In 1995 marked a historic step for the Lydians and Trinidad and Tobago on the whole, when the Lydian Steel became the first steeldrum band to accompany an entire opera - Delius' Koanga. They epitomised the new image of the panman as being literate in music. This was the first group of pan players to read several bars of music on each night of performance and there has been no turning back since. Deserving of compliments are; Ben Jackson, Kareem Brown, the many foundation members from Success Stars Steel Orchestra and the others who have joined since 1995.
In 2005 Lydians' Steel celebrated its 10th Anniversary along with the choir's 25th Anniversary. This section of the website is a tribute to them for their years of excellence.
Well done Lydians' Steel!
2005 Members of the Lydians' Steel Orchestra in Tobago early 2005
The Lydian Steel Orchestra
Founded in 1995, Lydian Steel, an ensemble of some twenty young gifted musicians, was put together to accompany the celebrated Lydians Singers in Frederick Delius' Koanga. Since then, Lydian Steel has played an increasingly essential role in The Lydian Singers performances, regularly accompanying the choir at their Easter Concerts, the Festival Sundays in July as well as the annual Christmas concerts. Lydian Steel and The Lydians have undertaken several major works together, including Donzetti's L'Elisir D'Armour and Puccini's Turandot and together they performed Brahms' Requiem, Mozart's Piano Concerto in A major, and Verdi's Requiem at many venues throughout Trinidad. The talents of individual pannists have been showcased in solo performances of works such as Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and the second movement of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto.
In 2001, Lydian Steel performed with The Lydian Singers in concert series 'Music for Easter' which featured Bach's Jesu Meine Freude and Dubois' The Seven Last Words of Christ a second concert series alongside the touring Magdalen College Choir of Oxford University, England. The year culminated in concert series starring Lydian Steel without the Lydian Singers where they performed major works including Vivaldi's Le Quatro Stagioni.
Lydian Steel now has an international profile. In March 2001 the band performed in Coral Gabes, Miami at the invitation of the Miami Bach Society. Lydian Steel's opening night concert at the Society's Second Annual Tropical Baroque Festival was a resounding success. The Executive Directors of the Society declared: "The musicians are to be lauded for their intensity and focus and the absolute beauty both aurally and visually at their performance." The Society paid the highest compliment to Lydian Steel by breaking one of its own rules of not inviting a group back the year following its performance, by immediately asking the Ensemble to return to Florida to perform on March 2nd 2002, the opening night of the following year's festival. This year Lydian's Steel was again invited to the Miami Bach's Society 'Tropical Baroque Music Festival VII' in March of this year. More information on their visit will be presented soon.
On this second visit, Lydian Steel's performance was given even more tumultuous reception. Their soloists were lionized and the celebrated Lydian tenor, Edward Cumberbatch performed with Lydian steel accompaniment to an enraptured audience who acclaimed him as 'surpassing Pavarotti!'
To their delight, Lydian Steel was once again invited to open the Tropical Baroque Festival in Miami in 2003 and performed again at the Festival in 2004.
Pat Bishop musical director
Lindy-Ann Bodden-Ritch keyboard
Kareem Brown tenor/double tenor
Avis Bruce tenor/double second
Kamaria Cupid tenor
Dennis Roberts percussion
Sophia Subero tenor/double tenor
Issa James double tenor/six bass
Ben Jackson tenor/double second
Malene Joseph tenor
Tonya King tenor/double second
Astra Noel double guitar
Marlon "Tommy" Readhead tenor bass
Roland Riley tenor/double tenor