Help Oberlin Steel Perform in Trinidad's Panorama!

by Oberlin Steel

Impact Area: Music

Campus Area: Student Life

Funding for this Project ended on 2014-11-06


Raised out of $5,000




Days Remaining

How will your project impact Oberlin?

This winter term, Oberlin Steel—Oberlin’s steel pan band—plans to travel to Trinidad, the country in which the steel pan originated. Our main objective in doing so is to perform in the 2015 International Panorama Competition. Panorama is the largest pan festival in the world, held annually each year in Trinidad as part of Carnival celebrations. The trip will cost $21,000 for 12 members to attend. We’ve already received $13,850.00 from alumni, friends, and family. Through your generosity, we hope to proudly represent Oberlin and showcase our music on the world stage.

Through immersing ourselves in the Panorama environment, we hope to grow as musicians and performers and to connect with the global community of pan musicians, tuners, directors, and arrangers.  We will learn what the pan represents historically and to contemporary Trinidad, and we will bring that knowledge back to Oberlin to share with our bi-annual Steel Drum ExCo class as well as the greater Oberlin community. Finally, our experience in Trinidad will help us to become better global citizens and reflect on how to work toward creating more culturally inclusive communities.

Since OSteel’s inception over thirty years ago, the band has been thinking critically about its relationship to Trinidad and participation in the globalization of pan. While a few members have managed to participate in Panorama after graduating, performing as an entire band has thus far been an unrealized dream. This trip would be the culmination of the musical and cultural trajectory of the band.

More about the trip:

Once in Trinidad, our nights will be spent rehearsing for the competition, and much of the daytime will be devoted to practicing on our own. We will use our time to explore the history and culture of Trinidad and of the steel pan, visiting local panyards and Gill’s Pan Shop, where many of our instruments were made. We will get hands-on experience in pan construction and tuning from our connections, Billy Sheeder and Emily Lemmerman. A weekend excursion is also planned to Trinidad’s sister island, Tobago, which has a greater number of medium-sized bands, which are similar in presentation to Trinidad’s larger bands but have more freedom to experiment musically. Seeing both islands’ panyards and steel bands will expose us to different sides of steel pan and Panorama culture. To follow their trip, visit:

Detailed Budget: 

Money Needed:
Airfare: 12 students x $700/round-trip ticket = $8,400.00
Lodging: 12 students x $300/person/month x 1 month = $3,600.00
Food: 12 students x $20/day x 29 days = $6,960.00
Travel Insurance: 12 students x $42/student = $504.00
Typhoid Vaccination: 12 students x $75/vaccine = $900.00
Emergency Fund: $500.00 (unexpected costs, such as a medical emergency)
Program & Master Classes with Pan Professionals: 12 students x $250/student = $3,000

Total: $23,864.00

Money Already Attained:
Conservatory Donation: $500.00
Winter Term Grant: $1,600.00
Julie Taymor Grant: $2,000.00
Alumni Donations: $750.00
Indiegogo Donations: $10,000
Other Donations: $2,000.00
Performance Fundraisers: $1,000.00

Total: 17,850.00

Deficit: $6,014.00

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    Michael Mazzullo

    Band Member, Band Librarian, ExC

    Michael Mazzullo is a fourth-year double degree student studying percussion performance in the conservatory and art history in the college. As a native of Ellicott City, Md., Michael is skeptical about the quality of Ohio’s seafood, but approaches the matter with an “ignorance is bliss” attitude. In his free time, Michael enjoys sleeping and complaining about what little free time he has.

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    Monica Hunter-Hart

    Project Director; OSteel Co-Dire

    Monica Hunter-Hart is a senior English major with an international studies concentration. She joined Oberlin Steel in the second semester of her freshman year, and has been groovin’ on the tenor pan ever since! She has two small goals for her post-Oberlin life: reforming the American education system, and learning how to tell when a peach is perfectly ripe.

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    Audrey Knox

    OSteel Co-Director

    Audrey is a fourth-year steel tenor player and psychology major. She enjoys playing music (if not with OSteel, with Oberlin College Taiko or on her violin), dancing, laughing, moonwalking, hanging out with her dog, and appreciating clouds.

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    Emma Berg

    Band Member

    Emma Berg is from East Lansing, Mich., and is a junior at Oberlin. She is undecided on her major but is pondering what the life of an anthropologist would be like. She loves playing the steel drums, and she loves her fellow band mates.

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    Joseph Farago

    Band Member

    Joseph Farago is a sophomore. He got into playing the steel drums because he saw his friend filling out an application for the ExCo and wanted to be cool and fit in. Besides this severe insecurity, Joseph finds contentment in writing poetry and listening to music. He also has an extreme appreciation for tupperware but doesn’t want to mention that in this bio.

