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Reading welcomes Aberdeen and New York for Notting Hill Carnival
Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra (RASPO) is busy preparing for Notting Hill Carnival's National 'Panorama' UK Steelband Championship taking place this weekend on Saturday 27 August 2011.
Sixteen players from Pandemic Steel Band based at Aberdeen's Bucksburn Academy, New York drummer Keith J Marcelle and drill director Khuent Rose arrived in Reading on Monday to complete RASPO's forty-five-piece orchestra for the final week of intense rehearsal before competing with five other steel bands for the title of 'Champions of Steel'.
Iman Pascall (24), who is in Reading from New York's Berklee College of Music, has arranged a ten-minute version of Destra's 'Calling Meh', it is her first time as a UK Panorama arranger.
The first outdoor performance preview with the full orchestra will take place in Broad Street Reading East on Thursday 25 August at 4.30pm and again in the Butter Market, Reading on Friday 26 August 12noon to 3pm.
RASPO will celebrate taking part in the Panorama championship on the float at London's Notting Hill Carnival procession on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 August. The three way collaboration between New York, Aberdeen and Reading has created a significant opportunity and potential success for RASPO and Reading at Europe's largest carnival event.
Aberdeen's Pandemic with KJ Marcelle, Iman Pascall, Khuent Rose and Mary Genis
RASPO's youngest musicians are best pan pals Rosie (10) on tenor pan and Maiya (11) on double seconds. Rosie will celebrate her 11th birthday on Carnival Sunday which is Kids Day.
The success of preparing a steel percussion orchestra for Panorama is down to everyone helping each other.
This image shows RASPO's strum section leader Dani teaching new parts to the Pandemic players at their first rehearsal with RASPO.