Tickets Are Now Available!

Individual tickets are now available to the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival. Get your tickets here – http://steelpanfestival.eventbrite.com/

Take advantage of the pre-order prices and packages. You will not be able to get this pricing at the door on the day of the festival.

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The Hampton Inn in McHenry is the Official GLSF Hotel

The Hampton Inn in McHenry is the Official GLSF Hotel

The Hampton Inn in McHenry, IL has stepped up and offered some great rates for attendees of the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival. They have even created a special webpage for booking your hotel rooms at the discounted price! Check out the page at http://hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/groups/personalized/M/MCHILHX-GLS-20130412/index.jhtml

Don’t wait though, the discounted rooms are only available until March 13th or whenever the block is sold out, which ever happens first. If you are coming to GLSF 2013, this is definitely the best option for where to stay. The hotel is less than 10 minutes away from Hannah Beardsley Middle School in Crystal Lake, and the discounted rate combined with the quality of the hotel is unbeatable!

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Steve Lawrie of Pantuner is coming!

Steve Lawrie of Pantuner is coming!

We are excited to welcome Pantuner’s Steve Lawrie to the festival! Steve will be coming to the Chicago area early to tune pans so if you are interested in him tuning your band, please contact us or check out his website at pantuner.com for his contact information. In addition to that, Steve will be provided emergency on site tunings (as time allows) for participants of the festival!

Steve will be bringing some of his instruments and setting up a booth for everybody to look and talk to him at, as well as his 15′ puppets! If you haven’t seen his puppets, check out this video:

Steve is a great addition to the festival and we are very happy to welcome him aboard!

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Condensed to 1 Awesome Day!

The decision has been finalized, the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival will only by on Saturday, April 13. This decision was made in order to help reduce costs for bands to participate. The only impact this change has on the festival is that the mass band will not be happening this year. Each band will still get an hour long one-on-one session with one of the guest artists, there will still be workshops, and there will still be an evening concert featuring all the guest artists.

Also, the guest artist list has not changed. Ellie Mannette, Gary Gibson, Clyde “Lightning” George, and Potts & Pans Steelband are still confirmed for the day. The decision to compact the festival into a single day was not an easy one, but it was the best. This way, more bands can take advantage of everything offered instead of having to miss out on the second day due to hotel costs. Bands travelling in still get the full effect and get a more leisurely drive back on Sunday if they decide to stay the night in Crystal Lake.

The festival will still be held in Crystal Lake, IL but will not be at the Holiday Inn. Since we do not need the sleeping rooms, the festival will be held at a local high school. Due to these changes, we have decided to offer free registration to the first 6 bands. That’s right, the first 6 bands that register get to attend this incredible festival for free and that does include the evening concert!!! To register go to the registration page.

The itinerary has been updated to reflect this change.

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The Father of Pan is Coming!

The Father of Pan is Coming!

The man many regard as the father of the steelpan, Ellie Mannette, is coming to the 2013 Great Lakes Steelpan Festival! Ellie will be coming to provide a workshop on Sunday morning and also may treat us with some performing at the Sunday evening concert!! The fact that a man of this stature would even consider attending this festival speaks to it’s value. If you haven’t already registered your band, you may want to do so quickly. Spots are very limited and the caliber of guest artists/clinicians is unparalleled. You will not want to miss this!

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Our New Logo!

Our New Logo!

Check out our new logo. Designed by Michael Halvey this is the new face of the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival!

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Clyde “Lightning” George is confirmed!

Clyde “Lightning” George is confirmed!

clyde_lightning_georgeThat’s right Lightning has confirmed to be a clinician and guest artist for the first annual Great Lakes Steelpan Festival!! We are very excited to welcome Lightning aboard and believe he truly has much to offer the festival in terms, from describing growing up with the instrument along side Bertie Marshall to making a living playing pan in the Chicago area. Lightning possesses a plethora of information that will surely benefit all attendees of the festival.

For those that do not know about Lightning, here is a brief bio grabbed from his page on http://www.chicagojazz.com/ClydeLightningGeorge:

Clyde ‘Lightning’ George is the world’s finest double tenor steelpan jazz performer. He grew up in the same place and same time as the steelpan, Laventille, Trinidad. His high caliber of musicianship, his vast repertoire and his natural rhythm solidify his passion for jazz with a Caribbean flare.
Lightning moved to Chicago in 1978 following his marriage to a lovely lady from Wilmette, Illinois. He joined in jazz jams around the city. He amazed both musicians and audiences with his execution of the steelpan in a jazz setting.
From Chicago jazz jams emerged his quartet, STEELIN JAZZ, with 3 more, very talented Chicago artists. Rob Block performs on both keyboards and guitar. Belfield Small, from the island of Barbados, keeps a steady island beat with his bass and Aras Biskis colors the rhythm with his drums. Together they blend the music of the Caribbean with the great classics of American jazz. Clyde’s teacher in Trinidad, Bertie Marshall, gave him the nickname “Lightning” due to his speed in learning music. In Chicago clubs he is called “The Thelonius of Pan” because of his love for the music of Thelonius Monk.

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Gary Gibson wants in!

Had a great conversation with Gary Gibson today. He is very excited about the festival and hopes to be a part of it! For those that are not familiar with Gary Gibson, check out his website at http://www.twotreesmusic.com/. Gary Gibson is not only a great performer, but also a composer, arranger, educator, and clinician. He will will a very strong addition to the first annual Great Lakes Steelpan Festival.

Are you interested in being a featured artist and/or clinician and/or guest speaker? Be sure to fill out our survey and include your contact information.

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Thank You!!

I wanted to take a minute to thank everybody for their responses so far. Denette and I weren’t too sure how people would respond to our plan. We obviously hoped that others shared the same thoughts we did, but we have both been thrilled with the response we have received from people so far. We still have a long way to go before we can really start nailing down some details, but we are off to a great start.

I would also like to add that if you are willing to help, please make sure to leave your contact information. If you received an e-mail invitation you probably think that we have your e-mail. The problem is that going through the website anonymizes everything, so we don’t have a clue who is filling out the surveys. Please make sure to leave your contact information in the final question so that we can contact you as necessary.

Thanks,
Matt

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Another milestone

I just sent out emails to inform steel band directors from 104 bands in SD, WI, OH, ND, MN, MI, KS, IA, IL and IN of our new event.    Please spread the word and let other directors know about our website as the data base I used is several years old and I have already had 5 bad addresses return to me.

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