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Faculty: World Music


Steel Drums of Trinidad and Tobago

Robert Thwaites

Mr. Robert Thwaites has been performing Steelband music since the age of 9, and was a member of the legendary Pan Am Northstars Steelband in Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.  He has also toured internationally with this group, and these tours include two appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and the Ed Sullivan Show on CBS. 

Since settling in the U.S. in 1971, Mr. Thwaites was instrumental in forming Pan United Youth Movement, Inc. (PUYM), a New York 501(c)3 non-profit organization, to empower youth through steel band music and to develop a professional steel orchestra that can showcase the versatility of this instrument

He raised his three sons in this culture and they learned to play “pan” by ear at an early age. All of them received scholarships to attend the Berklee College of Music from which they have all graduated.  

Mr. Thwaites has performed with several prominent steel bands in the WashingtonD.C. Metropolitan area, is a gifted arranger, a soloist, and has taught Pan Music at several locations including Northwestern High SchoolHyattsvilleMaryland. He joined the teaching staff of the Ottley SchoolMusic in June 2011, successfully teaching students as young as 4 years old, as well as children, teens, adults and seniors.  His OMS students have been performing, not only in the monthly recitals at OMS, but also do gigs in the community. bago, having traveled fand performed worldwide. His schedule is fills up quickly, so now is the time to register.

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