By Julia Burgon
Pan Jam, a steel band group featuring the Brough family, is bringing the sounds of Trinidad and Tobago to BYU”s Madsen Recital Hall Wednesday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m.
Free tickets for this event, which marks the first performance held in conjunction with the recently established Watkins Endowment for Music and the Family, are available at the Fine Arts Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center.
The Brough family has been performing music of the Caribbean together for seven or eight years, said Ron Brough, associate professor of music.
“My wife came up with the idea,” said Brough, “She was tired of me being gone all the time and this way we could be together for a change.”
The Brough family members of Pan Jam include Robyn, 15 who plays the lead pan; Roger, 16, who plays the triple guitar pans; Ryan 23, who plays the bass; Ralene, the mother, who plays double second pans, and Ron, the father, who plays the drum set for the band.
“The band has taken transformations,” Brough said. “We have to make slight adjustments to fill spots when family members aren”t available. But we try to keep it a family thing.”
Pan Jam has played for the 2002 Winter Olympics, at the Conference Center with Gladys Knight and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Freedom Festival in Provo and Tooele and the Utah Arts Festival. Pan Jam also performs at conventions, weddings and parties.
The music played by the Brough family includes more then music of the Caribbean. They also play jazz, merengue, bossa nova, polka, reggae, rock ”n” roll and calypso styles to North American audiences.
Stemming from Trinidad, the music of the steel drum is prevalent among the people of the Caribbean.
“We”re playing the music of the people,” Brough said
At Carnival time, the people of Trinidad would play music on paint cans and other things, he said. Once oil was discovered, they began experimenting with 55-gallon oil drums, which could be found all over the island.
Steel drum playing in Trinidad has evolved into a community-oriented event. Competitions are held and an island steel band champion is selected each year.
The Pan Jam performance aids the Watkins Endowment for Music and the Family in achieving its purpose in assisting families in a variety of ways to support music and the family and broadcasts of music courses and appropriate family music.
The endowment was officially established on Oct. 23, in honor of Geraldine Swenson Watkins who provided an example of the powerful effect music can have in the home and on the family.
“The students and faculty look forward to working together to help families learn and enjoy music,” said David Randall, director of the School of Music at BYU, in a press release.
“A first step in implementing the Watkins Endowment is family-oriented concerts,” said Andrew Dabczynski, chairman of the Watkins Endowment Committee, in a press release. “The Endowment committee knew the Brough family would be perfect for this and for the community.”
Pan Jam hopes to provide more then just a visual treat for its audience, they hope to offer something musically exciting and stimulating, Brough said.
“Our whole approach is not to perform, we are trying to bring a new outlook as to what people can accomplish with their own families,” Brough said.