Hi! My name is Gaye and I am a steel pan educator living on the beautiful island of Jamaica. I’ve been playing steel pan for the past 20 years. I can’t believe its been that long! Time flies when you’re having fun!
I fell in love with steel pan while I was still in high school. I remember it clearly. It was during carnival and the University of the West Indies (UWI) Panoridim Steel Orchestra was on the back of a truck playing Lord Kitchener’s Pan in A Minor.
That’s all it took! I was hooked! To this day Pan in A Minor is one of my all time favourite pan songs. When I went to university a few years later, I made sure I joined the steelband.
I played steel pan right through university and even after I graduated. I spent six years working in agricultural research (my degree was in Botany) but I didn’t really enjoy it! At first I thought the measly pay checks were the source of my misery, but then I got a great paying job and still wasn’t happy! I realised my heart just was not in Botany. As soon as my 9-5 job was finished, I would always run back on campus to play pan.
So I decided to do what I love most…music. I went back to University but this time in Trinidad, the home of the steel pan. There I studied steel pan at the University of the West Indies (St Augustine). I also played with the world renowned Exodus Steel Orchestra for a few Panorama competitions and Steelband Music Festivals I always tell people that I learnt as much in the panyard as I did at the university.
After three fabulous years in Trinidad I went Northern Illinois University (USA) for my masters degree. This too was a tremendous experience and I learnt a lot about steel pan performance while I was there.
I consider myself very fortunate to have had these experiences. I don’t regret changing my career for one minute. Now I’m doing what I love! My favorite quote says it so eloquently…
"The biggest mistake people make in life is not making a living at doing what they most enjoy."
- Malcolm S. Forbes (1919-1990)
However, when I returned home to Jamaica, I was immediately bombarded with questions about the steel pan. Finding information about the steel pan (steel drums) can be difficult if you live outside of Trinidad and people were turning to me for answers. After a while it got a little overwhelming.
So I built this site (with a lot of help from Site Build It!) to publish the answers to some of my most frequently asked questions. The more I wrote the more ideas I got for new pages and the site kept growing and growing!
Building this site has been an enjoyable adventure, but that’s another story!
I don’t claim to know everything about the steel pan. I enjoy the forums on this site as well because I also get a chance to learn from other persons experiences.
Be sure to check the YOUR Question and Answer Forums and the YOUR Photos and Stories pages and participate in the worldwide discussions.
I welcome your feedback. I would love to hear if this site was helpful or how it can be improved to offer even more help. If you would like to contact me, click here. Thanks for visiting