The Pantempters Steel Orchestra was formed in 1992 as a university steel band at the University College of Belize (UCB). Seventeen years ago then Dr. Colville Young, a lecturer at the University College of Belize, formed the orchestra as part of the Colleges activities and invited students and faculty to make up its members. From that humble beginning, with 10 members under his strict and formal tutelage, the UCB Steelband as it was known back then, very quickly made a name for itself in the entertainment arena.
Playing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and other heads of state at formal cere monies were some of the highlights of the Orchestra’s activity during that time. Upon his appointment as Belize’s Governor General Sir Colville gave the directorship to his son, Mr. Lynn Young. Over the ensuing years the UCB steel band grew steadily, not only in numbers, but also in its reputation and the complexity of its repertoire.
A problem that eventually faced the Orchestra was the fact that as members graduated from University College of Belize they could no longer be a part of the group; this created a major problem. Eventually the two entities mutually agreed to part ways and the Pantempters Steel Orchestra became an official private group.
The members of the Orchestra are all volunteer musi cians who devote time from their busy schedules and careers to come together primarily for the love of steel pan music but also for the great comrade that has developed among members. The Pantempters family has grown to over twenty five players who come from all walks of life in Belize and beyond. -Today there are only two original members still with the band.
Over the years, Pantempters has traveled internationally, representing Belize and its Caribbean culture at many events. The group has toured several provinces in Mexico, of recent in 2008. The band has also played in Guatemala at various malls and for the Belize Embassy Independence Celebrations. Apart from international appearances the band is constantly hired to play at variety of events and occasions in the country of Belize from school fairs and graduation ceremonies to weddings at numerous exotic locations, the opening of hotels and resorts, diplomatic functions and official government ceremonies.
The Pan tempters, an extremely versat ile band, has a musical repertoire that encompasses various styles of music including salsa, cumbia, punta, reggae, soca, classical, bossa nova, soul and more.The band is managed by Ms. Therese Martinez and Mr. Herschel Armstrong.
Belize’s premier steel band, the Pantempters hopes to continue to entertain audiences young and old for years to come. This weekend (September 18th-21st) the Pantempters traveled on Maya Island Air Regional to perform at the Belize Independence Anniversary Reception, The Central Park of Antigua, and various shopping malls in Guatemala City.