The week before I moved to Alaska from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, a percussion teacher called Mr. Craft held a steel drum camp where I and a couple of my friends, who also wanted to participate, learned how to play a steel drum and then held a concert to show everyone what we had learned. The week was spectacular.
The camp began on a Monday in June and it ended with a concert the following Friday. The camp went from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mid High band room. I arrived Monday and saw a lot of familiar faces. Kevin, Matt, Andrew, Greg, and several other percussionists participated. We were all eager to learn how to play the steel drums.
When all the people who were attending arrived, Mr. Craft, without hesitation, told each of us to find a steel drum and then he would pass out music. All of us scampered like alley cats to find a steel drum. When we had all found one, Mr. Craft passed out the first piece of music, "Trini Time." We worked on it and when Mr. Craft thought we had it down, he told us to find a steel drum that we had not played yet, and then he said he would pass out new music. We followed the same routine of finding a new steel drum and receiving new music over the course of the five days. On Friday, we had a total of six songs. Of course, by then, all the songs sounded superb. Then, at 7 p.m. on Friday, we had our concert.
The band room did not look the same when I had left it at five o'clock. As I began to prepare for the concert, I noticed there were about thirty chairs in front of the steel drums, recording equipment everywhere, and I was surprised to see some people already there. As usual, there were some instrument cases on the shelves. What can I say? It was a band room. Mr. Craft was busy as a bee trying to make sure everything was ready and making last minute checks. It turned out that there were not enough chairs and getting some more was a predicament.
Finally, Mr. Craft let us get our concert underway. All of our six numbers went great. "Trini Time" was a hit. "White Sands" sounded fantastic. "Cool Waters" motivated everyone in the audience to tap their feet. "Hot Sauce Samba" would have scored high on a popularity vote. Our group really made "Sunrise Jam" sound good. "Cha Cha for Pans" was so spectacular that it made everyone move, including myself. When we were through with our songs, the audience cheered and applauded us. After all the fun I had, it was time to go home. I hope I can do it again next year!