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Chops celebrates a decade of pan programs!

Time flies when you're having fun! Did you know that Chops' steel-pan programs have been entertaining audiences for ten years? That's right ... Pan-handlers Steel Drum Band played its first show in 2014.

Adding a steel-drum ensemble was the brainchild of long-time Chops member and leader Jeremy Kunkel, who directed Pan-handlers from 2014 - 2021. In its early years, Pan-handlers brought back a bit of the classic Chops style with their orange Hawaiian shirts and a catalog of popular tunes.

After performances, Pan-handlers’ members often allowed audience members to try out the steel drums, which led to questions about where and how to learn how to play pan. Thus, the idea of a “traveling school of pan” was born, and Chops launched the Pan Outreach Program as another way to carry out its mission of educating people of all ages in the art of music and performance.

Founded in 2017, Tin Cups steel drum band specializes in parades, and makes playing pan more accessible. For those who are new to the instrument, or don't have time to learn hours of repertoire, Tin Cups is a great way to get involved or stay involved with steel drums.

With our Pan-handlers, Pan Outreach, and Tin Cups programs, Chops has provided our communities with ten years of world music through steel pan instruction and performance!

Follow along in the coming months as we celebrate 10 Years of Pan at Chops with history, memories, photographs and ways to support our pan programs. Here are just a few of the ways you can get involved now!

  • Come to Tin Cups open house / first rehearsal of the season on May 15th at 6:00 p.m. @ 7900 Excelsior Blvd in Hopkins

  • Sign your kids (or yourself!) up for Pan Camp, and put our annual Day of Pan concert on your calendar - August 10th @ The Cedar Cultural Center

  • Make plans to see the Pan-handlers' first full-band show of the season on May 18th @Mainstreet Days in Hopkins, and check out all of their upcoming shows

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