For Canann it’s a big mallet, for Da’Najah it’s a small one, and for Ziyan it’s a specific scale:
“The one I love the most is D, that’s this,” he said before playing.
But for all these kids, the Allendale Steel Tigers are a chance
“People in Allendale don’t usually get to do stuff like this,” DeNea Phoneix said.
Allendale is the poorest county in South Carolina, and in 2010 it was ranked the 10th poorest in the entire country. But by these kids, you wouldn’t know it.
“I can’t explain it, it just gives me a fantastic feeling,” Canaan Ennis said.
Before this steel drum band, Caanan didn’t always have that feeling.
“I wasn’t really a part of anything,” he said. “You finally feel accepted in life, because sometimes I used to get bullied. This helps me build self confidence.”
Clearly these kids have learned a lot more than how to hit the right notes, although they’ve got that down too.
“I love it,” DeNea said. “It helps me learn things in life and behaving well.
Good behavior, good grades, and good attendance are all requirements to stay it. Listen, their skills are beyond their years and those lessons they’ve learned are too.
“You have to work with people even if you have an issue with them,” Myrakel Moore said.
“Don’t follow anyone who gets you in trouble,” Rodriuanna Williams added.
“There’s a time in life to be silly and a time when I have to focus,” DeNea said.
That time is now because they’re about to have the honor of performing at the South Carolina School Board Convention.
“You feel so excited you just want to jump out of my pants,” Da’Najah exclaimed.
And, to be honest, part of that excitement is because the conference is in Myrtle Beach.
“I never been and put my feet in the sand or the ocean and I’m so excited to go,” Da’Najah said.
To go together and perform as a team because it isn’t one note or another:
“You have to put all the drums together to sound like a melody,” Canaan said.
It’s the way they band together.