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    Amanda Leopold

    Band Member

    Amanda Leopold is a second-year tenor player from Columbia, Maryland.

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    Noah Jones

    Band Member

    Noah Jones is a recent graduate of Oberlin who majored in physics and English, and has been in OSteel since the fall of his freshman year. He spent a couple years on percussion before switching to double tenor. He loves to move his limbs about. When he grows up he wants to be a break drum.

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    Sarah Stratton

    Band Member

    Sarah Stratton is a second-year double tenor player from Bristol, Vermont.

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    Noah Sanderson

    Band Member

    Noah Sanderson is a second year jazz major and plays double seconds in OSteel. His schedule includes music, then music, and then music again. He also enjoys cereal at 2 a.m. while looking at the stars.

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    Maya Zeemont

    Band Member

    Maya Zeemont is a third-year neuroscience major from Berkeley, Calif. She spends a lot of time learning to play the double seconds and a lot more time excitedly freaking out over the fact that she is even in the band. Seriously, she still can’t believe this dream has come true. When she is not all-consumed with such excitement, she spends time singing, bowling, snacking, and skyping with her dog.

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    Jeremy Simon

    Band Member

    Jeremy Simon is a second-year student from Ann Arbor, Mich., has been a dog walker since day one, but now mostly just goes to school. He’s allergic to cats and has always connected with pooches. He is undecided in his major but enjoys psychology and environmental studies. In addition to playing in OSteel, he is an independent hip hop singer trying to make it big.

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    Jessica Hubert

    Band Member

    Jess Hubert is a junior who joined OSteel the fall before last. She is a neuroscience major, and there might be a minor in her future. Other than OSteel, she plays the cello and loves ultimate Frisbee and longboarding!

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    Peter Saudek

    Band Member

    Peter Saudek is a fourth-year environmental studies and politics major from Massachusetts. He plays auxiliary percussion in OSteel, with a side of guitar and piano to accompany every sunrise before class. Most days he can be spotted wandering about campus following his macrosmatic (acute olfactory) senses to inform him of the next best step in life, and usually ends up at Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant downtown. He’s thrilled to be in this band!

$ 75

Clotilde Reed

$ 20

Evan N Dawley

$ 100

Sue M Simonson

$ 50

Catherine Gletherow

Go Oberlin Steel!

$ 100

mary kennedy

Wish I could Come along to enjoy one awesome trip and concert.! Hopefully someone can post on you tube !

$ 20

Sharon Pearson

I love the Oberlin Steel Drum band.

$ 10

Albert Porterfield

$ 50

John E. Petersen

Go O-steel!

$ 50

Siobhan Robinson

Go for it! Amalia and Audrey Schillinger

$ 25

Alison P Williams

Wish I could go with you!! It's a well deserved endeavor.

$ 10


Even though, my donation is a very modest one, I hope that you are able to obtain your goal. I shared it on face book hoping others would feel the same way. Good Luck and have a wonderful time!! Oberlin College Operator/Bridget :)

$ 50

Jean Jerauld

Love your Music!!

$ 100

Douglas Maass

I remember Calliope's Children (1975-77), Can Consortium, the Lincoln Center concert with the Nat'l Council of Steel Drum Bands and six tours of Westchester.

$ 20

Lawrence E Dunn

How very exciting for OSteel to go to Trinidad, the font from which steel-drum music flows. Best of luck with your campaign and the trip.

$ 50

Michael J. Lythcott

Go Hard!

$ 100

Peter B Lund

I've always liked steel drum music. Are any of your performances recorded and accessible on the web?

$ 50

Jana Sciortino

Love your video. Hope you can raise the funds and show Trinidad what Obies can do! Good luck!

$ 20

Tina & Fred Zwegat

Best of luck to you all!!

$ 10

Margaret Robinson

Best of luck!

$ 50

Carol Levine

Loved you since the 80s and still love you now!

$ 18

Ma'ayan Plaut

$ 50

William Barlow

Thanks to all donors so far!

October 23, 2014

Thank you very much to all of our donors! We really appreciate your help and support.

Can I still give to this project?

November 6, 2014

Once funding has ended, can I still give to this project?

Yes! Visit, select "other" as the designation, and then specify which project in the space below.

Thanks again! Trinidad approaches!

November 19, 2014

Thanks again to all of our generous donors! We're so very excited for our upcoming trip! We're practicing hard, finalizing our plans, and finish up our fundraising efforts. We leave for Trinidad on January 4. If you'd like to follow our adventures there, check out our blog:

Just got back from Trinidad!

February 3, 2015

OSteel just got back from Trinidad last night! We had the most incredible time performing in Panorama and learning about the history of the island and of the steel pan. Thank you so much to all donors who made this wonderful experience possible for us.

If you want to read more details about our trip, check out our blog here: