G. Allan O'Connor, Founder of NIU Steelband and US Steelband Pioneer Passes
G. Allan O'Connor has passed. He was a pioneer of the steelpan in US schools and universities. He established the first actively performing steel band in an American university at Northern Illinois in 1973 and in 1985 added Trinidadian Cliff Alexis to the NIU staff in 1985 as builder, tuner, arranger and co-director of the NIU Steel Band. The band was the first actively performing steel band at an American university. In 1987, O'Connor created a steelpan major, making NIU one of the few institutions to offer steel drum performance as a specialty instrument. He was also responsible steelpan virtuoso Liam Teague gaining a scholarship to study at NIU. Liam Teague is now Professor of Music and Head of Steelpan Studies at NIU.
Pan Trinbago extends condolences to his family, friends and his extended family at NIU on his passing.
More stories on Professor O'Connor below.
O'Connor, G. Allan
Founder of NIU Steelband dies at age 75
Birch Creek Legend to Retire: O’Connor’s Career is Pantastic!
G. Allan O’Connor, founder of the NIU Steelband program, has passed away
Steelband Beginnings at NIU