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Monday, May 23, 2022

Steelpan to play for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee


One hundred steelpan players drawn from four of the UK’s top steel bands will play for Her Majesty at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations at Buckingham Palace on Sunday 5 June.

The combined steel band will be formed of 25 players from each of the four bands: Ebony Steelband, Mangrove Steel Orchestra, Croydon Steel Orchestra and Metronomes.

Appropriately, in the centenary year of the Grandmaster’s birth, the music will be Pan in A Minor and London is the Place for Me by the late Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts), arranged by Andre White. Pans will be tuned by Birch Kelman and Dudley Dickson, and the musical director for the performance is to be Leon ‘Foster’ Thomas.

The late Frank Rollock of London All Stars helped put together a similar 100-strong ‘National Steel Band’ for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, which played outside Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 4 June 2002.

Those celebrations of 20 years ago included a highly successful mas contingent that passed along the Mall to the palace before heading back along Buckingham Gate and Victoria Street to return to the starting point on the Embankment, where masqueraders were provided with picnic lunches that included bottles of Thames Water!

Although there have been rumours of some sort of Notting Hill Carnival mas presence at the jubilee celebrations, there has been no confirmation from official sources that NHC mas bands are directly involved this time.

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