Arthur started the Wilton Steel Community Band in 2010 as a means of bringing the sweets sounds of the Caribbean to the Wilton area. It was a dream of Arthur’s to put together a group open to all, including those with no prior music experience. Thus, these two purposes merged in Wilton Steel. There are no auditions. All rehearsals and gigs are optional. There is no attendance taken. Arthur is the only professional musician. The age range of 13-80 makes for musical and personal interactions that have everyone making very cool sounds together. Along the way, there is lots of learning and fun. Arthur regularly discusses rhythms, harmony, song forms, playing in an ensemble, instrument technique, music history and repertoire in a relaxed rehearsal environment structured as Fall and Spring semesters. None of the steel drummers in Wilton Steel had ever played steel drums prior. Some previously played other instruments including piano, clarinet or guitar. Steel drums are simple enough that, under Arthur’s tutelage, they can be played even by those who do not read music. All instrumentalists are welcomed to join our group. At the moment we are seeking : steel drummers, bass guitar, electric guitar and horns.
June through mid-September the band plays gigs. Some gigs pay members a small amount. Since 2010 Wilton Steel has played outdoors weekly, weather permitting, in Wilton Center outdoors at Wilton Pizza and Craft 14. At these gigs the kids/young adults in the band split the tips, and everyone gets a meal. It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours on a breezy Summer evening! The band also does private events/parties in Wilton and surrounding communities. Wilton Steel ends up performing approx. 20 times per year. Some events are on sizeable stages and have visibility on local tv or get mentioned on radio. Bandmembers applying for college can include community service hours of performance, the locations and amount of which vary year to year.
At our highest enrollment yet, around 2014, we were contacted by an America’s Got Talent scout and asked to submit a video! What a blast!
Here are some events Wilton Steel played in 2019:
Wilton Chamber Of Commerce
Wilton Chamber of Commerce
Lake Club (Wilton)
Craft 14 (Wilton, six times)
Wilton Riding Club (two private events)
Fairfield County Hunt Club (Westport)
Stamford Hospital Cancer Walk, (Stamford downtown streets) video
Registration is $495 per semester which covers 18 hours of group rehearsal/instruction. Steel drum/stands/sticks rental is $45/mo Sept – May, no charge June-August during gig season. Arthur offers a discounted private study rate to Wilton Steel members. For further info, please contact Arthur: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members Past & Present Comment (more coming soon!):
“Arthur is obviously an exceptionally talented musician but he is also an exceptional teacher. His passion for the creative process is something he eagerly shares with his students. He is a true believer in the power of music and has devoted himself to using that power to inspire and bring out the best in his students.” (Dave, Wilton Steel member 8 yrs)
“Arthur is a wonderful teacher. He is supportive and encouraging of all ages, levels, and abilities. The only thing required is pleasure in the music and having fun! His many, many years of teaching and playing make him the best instructor to nurture and develop a student’s music skills.” (Pamela, Wilton CT, daughter former Wilton Steel Member)
[The following is copied from another page of this site. The cowbell referred to was played in Wilton Steel!]
“Lessons with Arthur Lipner have been one of the best investments we’ve made for our son, with a return that far exceeds what we had imagined and goes well beyond musical ability. All teachers have an impact on the lives of their students, but for very few is that impact transformational. It is a rare breed of teacher who connects in such a way that they ignite a true passion for what they teach. Arthur is of that rare breed. My son had no prior experience with any instrument, but he was given a cowbell and a brief bit of instruction and that was the start of a journey that has him 10 years later composing, improvising, performing with bands, and recording in a professional studio. Importantly, not only has Mr. Lipner taught reading and writing music, technique and performance, but his own personal learning of music genres, the industry and all that comes from experience as a world-renowned musician who has performed and taught around the globe. His approach to teaching has certainly built skill, but also poise and confidence which extend to school work and life in general. It’s encouraged self-expression and an appreciation of the far-reaching impact music can have, including how playing an instrument can reduce stress. Mr. Lipner made the learning process fun and we never once had to tell our son to practice. He practiced and continues to practice because he loves what he’s learning.” (Theresa, Wilton, CT)
“As one of the newer members of Wilton Steel, Arthur wisely chose to put me on the double second pans so that I could quickly become part of the band without having to actually read music! After a few rehearsals and a rather steep learning curve, I began performing gigs with the band. As a teacher, I know how challenging it can be to work with a wide range of strengths, personalities, and abilities. Arthur continuously amazes me with his incredible patience and positive attitude. So much of this experience is teaching me to just roll with it and not be afraid of making mistakes. What a fun, upbeat environment in which to learn these valuable life lessons! (Erika, Easton, CT Sept. ’18)