Sounds of Steel at Hermon School District

Joy Hollowell

Updated 4 months ago

The sounds of summer can be heard all year long in the Hermon School District.

Joy Hollowell introduces us to the Hermon Pans.

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Hermon Pans Director John Kollman admits he gets a lot of strange looks when the high school’s steel drum band performs.

“What are those guys doing, what are those instruments?” says Kollman.

Five years ago, Kollman created Hermon Pans- first with elementary and middle school students after school and then, the high school band that’s also a Fine Arts class credit.

“A lot of these kids, it’s the only ensemble they’ve ever been a part of,” explains Kollman. “They’ve never done chorus or band or anything like that.”

Kollman credits Flash in the Pans with starting the “Pan Revolution,” as he calls it. The community band also helped put together a steel drum group at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill.

“The uniqueness of these instruments, you can take someone whose never played before, never played any instrument, and inside of an hour, you can make a decent sounding song with an entire group,” says Kollman.

Aaron Gibbs has played the pans since fifth grade.

“I’m a percussionist,” says the junior at Hermon High School,” so this is just another way for me to express myself in music.”

“It gets everybody up and dancing,” adds junior Megan Cyr, “like when we have concerts at the school, everybody is always dancing.”

You just can’t help but be in a good mood when performing as well as listening to this music.

“I always describe it as unbridled joy,” says Kollman. “It makes people happy, all ages.”

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Kollman also conducts the Hermon Pans community steel drum band.

They’ll be performing in the Bangor-Brewer Fourth of July parade as well as at the Bangor Public Library this summer.

Anyone interested in joining the band can contact John Kollman at Hermon High School in the fall.


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