April 25, 2018  

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Southern Miss Steel Pan Orchestra to Hold Special Concert at Gulf Park Campus

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Southern Miss Steel Pan Orchestra

The renowned University of Southern Mississippi Steel Pan Orchestra will welcome international recording artist Jeff Narell as part of a special performance set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 13 at the Fleming Education Center Auditorium on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, Miss.

Narell is an acclaimed steel panist, Afro-Caribbean percussionist and educator-clinician who studied in the 1960’s with Ellie Mannette, the primary inventor of the modern steel drum. He has recorded and performed with a diverse array of artists including George

Benson, the Grateful Dead, Bobby McFerrin, and Olatunji. He has also performed on four big box-office films, including “48 Hours” and “Commando.”

Dr. John Wooton, professor of music at USM, serves as director of the 35-member Steel Pan Orchestra. He notes that Narell’s compositions and performance are certain to be entertaining and informative.

“We are playing a variety of styles for this concert, including Soca, Calypso, Samba, Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Dub Step and Jump Up,” said Wooton. “The Southern Miss Steel Pan Orchestra is a real gem at the University, and I would encourage everyone to come out and support this talented ensemble.”

Narell has composed two theatrical scores, one of which, commissioned for the California Shakespeare Company’s production of “The Tempest,” won the Hollywood Dramalogue award for “Best Original Theatrical Score.”

Narell has traveled extensively to set up steel band programs and conduct clinics and workshops around the world. In addition, he directs several ongoing steel drum programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, involving hundreds of students at the middle school, high school, and college level. He also leads his professional group in performances under the auspices of the San Francisco Symphony and Young Audiences Arts in Education programs.

Tickets to the April 13 concert are $12 for general admission and $5 for students with ID. Children will be admitted free.