Featured Composition: PanSon for Steel Band by Dave Gerhart

Dave Gerhart wrote PanSon while attending the 2004 CSU Summer Arts Program in Fresno, CA. The Summer Arts program was a two-week percussion workshop where they taught African, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Caribbean drumming and music. The faculty included Michael Spiro, Mark Lamson, Liam Teague, Ray Holman and CK Ladzepko. During this workshop, Michael Spiro did a session on Afro-Cuban drumming and how to identify the clave in music. After the class, Dave wanted to try to write a melody using the concepts Spiro introduced in the class. Dave came up with a montuno and wrote the melody to what became PanSon
The piece is written in the style of a 2-3 Cuban Son with a middle section that has a different montuno and can be opened up for pan or percussion solos. The title PanSon is derived from the name of the instrument (commonly known as Pans) and the style in which the piece is written (Cuban Son).
PanSon is an impressive work (4 minute) for any steel band to show that pans are not just big oil cans that play loud music but rather very delicate instruments that can play a variety of music styles.  Watch the CSULB Steel Drum Orchestra perform PanSon on YouTube.