How Belize Inherited Steelpan Music

Within the heart of Belize’s melodious amalgamation lies the metallic resonance of the steelpan. This Caribbean instrument was introduced into Belizean culture by the musically-accomplished Dr. The Honorable Lennox A. Pike in 1964, a little over two decades prior to the country’s own Independence from its British Colony in 1981. He would later be honored at the “2012 Pan Yaad Steel Band Concert” for his contribution of steelpan music to Belize, by the National Institute of Culture and History’s President, Ms. Diane Haylock. 

Now woven into the country’s National September Celebrations, steelpan music continues to be an anticipated feature, particularly at the annual “Pan Yaad Steel Band Concert” , happening at 7:00 p.m., September 9th, 2016 at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City. This grand entertainment of musical perfection offers an electric genre of various local and regional sounds, all in a warm patriotic setting.

This IS what Steelpan Music’s ALL About!

From its origins in Trinidad & Tobago, the steelpan was used during elated showcases of celebration; later added to the carnival road marches.

It was fate that eventually introduced the young Mr. Lennox Pike to steelpan music during his studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica. His passion as a musician led him to master this, his now 19th musical instrument.

Mr. Pike’s keen interest in learning about all aspects of the steelpan was a factor in him later becoming a member of the university’s steelband. Here other musicians assisted in his quest and provided him the crafting knowledge of the instrument. He later became the leader of the band and even introduced his good friend, Colville Young (the now Governor General of Belize, His Excellency Sir Colville Norbert Young), to the music.

After several years and a failed attempt at importing the instruments, Dr. Pike led the crafting of the steelpans here in Belize and soon found himself at the forefront of eager musicians and a very receptive local community!

As a diverse population that continues to evolve, Belizeans’ love for the steelpan melodies remains concrete as the vibrant performances captivate everyone in earshot! Download the FULL list of activities happening throughout September here.

For more information on this and other highlights of Belize, or for tips on planning your dream vacation, email us at: [email protected] or call us TOLL FREE at: 1-800-624-0686