Harlesden youth steel band victory after TWO top wins at Notting Hill Carnival

St Michael and All Angels Steel Orchestra has won Best Band and Best Youth Band at Notting Hill Carn

St Michael and All Angels Steel Orchestra has won Best Band and Best Youth Band at Notting Hill Carnival 2017 - Credit: Archant

Young steel band players from Harlesden have come first in TWO categories at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival achieving a remarkable victory.

The St Michael & All Angels Steel Orchestra (SMA3SO) repeated last year’s success scooping ‘Best Conventional Steelband on the Road’ for their interpretation of Sinatra’s Impossible Dream.

They came joint first in the ‘Best Youth Steelband on the Road’ category with Teddy Bears Picnic.

Patrick McKay, band co-ordinator, said: “After what has been a very difficult 18 months for the members of SMYP/SMA3SO, we continue to stay true to our vision and our mission and thank everyone who has supported us in various ways so that we like the phoenix rising from the ashes continue to go from strength to strength and ever higher heights.

“It is not an ‘impossible dream’ for our children and young people to strive to be the best they can be.

“Last year we came first in Best Band Category with ‘I will Survive’.

“With the continued prayer and support of the local community and our friends everywhere, SMA3SO will not just survive but thrive.”

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The past year has been no picnic for the group, part of the St Michael’s Youth Project, after being evicted from their premises at St Michael and All Angels Church, Hillside, Stonebridge, in October 2016, where it had been based for 20 years.

Members then heard the charity was dissolving in April and feared for their survival.

Young steel pan players were given a place to play at Mahogany Carnival Arts in High Street, Harlesden, taught by unpaid supporters of the band - Mr McKay, and Alfred ‘Freddy’ Totesaut, music arranger and teacher. but still they urgently needed space for all their equipment.

SMYP members contacted Mobile Mini, a company which hires out portable site accommodation and secure storage containers, desperate for some help.

They were delighted to be told they could receive a storage container free of charge, for six months, through its community involvement programme, and have been using the service since May.

Catch the young steelband players perform at Queens Park Day on September 17 and at Harlesden Community Festival @Trinidad Roti Shop on the 30th.