The Steelband is the only non-school based instrumental music program in Ward 7, where the scarcity of music education with cultural relevancy is a crucial issue. The program provides youth with a positive outlet and safe space to develop strong values and lifelong connections to the arts. Students meet twice weekly for steelpan instruction and on Saturdays for field trips and life skills classes on substance abuse prevention, sexuality, violence prevention, and social media. Music instruction is provided in the traditional Trinidadian method line repetition by ear not by reading sheet music (though music theory is also taught). The fruits of the work are evident in some 25 live performances a year from Frederick Douglass Family Day at the US Park Service to the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center. This powerful band has a long wait list; resources will help it grow.

Information coming soon

Awards & Recognition



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Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for East of the River Boys & Girls Steelband is: Less than $500k

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