afropan-small.jpg (8170 bytes)AFROPAN
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The Afropan Steelband (Afropan) is Toronto's oldest community steelband and by far the most successful, in the summer of 2003  they celebrated their 30th anniversary. Afropan has won the best playing steelband competition at the annual Caribana Parade in Toronto twenty-three out of the twenty-nine occasions that this competition has been held and has placed second on the six other occasions. When Afropan won both the best-dressed steelband and the best playing steelband competition at the Parade in August 1999, it was the ninth consecutive year that it had won this competition. In 1999 the best-costumed steelband competition was introduced. Afropan has won this competition twice and placed second on the other occasion.

The Afropan Community Campus Group (Afropan Steelband) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the music of the steelband in the City of Toronto. Afropan is a musical orchestra of which the primary instrument is the steelpan. The steelpan (the pan) is a percussion musical instrument made from a steel drum. The steelband is an ensemble of steelpan instruments accompanied solely by an untuned percussion section. The family of steelpan instruments can generally be divided into four sections; soprano, alto, tenor and bass

Afropan's founder and arranger is Earl La Pierre Sr. who returns to Toronto each year from his home in the Cayman islands with a new tune for the group. His son Earl La Pierre Jr. has now taken over the management of the group. Earl Jr. likes being called E-S-P.  The first initial does stand for "Extraordinary" but the other two letters stand for Steel Pannist. Still it does take extraordinary sensory perceptions to do the tall task of shaping the youth of today into productive citizens.  

The two Earl's musical careers have largely been distinguished by teaching youth. Afropan is mostly made up youth of both sexes learning who they are through discipline and hard work necessary to create the sweet rhythms from steel.  Today there are many graduates of Afropan who have taken up the challenge of mentorhsip to the youth. Most of the steel pan instructors in the school system have passed through the Afropan program at one time.

Asked what his secret to success was, ESP responded
"We are considered the "people's band" and our players are excellent, we work very hard to stay on top."

On the auspicious occasion of the Afropan's his 25th anniversary  Earl Sr. would like very much for express his appreciation for all who have made his career working with youth and making beautiful music possible. His final words:
"Thank you for all your support."


Contact Info

Best Playing Steelpan 1968 - 2002
Afropan graphic courtesy of also thanks to The Kingdom of Soca who hosts official afropan page  is now on-line!! 

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