NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 29, 2022) – The New Philadelphia Steel Drum Band’s traditional Panstock concerts return for the 13th time Saturday.
Nearly 100 student performers will be joined by international pan player Tracy Thorton, Las Vegas teacher and composer Tyler Swick, and a Michigan-based steel drum band for two shows – one at 5:30 and one at 7:45 p.m.
Band Director Jeff Phillips says it’s a popular program, drawing fans from several states, including Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
“This year we have a gentleman driving up from Georgia. He actually moved his high school prom,” Phillips said. “He’s a teacher and he runs their prom and he made them move their prom so he could come to our show this year.”
The New Philadelphia Steel Drum Band program is open to all students in grades six through 12. Phillips says most members aren’t drummers.
“The kids have a great time coming up with dance moves or choreographing little moves that go along with the songs,” Phillips says. “They bring a lot of energy. They really enjoy even just rehearsing. They have a great time.”
The steel drum bands in New Philadelphia and dover are examples of collaboration between the districts.
Phillips says teacher Joan Wentzel started steel drums at New Philadelphia in the early 1980s, brought it to Dover in the early 1990s, then helped Phillips reintroduce them in New Philadelphia in 2006. Now the programs support each other.
Phillips went to Dover’s Pantasia show in February, and he usually sees some Dover shirts in the crowd at Panstock.
“I had a blast,” Phillips said. “Chris Redd is doing a phenomenal job leading that program and I really thoroughly enjoyed their concert. I’m sure we’ll have a couple of their students cross the river and head over hear and enjoy a little of what we do as well.”
Tickets for the Saturday concerts at the New Philadelphia High School gym are are $7 per show at the door.
A $10 pass for both shows is only available Friday. Contact Phillips at Welty Middle School to purchase one.