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TASPO at The Festival of Britain 1951


Here musicians, educators, event organisers, promoters and carnival artists can find useful information including a brief history of the steel pan instrument and links to helpful web sites.
Find out about the range of instruments in the steel percussion orchestra and follow the step by step guide to setting up your very own steel band.

Map of Trinidad and Tobago

History of Steel Pan

The steel pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. Invented in the 1930s, a complete steel band or steel percussion orchestra can comprise of over 100 players in different steel pan sections. More...

Notting Hill Carnival costume

The Five Disciplines of Carnival

Read about the five main disciplines of Carnival, from masquerade to music. More...

Classroom Music Autumn 2009-10 cover of RASPO's Kisha Lowe

How to Set Up a Steel Band

So you want to set up a steel band in your school? How do you start? Where can you source the instruments and who will teach the music?

CultureMix's artistic director Mary Genis explains each step in this useful guide. More...

Guitar pans

The Steel Pan Instruments

An informative summary about the range of steel pan instruments. More...

School steel pan music workshop

Schools Music Education

CultureMix Arts travels far and wide providing taster workshops and a unique tailor made curriculum based steel pan music education programme for schools. More...

Bass pans ready to load

About Panorama - The Steel Band Competition

Panorama is a national steel band championship originating in Trinidad. The UK event takes place as part of Notting Hill Carnival. More...

Bubbles and Mangrove 1986

Pan Pioneers UK

Read about some of the the pan pioneers from Trinidad who inspired the unprecedented growth and popularity of steel pan music culture in the UK. More...

Pan Podium Magazine

Links - Useful Web Sites

For a comprehensive list of web sites with information on steel bands and general carnival arts. More...


TASPO at The Festival of Britain 1951

In 1951 Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra performed at the South Bank Centre for the Festival of Britain.

RASPO - whose name commemorates this historic occasion - celebrates with a series of events that highlight the benefits and progress steel pan music has made in school music education since TASPO musicians arrived in Britain.

Click here to watch original TASPO member Sterling Betancourt reminiscing on his experience at TASPO's auspicious performance with original clips.

RASPO continues to exemplify the diversity of a typical British steel band.

Carnival Steel Band

Carnival Steel Band Painting by Mary Genis

Pan round the neck steel pan players with feathered carnival head dresses.
Click image to read about the Five Disciplines of Carnival.

Painting by Mary Genis


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