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Due to the challenges facing teachers as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 FMEA Steel Band Festival has been canceled. We hope you will join us when it returns in April of 2022. 



The purpose of the Steel Band Festival is to provide steel band students and directors a positive performance outlet and motivating goal, to share ensemble literature among teachers, to create an event that allows teachers to become more knowledgeable in their craft through clinician contact time, all to ultimately advance the experience of steel band students throughout the State of Florida.

Overview: The focus of this event will be on the performance of steelpan solos and ensembles. Every performance will receive a supportive clinic by this year’s clinician.

Teacher Qualifications: Each director should be a certified member of FMEA by Mar. 1, 2020.

Student Qualifications: Steel bands are composed of a minimum of members and must be a part of an elementary or secondary school curriculum, either during school or extracurricular.

Performance Time: Each entry will have 20 minutes of performance and a 10 minute clinic.

Performance Subdivision: Each steel band entry can divide the performance time into smaller ensembles if desired. For example: an entry of 20 can play one song utilizing all 20 students, followed by one song of 10 students, followed by the other 10. For smaller musical selections, directors are encouraged to submit them as separate chamber ensemble entries.

Music selection criteria: Due to the variance in curriculum and class structure, directors should select music that is appropriate and challenging to the students in their classroom. If music being performed is published, the director must bring the original score for the clinician. This is to assist the clinician in providing useful comments and also to discourage unlawful photocopying. Directors are, of course, able to perform their own unpublished arrangements. Directors are encouraged to program at least one selection that includes a traditional soca or calypso style including typical engine room instruments.

Sight Reading: Sight reading is an optional component in the festival. Sight reading music will be produced by the Sight Reading Factory and every band will be given unique music. When completing your online application, you will choose from the following options:

  • No Sight reading
  • Easy Unison
  • Easy Two-Part (treble & bass)
  • Easy Three-Part (tenor, seconds, backline)
  • Easy Four-Part
  • Challenging Unison
  • Challenging Two-Part (treble & bass)
  • Challenging Three-Part (tenor, seconds, backline)
  • Challenging Four-Part

"Easy" will consist of quarter note and longer note duration with no leaps larger than a 3rd in the key of C and 4/4 time (Level 1 on SRF). "Challenging" will include eighth and sixteenth rhythms with no leaps larger than a 4th in the key of C, F, or G in 4/4, 3/4, or 2/4. (Level 3 on SRF). Bands requesting to sight read will be given an additional 15 minutes in their time-slot for sight reading and feedback from the clinician.

Preview Video Upload: As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide a link to a video of your band performing one piece.  This video is to give the clinician a "sample" of the different bands attending so he/she can prepare their feedback accordingly.  We don't have categories or any indication of skill level so this is the best way to give the clinician a preliminary read on each group.

Video Requirements:

  • Record your steel band performing one piece of music. It does not need to be one of the pieces you will be performing at the festival. 
  • Upload or post your video to a site such as YouTube, Vimeo, TeacherTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc...  Make sure visibility is set to "Public" or "Anyone with the link can view" so the clinician will be able to view it without logging in to anything. 
  • Copy and Paste the full URL link to the video into your online application.  

Equipment: Music stands will be provided for each performing group. Performing groups must provide all instruments and instrument stands used in performance, including drum set and engine room. There will be access to electrical outlets.

Entry Fee: $90 per steel band, regardless of size. Each solo or small ensemble entry is $25. Checks are to be made payable to “FMEA,” 402 Office Plaza, Tallahassee, FL 32301-2757. The entry form, generated by the online entry application below, must be printed and signed by the principal and director, and mailed along with the check. 

Questions: Jared Allen, Festival Coordinator,

Steel Band Festival Application