River Trails student musicians bring touch of the Caribbean to wintry day

  • Seventh-grader Connor Fee, foreground, plays the lead steel drum Sunday during a performance by the River Trails Middle School steel band at the Prospect Heights Public Library.

    Seventh-grader Connor Fee, foreground, plays the lead steel drum Sunday during a performance by the River Trails Middle School steel band at the Prospect Heights Public Library. Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

  • Eighth-grader Ethan Gonzaga plays a steel drum during a concert Sunday by the River Trails Middle School steel band at the Prospect Heights Public Library.

    Eighth-grader Ethan Gonzaga plays a steel drum during a concert Sunday by the River Trails Middle School steel band at the Prospect Heights Public Library. Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

  • Steve Flowers performs during a River Trails Middle School steel band concert Sunday at the Prospect Heights Public Library. Flowers has led the band since it was created 2002. The middle school students performed songs in a variety of genres, from pop and rock to reggae and calypso.

    Steve Flowers performs during a River Trails Middle School steel band concert Sunday at the Prospect Heights Public Library. Flowers has led the band since it was created 2002. The middle school students performed songs in a variety of genres, from pop and rock to reggae and calypso. Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

  • Adult Services Coordinator Terri Campbell introduces the River Trails Middle School steel band Sunday at the Prospect Heights Public Library Sunday. "It's a good day to imagine yourself on a Caribbean island," she said.

    Adult Services Coordinator Terri Campbell introduces the River Trails Middle School steel band Sunday at the Prospect Heights Public Library Sunday. "It's a good day to imagine yourself on a Caribbean island," she said. Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

  • Alex Mociran, 10, of Mount Prospect, left, and David Silaghi, 11, right, of Prospect Heights applaud Sunday during a performance from the River Trails Middle School steel band at the Prospect Heights Public Library. It was David's first time hearing steel drums. "I didn't know what it was going to be like," he said. "It sounded real good though."

    Alex Mociran, 10, of Mount Prospect, left, and David Silaghi, 11, right, of Prospect Heights applaud Sunday during a performance from the River Trails Middle School steel band at the Prospect Heights Public Library. It was David's first time hearing steel drums. "I didn't know what it was going to be like," he said. "It sounded real good though." Patrick Kunzer for the Daily Herald

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 1/22/2023 6:37 PM

While some of the first snow of 2023 fell outside Sunday, patrons inside the Prospect Heights Public Library took a trip to the warm environs of the Caribbean, courtesy of the River Trails Middle School steel band.

Performing a variety of styles from reggae and calypso to pop and rock, the students played music with repurposed 55-gallon oil drums, under the direction of Steve Flowers.

 

River Trails is one of the few middle schools in the state a steel band, according to the group's website. Students rehearse one morning a week and perform in three school concerts per year, as well as additional performances in the community.

"It's a good day to imagine yourself on a Caribbean island," said Terri Campbell, the library's adult services coordinator.

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