Every year after PASIC, I come home energized about what direction to head in, whether it was get better at drum set in high school, get better at 4 mallets in college or get better at everything after college. Now that I'm set in my professional career of teaching and lecturing, PASIC is more about enjoying the experience and figuring out how to best impact my community in a positive way. My main goal when talking other steel band directors was to figure out what problems they're having and if there is any way to tackle them in my compositions.
Is it possible to have tunes in your library that are never meant to see the stage? But are used to teach a scale or technique? Band and orchestra directors across the country have access to sight reading booklets, chorales for tuning and composed scales exercises. The same tools, if used in conjunction with preparing for a concert, could create a longer lasting skill for the pan as opposed to learned 5 songs every semester. As well as learning steel band literature, what about the budding soloist or chamber group?
It is accepted that the steel pan community does not have a standardized progression of solo, ensemble or band pieces even though college level percussion ensemble has a steady progression of popular works. Is "Pan in A Minor" the same right of passage as the contructions or ritmicas of the percussion ensemble world? Maybe the rebellious spirit behind pan is the reason we enjoy constantly looking for new literature or creating our own. An homage to the bands of Trinidad that truly represented the neighborhood they were rooted in, avoiding similarities to their neighbors in order to maintain their identity.
Regardless of our steel band intentions, I get excited about the prospect of a high schooler taking a pan solo to All-State or solo and ensemble. The same way many of us began with snare drum or marimba.