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For kids who like to make music and learn new instruments, UW Oshkosh is offering the Titan Steelband Academy for youth entering grades 4–12 (and graduating high school seniors). The program is scheduled to take place in August.

This musical academy provides an excellent opportunity for elementary, middle and high school-aged students to learn to play the steelpan. Elizabeth DeLamater, percussion faculty at UW Oshkosh, is overseeing the program and will lead all three levels of instruction: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

“[The steelpan] is a great instrument for people of all ages to learn,” DeLamater said. “I know that kids like to pursue passions and explore new interests in the summer, so we wanted to offer a steelband camp as one such opportunity.”

Participants will be exposed to many styles of music including pop, rock, reggae, calypso and more. They will also explore a variety of percussion instruments, musical improvisation and songwriting in a fun, low-pressure environment.

The beginner steelband academy will teach elementary school children the basics of rhythm and drumming. No prior music experience is necessary.

The intermediate and advanced academies require at least one year of musical experience for middle and high school-aged students to participate, respectively. These upper-level academies will be taught by rote with the knowledge and expertise of UWO faculty and student instructors.

Each academy will close with a final steelband performance for friends, family and the public to attend.

 “I wanted to include members of our community in the awesome musical creation that we do here at UW Oshkosh,” DeLamater said. “We have convenient facilities and wonderful instruments that are not available to everyone.”

The Titan Steelband Academy is based on the popular UWO musical ensemble, Titan Steel. Founded in 1990, Titan Steel was the first collegiate steelband in the state of Wisconsin. The percussion group performs both popular and classical music on campus and throughout the greater Fox Valley.

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