Who We Are

Barrels to Beethoven is an organization focused on the preservation, education, and innovation of the steelpan. Founded by Leigh Solomon Pugliano, Barrels to Beethoven utilizes the steelpan, an afro-Caribbean instrument, as the tool for our educational programming. Sometimes called the steeldrums in America, the correct name of the instrument is steelpan or pan. In order to preserve the steelpan, we provide engaging, entertaining, and interactive opportunities for our community, especially youth, to learn about the steelpan which includes historical context and building technique. Our ultimate goal is to provide a unique but impactful option for music and arts education while developing a new generation of steelpan players, builders, tuners, and enthusiasts,  ensuring the growth and advancement of this new musical instrument.

Barrels to Beethoven offers uniquely impactful programs developed by Leigh Solomon Pugliano based on her expertise in steelpan education, curriculum development, steelpan history, and youth development. Students of all ages thoroughly enjoy learning all aspects of the steelpan and performance. In addition, children and youth who participate in our steelpan education programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, increase well-being, self-esteem, and facilitate a successful transition through childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood.

Program Offerings and Workshops

We offer a broad range of learning opportunities for folks of all ages, including:

Lessons: Individual, Group, Adult Band, Youth Ensemble

Steelpan in the Classroom: A curriculum developed specifically for ages 8-14 and brought into the classroom. Sessions can be developed for six week or year long courses

Pan camp: A week-long summer camp for youth ages 8-14. During the week children are introduced to the steelpan, taught steelpan technique, the history and culture of the instrument and performance skills. At the end of the week, the camp puts on a performance for family and friends!

Educational Performances

Pan Builders Workshop: An in-depth course on building and tuning the steelpan

We’re celebrating 5 years! Read more about our work here

Join us for Let’s Play Pan 21+ Holiday Fundraiser!

Join us on Saturday, December 16th for our Let’s Play Pan 21+ Holiday Fundraiser! Our annual holiday fundraiser supports our youth education programs, primarily the development of our Youth Steel Orchestra.

Your contribution allows us to continue our steelpan education programs for youth in Wilkinsburg and surrounding communities.

Guests will enjoy:

  • Caribbean Dinner
  • Open Bar
  • Group Steelpan Lessons
  • Performances by our Youth Ensemble and Professional Band