KEYSER - Highland Arts Unlimited Inc. will open the 2017-2018 season with a free concert by Pan Jammin' Steel Drum bands on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Church-McKee Auditorium at WVU-Potomac State College.

KEYSER - Highland Arts Unlimited Inc. will open the 2017-2018 season with a free concert by Pan Jammin’ Steel Drum bands on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Church-McKee Auditorium at WVU-Potomac State College.  
Patrons who wish to join Highland Arts will receive a 10 percent discount in their chosen category up to and including the evening of the concert.  
Brochures have been mailed to former and perspective members and will be available at the concert.
     Pan Jammin’ Steel Drum Studio was established in September of 2013 by local musician Fred Kesner who wished to further promote the steel pan and Caribbean style music in this area.  From the first session, of which only four persons attended, the studio has grown in numbers as well as reputation.  
    The first steel drum band formed was the 5:00 Pan Band, so named for the hour that the group meets every Monday.  Three of the members of the Pan Band were at the first session and are instrumental in getting the steel band project “off the ground.”  
The 5:00 Pan Band is a mix of seasoned adult musicians and those who had never played a musical instrument before.  The group has progressed nicely and can play many of the steel band classics as well as popular songs arranged for group in Caribbean style.
     A new group formed this year is the Airport Pan Band. Consisting of a group of retired professionals who all live in the Airport Addition of Keyser, the Airport Pan Band  has been practicing since March and has already performed a number of times locally.  
In the Highland Arts show, the Airport Pan Band will be combined with even a newer group, which was just created in June. This group is formed of local musicians, all who are proficient on other instruments.  Most of them perform with the Potomac State College/Community bands. This will be their first performance as steel pannists!
     The Pan Jammin’ All-Stars are the most experienced steel drummers of the studio.  The group members have had experience playing in middle school steel drum bands, and therefore are very accomplished steel pan players who have performed in many venues in the tri-state area.
     Pan Jammin’ steel bands and instructor Fred Kesner are very appreciative of the involvement of Richard Frush, who serves as drum set player for all of the groups.  Mr. Frush is a great asset due to his musical talents as well as his willingness to help out in any way to promote the studio’s goals.