Ipswich Youth Steel Band

Ipswich Youth Steel Band is a community steelband based at St Peters by the Waterfront, College St, Ipswich.

It was formed in 2005 to get young people involved in learning about traditional music from the Caribbean. Originally, the instruments were purchased for a community centre but were not used. Trevor Jones took the initiative and decided to try and start a youth steelband.

At the start over 30 children were involved, and over time only a few stay on and ended up being the core band performing to a professional standard and encouraging others to join the steelband.

All the students are taught by Trevor Jones. Some of them are taught to use simplified music scores for pans and have a broad repertoire of music ranging from calypso, soca, and popular culture favourites. The music is arranged by his son Ashton.

The band members are between 9 and 19 years of age. They practice every Wednesday from 5 to 7pm. There are beginners, intermediate and advanced classes.

The students perform at village fetes and corporate events throughout East Anglia. Some notable performances have been for BBC Radio Suffolk, Town 102, BBC Look East, Children in need and the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

In 2010, members of the steelband were nominated for Suffolk Police & BT Young People of the Year by police sergeant Neil Boast, who has been an Ipswich Police officer for 32 years. Unfortunately they did not win but were worthy runners up.

What the members say?

“Ipswich Music in the Park gig is amazing, thousands of people”

“I’ve now been part of the band for the last three years and love every minute”

“My friends thought it was a bit weird at first but when they heard us play they thought it was cool because it’s not something you hear every day”

“It has taught me not only musical skills but how to be a team player and how to communicate with others. I really enjoy it”

Information suplied by Ipswich Youth Steel Band