The Virtual Steelband is an opportunity for pannists around the world to participate together in one steelband performance that spans the globe virtually. Pastiche Steel Ensemble is hosting and producing this performance. The idea was brought to the ensemble by one of its members Mia Gormandy after viewing Eric Whitacre’s “Virtual Choir.” Other Pastiche members including Yuko Asada, Abe Breiling, and Scott McConnell latched on to the idea, and they later formed a committee to produce the Virtual Steelband. The Virtual Steelband Committee successfully launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for the project, which gave them the opportunity to hire a professional audio engineer and cinematographer to help create the final product. In addition, Liam Teague was commissioned to write an original composition for the Virtual Steelband, which is entitled “Bella Vista.” The Virtual Steelband Committee received positive feedback from pannists residing in multiple countries around the world including Spain, Argentina, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, and Trinidad and Tobago, just to name a few. The Virtual Steelband Committee is bringing the steelband world together through this venture, and is bringing awareness to the number of pannists residing in multiple countries around the world.
Dr. Dave Gerhart, Product Manager, Percussion for Yamaha Corporation of America and Lecturer of Percussion at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU, Long Beach, is a nationally recognized performer, composer, and educator. Dr. Gerhart, originally from Fairfield, California, holds a D.M.A. from the University of Southern California, M.M. in Percussion Performance and Instrumental Conducting and a B.M. in Music Education from California State University, Long Beach.