The NIU Steelband is directed by Liam Teague (Head of Steel Pan Studies/Associate Professor of Music) and Clifford Alexis (composer, arranger, tuner and builder). Created in 1973 by G. Allan O'Connor, it was the first active steelband formed in an American university and has performed throughout the United States and around the world. NIU is one of the few institutions in the world at which students may pursue music degrees (undergraduate and graduate) with the steel pan as the major instrument of choice.
The Steelband is a 35-member group and mainly comprises steelpan and percussion majors. The band performs regularly at public schools, colleges and universities, as well as conventions and arts series. The band has four recordings to its credit; including the most recent, "Dangerous", featuring an eclectic blend of styles.
In addition to the NIU Steelband, our program includes two other ensembles: the All-University Steelband, a group open to any NIU student regardless of major or previous experience on pan, and the Steel Pan Studio, which comprises steel pan majors exclusively. Since the introduction of the steelband at NIU, many institutions of higher learning in the United States have formed their own ensembles.