In it's 16th year and as the only full-time middle school steelband program in the Florida, the Raa Steelband enrolls 150-200 students each year! Students follow the program from Beginning, to Intermediate, and then finally Advanced Steelband, one of Raa's top performing ensembles. The Raa Advanced Steelband is always looking for performance opportunities. The group travels locally and across the state, having performed at Cascades Park, the North Florida Fair, FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium, as well as in Orlando and Palm Coast. As a partial feeder to Leon High School, students hone their skills in preparation of joining the Lion Steelband for their high school experience. Members of Raa Steel participate in many other campus activites such as all the other Raa electives, football basketball, soccer, softball, cheerleading, SGA, and more! The Raa Steelband experience is one that will stick with a student for a lifetime of steelpan enjoyment!
Information for Parents
The Raa Steelbands perform many concerts throughout the year. Students in Raa Steel are expected to be available to perform at these events. The Advanced Steelband, as one of Raa's top performing ensembles, is asked to perform at many events throughout the school year. These events are a priority for showcasing Raa's arts excellencel, so it is expected that Raa Advanced Steelband members attend these amazing performance opportunities. Students in Raa Steel are not expected to purchase their own instrument, but they are asked to pay a small class fee to help with the cost of tuning and maintaining the instruments.
Program Highlights & Awards
Raa Steel is an annual participant at the Florida Music Educators Association Music Performance Assessment concert held in Palm Coast, Florida. Judges and clinicians have glowed at the level of maturity and experience the Raa Steelband performs with. The Advanced Steelband has been asked to perform for many local events, such as the Leadership Tallahassee Night of Awards event this past year, the Wakulla Springs Carnival festivies, the North Florida Fair, among many others. As the state's only fulltime middle school steelband, teh Raa Steelband program is used as an example of how to create a school steelband program, thereby offering students more arts opportunities at schools.
Why you should join the Raa Steelband...
Being a part of something special and unique is something that anyone wants in their life. Being part of the Raa Steelband offers your child the opportunity to do just that: writing their name in the history books of the county's only middle school steelband. Your student cannot take this ensemble at any other middle school: so come and be a part of something truly remarkable! In your student's 3 years at Raa, they will rise up through the ranks and be a part of the Raa Advanced Steelband, getting to perform across the state (and maybe country) someday soon! I hope that you and your child will consider becoming part of the raa Steelband family!
Degrees and Certifications:
Mr. William Sahely
The Director of Steelbands, Mr. William Sahely, is a native of Trinidad and Tobago and has Soca and Calypso running through his veins! Mr. Sahely holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Arts Administration from the Florida State University College of Music. Before teaching at Raa Middle School, Mr. Sahely taught at both the School of Arts and Sciences Thomasville Road and Centre of Tallahassee. An avid trombone player, Mr. Sahely performs locally with the Thursday Night Music Club, as well as other groups around Tallahassee. It is not lost on Mr. Sahely that he has an extremely unique situation teaching the instrument his country invented all these miles far away from home, an opportunity he cherishes and makes the most of with his students. As a leader in the steelband field, Mr. Sahely has given multiple sessions at the FMEA Professional Development Conference, where he has taught teachers from around the state about the ins and outs of the steelband. Mr. Sahely would like to thank the Raa Administration for helping to keep the Raa Steelband alive all these years and looks forward to many more to come!