The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

A Joyous Embrace from Metal Instruments: Brass and Steel Pan Ensembles Shine at Concert

Leah Belber
The Bates Steel Pan Ensemble performes at their Dec. concert.

On an icy Thursday night, I found refuge in Olin 201’s warm concert hall. I found seats in the upper section and fell into the plush chairs and waited in anticipation. First, we were greeted by the lovely Brass Ensemble made up of two trumpets, two trombones, and a tuba! I am by no means a music expert, but it sounded great! As I told many people, I played the trumpet for one year in fourth grade. 

Hadley Blodgett ’26 (who is an Assistant Arts and Leisure Editor for The Student) and Robert Cropp ’26 were stellar and lightyears better than my brief stint in music. Sebastian Jerosch, the instructor, accompanied Alex Kopko ’26 on the trombone and they sounded beautiful together. Isabelle Martin ’26 played the tuba which laid a beautiful foundation for many of the arrangements. 

I loved their sleek black looks and their graceful enthusiasm for the music. The peppy sounds of the Sea Shanties shined and the more Broadway-esque vibe of their final song was quite pleasing. I also enjoyed the explanations of the arrangements as well as the histories in the program of the composers and arrangers. It was certainly an easy and fun way to become introduced to the world of brass instruments and quintet sounds!

When the steel pan ensemble came on stage, they were oozing island flair. Each wearing Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses the vibe was transported from a serene concert hall to a room where everyone was invited to clap and groove in their seats. 

They played three songs, all fairly indistinguishable to me but equally joyous and bouncy. The first song was accompanied by Cal Schrupp ’24 freestyling over the music. Although the microphone couldn’t project over the loud steel pans at times, it was an amusing way to start the show. 

The crowd of students on stage were fist-bumping and twirling and dancing to the beat of their steel pans! I could certainly see why it was such a beloved Bates performance. Along with my awe at everyone’s talent and vibe, I was also very deeply inspired to join their group next semester. It seemed like it might just be the perfect way to cure those winter semester blues. Keep your eye out for me next time!

A correction was made on Dec. 14. A previous version of this piece improperly credited this piece to the wrong writer. The correct writer of this piece is Leah Belber.

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About the Contributor
Leah Belber, Assistant Arts & Leisure Editor

Leah is a sophomore from Washington, D.C. who will likely major in English with a minor in French. Deeply opinionated about food, she enjoys trying new restaurants and baking elaborate birthday cakes. You can find her filming TikToks for Bates on the quad or attending PAUSE on Wednesday nights!

In her first year, Leah was a staff writer writing primarily for Arts & Leisure, continuing her work from high school at The Augur Bit.

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