About UFO Steelband
Urban Fox Orchestra Steelband, aka UFO, is based in the centre of Ealing in West London. Our aim is to enjoy and share the beautiful music of the steelpan, and we offer accessible lessons to people of all ages including those who are blind and visually impaired, and complete beginners. Why not join us!
In just three years UFO has had incredible impact. The crowd and judges loved UFO very first on-the-road performance at Notting Hill Carnival, and the band was selected to take part in a unique cultural week in United Arab Emirates – so we had our first tour abroad. Thanks to the support of Arts Council of England, RBKC Arts and Ealing Music Services, UFO were able to reach large audiences and give our players the experience of playing gigs all over London. We are now regulars at the spectacular London New Year’s Day Parade, we encouraged the 10,000 runners while playing steelpan at the halfway point for the Ealing Half Marathon, and we run audience-participation workshops at summer festivals and fun days. We have an ongoing collaboration with professional musicians from The Corps of Army Music, where our often young and inexperienced players have had the chance to teach steelpan to professional musicians who had never played the instrument before, and have certainly never learned soca arrangements by ear and muscle memory. We have lots to look forward to… join us!
The band are proud to have created a specialist class for blind and visually impaired beginners, who have become “The UFO Pilots.” We hope that with funding we can increase participation in this VIP class, as demand has already exceeded numbers we currently have capacity for.
UFOs most experienced musicians The Firestars play gigs all over UK, and last Christmas delighted shoppers on Oxford Street bringing their amazing repertoire to thousands of shoppers. At the other end of the scale we alway welcome beginners. Running intergenerational mixed ability classes means beginners learn fast and are soon playing gigs, and tell us that their weekly steelpan lesson are ‘the absolute best thing in the week’. We love merging steelpan with other instruments and even with other artforms, sometimes running ‘pan art’ classes where the players take turns to paint each other, then we exhibit the art to raise the profile of steelpan. View our Gallery here.
So if you would like to play Notting Hill Carnival 2017 or London New Year’s Day Parade 2018… 0n a 45’ articulated lorry with UFO, now is the time to join us!