'Sounds of Steel' at Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl
Urban Pathways Charter School students perform in April 26 event
By: Urban Pathways Charter School
Students of the Urban Pathways Charter School have been playing Caribbean-themed music as part of the school's Steel Pan Program since 2000. While performing well-known tunes such as "Under the Sea," "Baby Shark," or "Beautiful,"
That fact was evident as the Sounds of Steel played to a wide audience on April 26 as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl, a free event that featured 21 stops across 14 blocks throughout the cultural district. The talented students were a hit during the multi-venue showcase of downtown Pittsburgh's dynamic art and entertainment scene.
"Our school's location in the heart of Pittsburgh's Cultural District gives our students the opportunity to put their hard work and creativity on display for our local community members to enjoy," said Emily McMahon, an art teacher at Urban Pathways Charter School, 914 Penn Avenue.
In addition to the steel pan performance, Urban Pathways middle school and high school students read poetry and spoken word performances during the Gallery Crawl.
Performing under the guidance of world-renown instructor Tracey Wharton, the Urban Pathways Charter School steel pan students have appeared at community events such as:
· Tribute to Harry Belafonte and Gordon Parks Jr. at the Carnegie Music Hall
· The Urban League of Pittsburgh
· Afro American Music Institute
· Sustainable Pittsburgh
· Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
· Three Rivers Art Festival
· Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA
Steel pans, also known as steel drums or pans, are musical instruments originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Steel pan musicians are called pannists. Urban Pathways Charter School students have carried on the musical tradition.
"Our middle school and high school students have had an opportunity to explore their love for music and creativity through our Steelpan Program," McMahon said. "They have a chance to learn from a very talented and dedicated steel pan instructor, Tracey Wharton. The Sounds of Steel put on a great show during the Gallery Crawl."
Emily McMahon, Art Teacher