Liam Teague

NIU Steel Band Legends Keep On Inspiring

Apr 13, 2015
Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Cliff Alexis -- co-director of the Northern Illinois University Steel Band -- is considered a living legend within the steel pan world. Before that, he was a six-year-old aspiring pannist in a world that stigmatized pan players as violent gangsters.  

"I fell in love with it from an early age,” Alexis said. “The problem was, we were forbidden to go near those guys, because those guys were considered, you know, bad boys in the neighborhood."  

NIU Steel Band Marks 40 Years Of Growth

Apr 11, 2014
Yuko Asada

From its beginnings as a small band -- without even a lead instrument -- in a corner of the NIU Percussion Studio, the NIU Steel Band has a lot to celebrate from the past 40 years.

The celebration culminates in the band’s 40th anniversary concert Sunday, April 13, in the Boutell Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building.

Steel band co-director Liam Teague said the concert program will reflect the spirit of the band throughout its existence. “It highlights what we’re trying to do in the steel band,” he said. “We’re looking at the past, present and future.”