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The Festival of Steel Holds Camp In Morgantown

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The Festival of Steel is a camp dedicated to helping members of the community learn how to play the Steel Drums. It's a week long event that invites people from all over the world to get together and embrace the world of music.

Directors say that having an entire week to practice encourages more people to participate.

"It's really hard to get people from different corners of the globe to come together and be a band for a week but that's the other thing. You have a whole week, a whole five six days to really make it happen. So it's pretty exciting on all fronts," said Director, Dave Longfellow.

Last summer the Festival of Steel had about 35 participants. This year they have doubled that number with 70 people coming to Morgantown to learn and expand their knowledge about Steel Drums.

This is the second summer for the camp and directors would like to continue to see the event grow. The organization had camps like this during the 80's, 90's, and early 2000's but had to take a break in 2008 due to the declining economy.

Instructors are happy that the camp is back on it's feet because it's rewarding to see the students progress throughout the week.

"Well that's the great part about teaching is you get to see progress and what I love is to be able to come into a situation and work with players and have them improve immediately," said Instructor, Andy Nerell.

During the week students will be divided into three different groups. A beginners group, an intermediate group, and an advanced group for those who are more experienced with the instrument.

Longfellow said, "It's open up to basically anybody. Anybody who has a wealth of experience, anybody who has never played before can check out the band. Our beginning band, people who have kind of dabbled in it a little bit, to people who have literally never played before. So it's really great we kind of hit it on all fronts. Anybody can just walk in and play as well."

Students arrived in Morgantown on Sunday and were treated to a faculty concert. During the week classes will last from 9 to 5:30 in the afternoon.

The community is invited out to the final concert on Saturday at the Farmers Market on Spruce Street.