Jeremy Kunkel has over 30 years of percussion experience and is the founder of the Pan Outreach program and Pan-handlers Steel Drum Band. Jeremy developed a passion for steel pan while completing the Bachelor of Music Education Degree program at The University of Memphis, and is thrilled to be leading a program that combines music education and pan. Jeremy has a long history of involvement with many renowned performance ensembles including The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, the Tony and Emmy award-winning Broadway production, Blast! and The Silver Stars Steel Orchestra in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago for the 2019 Panorama Finals competition. As an active educator, arranger, and clinician Jeremy has numerous championships and professional accolades to his credit.
Jeremy Kunkel is a native of Minnesota, and currently resides in Northfield with his wife and 2 children.
Alix Stuart is an Ohio native with a passion for teaching music. Her holistic approach leaves room for a variety of learners while she focuses on skills that lead to a life-long enjoyment of music. Although her primary instrument is piano, she also plays trombone and steel pan with Pan-handlers Steel Drum Band. Her other interests include cooking, reading the hottest new literature, and being outdoors whenever possible.
Amanda Rice was born in Trinidad and Tobago, and moved to Minnesota in 2016 to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She is primarily a violin and ukulele teacher, and also teaches yoga for musicians with the online studio Yoga for All Musicians. Amanda holds a BFA in Performing Arts, a BSc in Psychology, a diploma in Western Classical Music, and a Master of Music in Music Education. Amanda has been teaching the violin for 11 years, and she is also a 200 hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher). She has played violin with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago, and has received scholarships to attend music festivals at Dartington International Summer Festival and the British Isles Music Festival, both in England, and the Tuckamore Chamber Fesitval in Newfoundland, Canada. Amanda has performed with Tin Cups steel drum band from Minneapolis, MN since 2018.When she isn’t teaching or playing the violin, Amanda is usually crocheting, doing yoga, reading, or hanging out with her husband and her two dogs, Speedy and Gordie. She recently started taking Irish fiddle lessons, and loves any opportunity to try new instruments and styles of music.
Lance Pollonais was born in Trinidad and Tobago and attended Fatima College, Port of Spain as an honors student. He moved to Minnesota at a young age, assisting Cliff Alexis at Central High School in St Paul building steel pans and performing. Lance has years of experience in playing pan both as an individual and as part of a full steel band competing in Panorama for the band Pandemonium under the arrangement of Ray Holman and Clive Bradley in Trinidad. Lance has been performing on drum set and percussion in and around Minnesota since 1980.
Lance’s understanding and knowledge of both the instrument and the music is invaluable to his teaching and sharing his knowledge of Trinidadian culture.