.

"Just exposing our students to something other than marching band and concert band,” said Band Director Joseph Hewitt.

Members of the band have already learned two songs after having the drums for just a few days.

"You know, concert band, you're concert band you stay still. Steel band you get to move around and have fun," Miller said.

Hewitt said the new instruments benefit the high school band and prep students for life after high school.

"We hope that one day we can grow this steel drum ensemble into something that's huge and incorporate many of our students into the ensemble,” Hewitt said.

"We want to get them ready for some ensembles that are offered in college also."

Instructors said while there is freedom in the steel drums, it a challenging instrument to learn.

"Once you get a hang of where they are, the music is limitless," Hewitt said.

Along with the donation of the drums, the Youth Street Band Foundation donated $3,000 to the Chapel Hill Band Boosters.

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