Hailed as the “Paganini of the Steelpan”, Liam Teague currently serves as the Head of Steelpan Studies and Professor of Music at Northern Illinois University. Along with Clifford Alexis, he co-directs the NIU Steelband.
He has received many awards in his homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, including the Humming Bird Award (Silver) for “loyal and devoted service”, the Ansa McAl Caribbean Awards for Excellence, and won of a number of notable competitions such as the Trinidad and Tobago National Steelband Festival Solo Championship and the Saint Louis Symphony Volunteers Association Young Artiste Competition.
His commitment to demonstrating the great musical possibilities of the steelpan has taken Teague to Europe, Asia, and Australia, as well as North and Central America and the Caribbean.
He has performed with many diverse ensembles, including Taiwan National Symphony, Czech National Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Panama National Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Vermeer String Quartet, Dartmouth Wind Ensemble, University of Wisconsin-Madison Marching Band, Nexus, TCL Group Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra, BPtt Renegades Steelband and Starlift Steel Orchestra.
Teague has collaborated with such prominent musicians as Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Samuels, Zakir Hussain, and Evelyn Glennie. As a performer and clinician, Teague has given presentations at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions (PASIC) and at many educational institutions throughout the world.
He is steelband director at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin, and he has also taught and performed at the California State University Summer Arts Camp and at the Interlochen Academy for the Performing Arts.
A strong advocate for original steelpan compositions, Teague has commissioned a number of significant composers to write for the instrument, including Michael Colgrass, Jan Bach, Libby Larsen, Deborah Fisher Teason, Joey Sellers, Ben Wahlund, Erik Ross and Kevin Bobo. Many of his own compositions are published with MaumauMusic, PanPress and RamajayMusic.
Teague has served as musical arranger of the TCL Group Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra, Starlift Steel Orchestra, for Panorama, the most prestigious steelband competition in the world. He is now the arranger for PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra.
To date, Teague has recorded eight compact discs, including Hands Like Lightning (1993), For Lack of BetterWords (2002), Panoramic: Rhythm Through an Unobstructed View (2005) and Open Window (2010).
M.M., Northern Illinois University