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.
Asked what his secret to
success was, ESP responded