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Pan Jam to inaugurate Watkins Endowment series May 28

Introducing audiences to the delightful sounds of finely-tuned steel drums while capturing the spirit of Trinidad and Tobago, Pan Jam, a steel band group featuring the Brough family will perform at Brigham Young University Wednesday, May 28, in the Madsen Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Free tickets for this performance, which will mark the first performance held at BYU in conjunction with the recently established Watkins Endowment for Music and the Family, are available at the Fine Arts Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center.

The originator of the steel band program at BYU, Ron Brough, associate professor of music, was eager to involve his entire family in a musical project. The result is Pan Jam, an exciting musical group that has played at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the Conference Center with Gladys Knight and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Freedom Festival in Provo and the Utah Arts Festival as well as many other events.

The Brough family members of Pan Jam include Robyn, 15, who plays the lead pan; Rodger, 16, who plays the triple guitar pans; Ryan, 23, who plays the bass; Ralene, the mom, who plays double second pans, and Ron, the dad, who plays the drum set for the band.

"Pan" refers the finely tuned steel drums invented in Trinidad and Tobago, and "Jam" is when musicians get together and play what they feel at the moment, according to Brough. Pan Jam performs traditional Caribbean styles as well as jazz, merengue, bossa nova, polka, reggae, rock 'n' roll and calypso styles to North American audiences.

"A first step in implementing the Watkins Endowment is family-oriented concerts and hands-on materials to be given at the concerts that the families can take home and use," said Andrew Dabczynski, chairman of the Watkins Endowment Committee.

The endowment, created by the BYU School of Music, in honor of Geraldine Swensen Watkins, will assist families in a variety of ways, including Internet resources, music workshops and seminars on the BYU campus, research grants and creative projects to support music and the family and broadcasts of music courses and appropriate family music.

"The Endowment committee knew the Brough family would be perfect for this and for the community," Dabczynski said.

Writer: Elizabeth B. Jensen

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