‘sPANgle’ is an adult steelband group based in Norwich, Norfolk and was formed in 2013.

The idea came about after some experienced group leaders who were already steelpan players decided to offer steelpan taster sessions to their work colleagues. Most of them took to playing steelpans straight away and eventually with the support of family and friends ‘sPANgle’ was formed.

The steelband currently has 10 members, seven of whom are employees of Hellesdon Hospital, Norwich, which is part of the Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). With the steelbands core members being made up of work colleagues, it’s not surprising their age range spans across five decades with one member celebrating a 60th birthday in 2014.

The format of the steelband is four tenor pans, two double seconds, one single second, one guitar, one bass and a full drum kit. The members practice every Friday and are fortunate to have been allowed a space for their panyard on the site of NSFT. The members are taught by the experienced group leaders and chose Friday as the day to practice as it is a refreshing way to wind down after their professional working week. 

sPANgle’s first official performance was a summer fete in 2014 and since then the steelband has performed at the local Waitrose, Wymondham Rugby Club and several other school fetes. In this same year they also launched a website to promote the steelband.

In 2015, sPANgle has gone from strength to strength, first by taking part in the inaugural Pan Jam Cambridge (a steelpan workshop held in the East of England to support anyone interested in steelpan culture). They performed Amazing Grace, Don’t Worry, Be Happy and the Lennox Sharpe steelpan classic Magic Drum. They have recently performed at a Rugby 7’s tournament in North Walsham, the Norfolk Recovery Partnership’s Recovery Week Picnic and have several more events booked for the summer season. 

What the members say?

“it is amazing to learn something new at my age…” 

“we pick up some tunes very quickly, although some are very hard to pick up and may take us months to perfect, these usually prove to sound amazing!”

‘Listening to Pan in A Minor, one day our brilliant band will learn to play this’

Information supplied to My Panyard by sPANgle Steelband