You are here

They rocked the house at Presser Hall

By Monty Siekerman
The musicians and audience experienced the most happy and fun performance in Presser Hall's 90-year-history when four steel bands pounded out 17 songs to a nearly full house on Saturday evening.

There was limbo, a conga line and what could be construed as ONU's adaptation of a mosh pit.

They rocked the house with the music - jumpin', clappin', swingin', and swayin'.

Someone should have sold deodorant and handed out Ridilin at the door afterwards.

The musicians and audience left the building feeling happy. That's what Caribbean music is all about. A fun time.

Drummers, all 50 of them on stage at one time, played mostly bombastic music, along with a few smooth tunes.

On one song, many members of the audience, young and old, left their seats to join in the conga line that snaked up and down the aisles and through the lobby.

During another song, many tried their hand at limbo... most weren't too successful. But their attempts brought smiles to many.

One song featured a violin and washboard.

Members of the audience stood and clapped to the music on several songs. Caribbean music isn't sitting quietly in your seat with your hands folded in your lap.

The bands, all playing for the combined pieces while having their own day in the sun on solos, were:
• The Wild Steel-ions (junior high and high school students from Ada and Lima), directed by Sarah Waters and Adam Grim.
• Clark Montessori High School, Cincinnati, directed by Jeffery Martin (a 2013 ONU grad);
• Glass City Steel from the Toledo School for the Arts, directed by Rob Desmond;
• ONU Steel Band, directed by Sarah Waters.

The music of the steel band is traditionally full of lively Caribbean dance rhythms and singable melodies. Steel drum music originated on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean in the 1940s, and it quickly became popular worldwide.

The popularity of the music and the gusto by which it was performed on Saturday proved steel drum music is here to stay at Ohio Northern. Who wouldn't be in favor of an occasional dose of happiness and fun?