Blue Steel & Percussion Class

Matanzas Blue Steel

Percussion Class

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Matanzas Blue Steel is the long-standing steelband at Matanzas High School. Matanzas has the largest school steelband in Florida and one of the largest in the U.S.! Our steelbands were started by Rachel Palmer in 2005 when Matanzas High first opened. This ensemble is open to all students at our school. The steelbands study the literature and art form of the Trinidadian steelpan as well as musicianship and performance skills. Matanzas Blue Steel performs for school events and throughout the community.

Matanzas Blue Steel performed at the Southeastern Percussion Festival in Valdosta, Georgia in March 2019, the Youth Steelband Open at Texas A&M University in November 2017, and participates annually in the FMEA Steelband Festival. Matanzas Blue Steel earned a Silver medal at the 2011 Virginia International PANFest as well as a Bronze medal in 2009.


The Percussion Class studies and explores the arts of concert percussion ensembles and solos, marching drumline and front ensemble, and supporting the band's percussion needs. The requirements and expectations of this program are very demanding as the program is designed for the committed and focused percussion student. Previous musical training is helpful, however it is not necessary to enter the program.

The concert percussion ensemble received a Superior rating at the 2019 & 2018 Florida Bandmasters Association State Solo & Ensemble Assessment. The drumline & front ensemble received a Superior rating at the 2021 Florida Bandmasters Association Marching Band Music Performance Assessment.