LAKE PLACID — Marie’s Garden at the Lake Placid Memorial Library was filled with guests and beautiful music on a gorgeous April afternoon. Early arrivals watched as the Walker Academy Fire ‘n Steel band members unloaded their steelpans from their large trailer and set up their instruments in the garden. Guests were able to sit throughout the beautiful garden and in the gazebo to enjoy the concert. Director Louis Cann originated the band 22 years ago when he arrived at Walker Academy. The band currently has 16 members.
The steel drums played by the musicians originated in the dual-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago near Venezuela and are traditionally associated with the music of the Caribbean. The 55-gallon steel drums are still used and augmented with newer steelpans. Director Cann led and narrated as the musicians performed a variety of musical selections from island traditionals like “Yellow Bird” and “Guantanamera”, to a medley of waltzes and even a rock selection. During the intermission in the nearly two-hour performance, Friends of the Library members served refreshments as band members mingled with the guests answering questions.
The band will be traveling north to Illinois this summer to record and perform.