Cambridge University Steel Pan Society

Lucy Cavendish College is the home of the Cambridge University Steel Pan Society (CUSPS). Cambridge University is the second oldest university in England, the fourth oldest in Europe and is located in the South of England.

The steelpan society was formed in 2009 after Juliet Sharpe, then a student at the university, contacted Debra Romain with the idea of setting up a steelband on campus.

The steelpan instruments were purchased from Gerald Forsyth OBE with financial support from the Lucy Cavendish Student Union. Debra then held a series of presentations at the university in order to gain the student’s interest in the instruments.

The aims of the steelpan society are as follows:

·         to promote steel pan culture at Cambridge University

·         to give students a unique opportunity to learn how to play steel instruments

·         to show the versatility of music performed by a steel orchestra

The steelbands at the university are:

·         Liberators Steel Band, also known as the Lucy Cavendish Ladies of Steel (College Band)

·         Cambridge University Steel Pan Society (CUSPS) Steel Orchestra

CUSPS offers steelpan tuition mainly for students studying at the university, members of the university and local community members.

Debra Romain was the original musical director. Her tuition sessions were held three times a week for beginners as well as advanced players. Each tuition session was an hour long and individual practice sessions were available throughout the week.

CUSPS’s first performance was in March 2010, less than a year since its formation. The steelband has gone from to strength to strength. They play at receptions, formal dinners and parties. The steelband also play at private functions such as wedding anniversaries.

In 2013, Jenny Webb, a research scientist at the university, took over the role of musical director for the steelband.

In 2014, the steelband won Heart FM's Cambridge Has Got Talent competition.

In 2015, the steelband performed Lucy Calypso, a composition written by members of the steelband to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lucy Cavendish College.

What the society members say?

'This is fantastic and fun........we are looking forward to playing at May Balls.

Information supplied to My Panyard by the Cambridge University Steel Pan Society.