Pandemic! A Youth Steel Band from Aberdeen

26 January 2011 · 5 comments

in Art & Music Outdoors

Following the recent posts about outdoor music, Kirsty Robertson, the Music Teacher at Buckburn Academy in Aberdeen kindly wrote to me and sent in these photos about the secondary school steel band that has grown and taken music outdoors around the North East of Scotland and beyond… 

Newhills Church community fun day

“Attached are some photos of ‘Pandemic’ – Bucksburn Academy’s Steel Pan Band.  I guess they are large musical instruments outdoors as opposed to large outdoor musical instruments… but when we transport them, we fill a whole Luton van!!

The steel band was set up towards the start of 2005. A small group of interested pupils met at the Northern College as they gave us the use of their pans. For several months we rehearsed there whilst we secured funding to buy a set of starter pans. We got our own set of pans in time for the summer concert in 2005. This was the first time we performed.

A corporate gig at Ardoe House Hotel

After that we worked hard to build our repertoire and set up a younger group when the new S1 pupils started. This group of young pupils have been playing in the band since then and are now our senior pupils. Each year we continue to start new S2 pupils. We currently have 4 different bands of differing ages.

Playing on the back of a lorry for the parade down Union Street for the switching on of the Christmas lights

Over the last 5 years we have taken part in many community and corporate events.  We always take part in the Aberdeen Youth Festival and we can always be seen performing in Aberdeen City centre at Xmas time.

Busking outside Marks and Spencers

We also go regularly to London to take part in workshops and learn new pieces.  When we were last in London the band who were working with us invited us to join them to compete in the British Panorama (national steel band competition) and to take part in the biggest festival in Europe, the Notting Hill Carnival. Without working jointly with another group this would not be possible for our band.”

All text and photos are the copyright of Kirsty Robertson. THANKS for such an inspirational blog post!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

The Sunshine Crew January 26, 2011 at 23:37

How fun! We just saw a band playing steel drums in the Bahamas. Very cool for kids in Scotland to be doing this. Love the sound of this music, as it always sounds happy and relaxing at the same time.
Thanks for sharing,


J.Duncan January 28, 2011 at 17:42

I have heard this band and they are fantastic!


gbj July 9, 2011 at 07:00

Please tell us about future events for this band !!


Juliet Robertson July 9, 2011 at 16:41

Hi gbj – if you send me your email address I will forward it to Kirsty who can keep you up-dated.


Elspeth Bruce September 24, 2013 at 14:06

Good Afternoon,

We are investigating availability for playing at at our Family Fun Day next August, or our Chilli Festival in September ? We are located just North of Perth.


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