Founded in 1991 by J. B. Smith, director of percussion studies, the Pan Devils Steel Band of the School of Music at the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts has entertained campus, public school, and community audiences throughout the state. The band, whose members are undergraduate and graduate students, brings the energetic sounds of the West Indies to its performances and showcases the steel drum, or pan, a unique musical instrument that has its origins in Trinidad.
Beginning with a 55-gallon oil drum, the creation of a steel drum includes pounding, tempering with fire and water, and then painstakingly grooving and hammering each note into the metal. Today, the steel drum is popular throughout the world and has firmly established itself as a serious musical instrument.