Sawston Steel is a steel pan band. We play a variety of music including well-known standards, pop classics and Caribbean favourites. The band's music has all been arranged by Janet Macleod who is a great source of inspiration and encouragement.
The group began life together as an evening class at Sawston Village College in 2003. The qualification for joining, which has proved to be so vital, was to have a sense of rhythm and a sense of humour! Friendships grew and the band was officially formed in 2008. At maximum we are eleven members, although a smaller group (of about 5 or 6) can play together if space is restricted - we do take up quite a bit of space!
The sound the band produces is generally loud enough for a village hall, but probably too loud for inside a private house. Outdoors, the sound is good and loud for approx 20 metres. If we play outside we prefer shelter as we are unable to play the pans if they get wet. The sound is great for background music as guests arrive at functions, weddings or at parties or to be played at fetes, carnivals or charitable events.
A charge is made to cover our expenses and for general band funds and expenses, which include tuning, replacing equipment, running the website, clothing etc. We don't play to make a profit.
There is some flexibility with our prices which is dependant on location, times and type of event etc however as a general guide cost for 2017 will be between £250 and £400.
Our instruments are all fashioned from 55-gallon oil drums; the blue pans were made by the late Michael Contant, whilst the newer pans have all been made in Trinidad by Gerard Clarke. Gerard visits us every year to tune the pans and greatly encourages our playing.