5 Charmouth Road
Tel: 01225 311952
Outline of organisation:
Bath is home to the Rainbow Steel Orchestra. This group of musicians has the honour of being one of Britain’s oldest steel bands. For fifty years, Rainbow has kept the ‘West Indian’ tradition of steel pan making and playing, and spread the delights of this unique percussion instrument to this Roman City and around the globe.
Senior members of the Rainbow Steel band have been recognised with awards, and enjoy an international profile as the best, experienced, talented and respected of players amongst their peers. As the band has developed it has sought to share its skills and knowledge with anyone wishing to learn. As a result Rainbow earned national recognition for steel pan tutoring in schools around the country.
One of the oldest steel bands in the country, the Rainbow Steel Band; which originated in Barbados, made Bath its home more than half a century ago. In the 1950’s the cream of the pan players on the island of Barbados formed themselves into The Barbados All-Stars. The whole band that was already friends and family decided to move to England. Here they settled in Bath, which was a large centre for Caribbean immigrants before London. This group of friends and families; all with the music of the Caribbean flowing in their veins, have stayed together and with their children now grown up, still play pan in the band now known as Rainbow Steel Orchestra.
Currently rainbow has eight members, including Hallam (Rainbow’s leader) and two of his sons.
Rainbow is the oldest Black and Minority Ethnic Community organisation based in Bath has gained national and international recognition, playing for royalty, touring Europe and the Caribbean and developing an international fan base.
Teaching pan steal
50 Glorious Years
In 2007 Rainbow Steel Orchestra celebrated thier 50th Anniversary, and this event was shared with the community of Bath, with the production of the Celebratory Video-DVD ‘Barbados to Bath’. Barbados to Bath links in with the photographic exhibition also celebrating 50 years of Bath’s Rainbow Steel Orchestra and together paint a colourful audio-visual picture of a Caribbean tradition that lives on strong in the English city of Bath. The DVD profiled the band and its key players, who once came from the Caribbean to bring this unique sound to this provincial city. It also embraces the history and politics of the ‘steel pan’ instrument itself.
In addition to this, Rainbow Steel Orchestra produced the ’50 Glorious Years’ CD – a selection of traditional Steel Pan songs and well known Popular music.
You tube: Rainbow Steal Band
When steal talks: From Barbados to Bath
When Steal talks: The British association of Stealbands award 2007
Toussaint Clarke: 30 years of quality steal pan
Facebook: Rainbow Steal Orchestra
Pan Podium: The official website of the British association of stealbands
Rainbow Steal Band Mp3 downloads
Bath Box Office: The Cultural Olympiad in the South West
Pan Podium Issue 15: May 2007
Heritage Lottery Funds: In the South West
University of Bath: Death of Former Staff Member: Orman Clarke October 2010