Inside Out Steelband


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The Inside Out Steelband is dedicated to the advocacy and advancement of steel drums in the community. Because of Inside Out and its affiliated programs, Austin has become established as a center of contemporary steel band activity. Inside Out is a Texas non-profit corporation, and has been granted status as a federal 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Director CJ Menge established the Inside Out Steelband Arts-in-Education program in 1996 to expose Austin and Central Texas to the rich tradition of Trinidadian Steel Pan. Through Inside Out, Menge presents performances, workshops, and Artist-in-Residence programs.  He has developed year round steel band programs at James Bowie High School, McCallum High School and Fine Arts Academy, and Covington Middle School, and has served as Artist in Residence with many other programs, including Bedicheck Middle School, Round Rock High School, KIPP Austin College Prep, Sam Houston High School (San Antonio ISD), and the University of Texas at Austin.  Menge founded the Inside Out Community Steel band program in 2000 to give more Central Texans the opportunity to experience playing in a steel drum ensemble.

The Inside Out Steelband is the unifying steel band organization in central Texas. As a result of its efforts, at least twelve curricular steel bands exist in Austin schools, two community bands rehearse weekly, and an annual summer camp is available for students ages 10-18.  Inside Out and its affiliated groups present over 50 performances annually, reaching an audience of over 15,000 people.

Inside Out’s mission is to promote the rich art and tradition of the Trinidadian Steel Pan in Austin and Central Texas. Inside Out educates, enriches, and entertains Central Texans of all ages by creating and supporting fully inclusive steel band programs, benefiting participants and audiences alike.  Inside Out seeks to bring people together from diverse backgrounds so that they may experience the unifying power of music.

Inside Out’s YouTube Channel is here: