Miami University Steel Band
The Miami University Steel Band was founded in 1994 with a complement of ten players and six instruments. Under the leadership of founder and director Chris Tanner, the program has grown to encompass two separate ensembles with a combined enrollment of over sixty members, and twenty-five university-owned instruments. The ensemble is one of the most active in the Cincinnati area, performing over twenty times annually in settings ranging from school outreach programs to guest appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
The Miami University Steel Band is one of the few university bands to have released professional-quality recordings. The group’s latest offering, produced by Tanner and steel pan composer-performer Tom Miller, is Simple Pleasures (2006). This recording, along with the band’s two previous discs, is available through Pan Ramajay Productions ( and also via the iTunes Music Store. The recordings feature original music by Tanner, Miller, Ray Holman, Darren Dyke, Phil Hawkins and others.
Aside from recordings, appearances at prestigious events are also propelling the Miami University Steel Band onto a national stage. The ensemble appeared at the Ohio Music Educators Association annual conference in 2006 and 2002, and at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in 2005 and 2002. In May 2003, the group headlined the first ever PANorama Caribbean Music Festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia, together with steel drum creator Ellie Mannette and world-renowned pan artist Andy Narell.
As the art form of pan grows in the 21st century, the Miami University Steel Band aspires to be one of the leading programs in exemplifying excellence in performance, and in expanding the repertory for this unique ensemble.