Thomas University announces new band

Apr. 30—THOMASVILLE — A unique musical sound will be echoing around campus as Thomas University launches a Steelband.

The band will be led by William Sahely, the Steelband director at Raa Middle School in Tallahassee. He is one of only three full-time Steelband directors who teaches at schools in the state of Florida. Sahely earned his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Arts Administration degrees from Florida State University.

"I love the idea of sharing this instrument with people who may have never heard of it before, played it before, or seen it before, and giving them an opportunity to learn something that is different," he said. "I am excited about teaching TU students how to play this instrument.

Steelband, which originated in the Caribbean Islands of Trinidad and Tobago, is a collection of several types of steel pans or steel drums played by a group of musicians called pannists.

TU's Steelband will be made up of students who will perform at different school events including football games. The band will play different musical genres such as pop, rock and roll, reggae, classical, soca, and calypso.

"I just want students to give it a shot and try to play it," Sahely said. "You don't have to have any musical experience.