About the band
The band was established as a community organisation in June 2003 with the support of Harlow Council and free weekly classes for adults and young people began in January 2004 at a local school. The band was set up with the help of the Ebony Steelband, who played a gig at the Harlow Playhouse in the summer of 2003, which got the ball rolling. Ebony still supports the band by providing our tutor, Samuel Dubois.
Within a short space of time the band was transformed from a drop-in activity for adults and young people to a practicing band for 11-21 year olds that are committed to rehearsals and performances. At present, we have a strong membership of around nineteen young people, many of whom have been coming to rehearsals since the band was established. After various moves, we now happily based at the Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bush Fair in Harlow, Essex.
Samuel has been the bandís tutor for over five years and he has been instrumental in the bandís development. He joins us for rehearsals on Monday evenings and plays with the band at events, predominately in the local area, throughout the year. Performances include an annual concert at Harlowís Black History Showcase and the Christmas Light Switch on and numerous other Harlow community events as well as competing in national steelband competitions organised by the British Association of Steelbands.
The founding objectives of the band were that all its activities should be completely free to all young people and that the band should welcome a diverse mix of young people. These principles still apply and form the basis of the bandís development. The band is promoted to young people through continued activities in the local community and we have a steady stream of new members coming along to our sessions.
The band has been filmed for BBC Look East in December 2006 performing Winter Wonderland, and also for BBC news in summer 2007. We have also auditioned for Britain's Got Talent twice.
The aspiration for the future is simple: to get bigger and better! We are hoping to get involved in more national events so look out for us over the next few years!