The Steel Pan Collective  


Don Prorak

Don was about five years old when he wore out his father’s 78 rpm record of Benny Goodman’s hit “Sing, Sing, Sing.” He listened repeatedly trying to imitate drummer Gene Krupa. His dad been a drummer and vibist and was pivotal in Don's early training. He played his first paying gig on drums in fifth grade. He has worked professionally as a percussionist, drummer, and vibist, and began playing pan in 1986.

His interest in pan was sparked by hearing Othello Molineaux with Jaco Pastorius’ “Word of Mouth” band. That same year, he purchased a used steel pan on a Sunday night. The very next morning his phone rang with the caller asking if he played pan. He said yes and had two weeks to learn enough music to get through a three-hour gig featuring him and a guitarist. After that he started getting a lot of calls and became obsessed with the instrument. Don began studying the history and culture. He also began attending workshops. He went to Trinidad for the first time in 1991 to play in Panorama with Ray Holman and Carib Tokyo. After that, he focused on pan as his primary instrument. He has been playing pan for over 25 years. “I own way too many steel pans and percussion instruments,” he adds.

When he is not playing, Don and his wife enjoy riding their horses. Woodworking is another great passion for him as well. He has a fairly extensive wood shop where he builds furniture, etc. He also does woodturning. He enjoys cooking, homebrewing, hiking, camping, and dabbles in fly-fishing.

Don’s music background in a nutshell:

Professional musician since 1975.

Founder/leader of Pan Jumbies (1991-present)

Music teacher in School District 27J (2000-present)

            Brighton Heritage Academy “Pan Dragons” (2000-2010)

            Second Creek Elementary (2010 – present)

                 SCE “Bison Pan Groove” (2012-present)

Faculty member of Pan Ramajay Summer Steel Drum Festival (2010 – present)

Colorado State University Steelband (adjunct faculty) (2001-2009)

Performances in Trinidad Panorama and Steelband Music Festival with:

            Carib Tokyo

            Humming Birds Pan Groove

            Phase II Pan Groove

            TCL Skiffle Bunch

Master in Music (Percussion Performance), DePaul University

Bachelor of Music Education, University of Illinois

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Contact us

Address: P.O. Box 101931, Denver CO 80250-1931

Phone: +1 (888) 620-3390, 720-222-9553 

Email: info@steelpancollective.org

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The Steel Pan Collective is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. 

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