Steel Magnolias

The Steel Magnolias

Planning a party or corporate event? Let the award-winning Steel Magnolias bring along “the islands”!

  • Our area’s only all-acoustic steel drum band (no recorded back-ups)
  • First Place, Best Listening category, Eugene Celebration Parade

    Comments from a few of our satisfied clients...
    Steel Magnolias' music captivates the audience and draws them in to listen and have fun. Everyone –
    from kids to adults -- enjoyed the band's performance, and your presence is so lively and energetic!
    Your colorful "set" creates an atmosphere that is so cute and engaging
    Carolezoom Patterson, Program Manager, Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts

    The music was GREAT. I truly believed it got everyone in a festive fun mood for the evening.
    Thanks for being part of a record breaking event.

    Heidi Albertson, U. of Oregon Club, Board of Directors

    I have had the opportunity to hear this great group play a number of times and have continually been
    impressed with their performance. The music is upbeat, great to listen to and does not prevent guests
    from conversing with each other. To hear them makes one want to hear them again.

    Jean Phelps, Executive Dir., Relief Nursery

    I wanted express my extreme thanks for the Steel Magnolia's concert you held at our Training and
    Support Center. What a great afternoon we had together! The band was very professional in handling
    the business and set-up side of the transaction and then incredibly fun in supporting our event.

    Gary Gray, EVP, Umpqua Bank
  • About the Band:

    • Susan Minor, Director, divides her time between family, friends, and music. With two sons off to the U. of O., she now has even more time to play the music she loves and to continue writing and teaching curriculum-based musicals in elementary schools. She also shares her many smaller steel pans with children, providing hands-on workshops in schools. A native of sunny Florida, island music brings sunshine to her heart.
    • Rachelle Alkemade brings her lively spirit and musical soul to the mix. Rachelle also has two children in college in Eugene, as well as a large extended family and a busy work schedule. Still, Rachelle manages to find time for cello lessons, her art work, her many friends and her steel drum music! Always smiling, watch Rachelle dance as she plays her pans (as steel drums are called in Trinidad).
    • Shawna Gribskov has been playing and studying music since she was very young, and now even works in a music store, Pacific Winds! Her awesome saxophone playing graces other bands in Eugene as well, but no one else gets to hear her play pans like we do! With her love of Oregon’s unmatched outdoor opportunities, Shawna can often be found on one of our many mountain bike trails - when she’s not immersed in music, that is!
    • Liz Diehl is a whirlwind of creativity, and is internationally known for her unique and beautiful needlework designs. Her musical path began as a child in Kansas, and included 10 years with a symphony orchestra before moving to the Northwest to start her family (she’s another mother of two college students). We feel very fortunate to have this talented and busy woman make time to play with us!
    • Jill Sager, is the heartbeat of our band, and it seems there isn’t a percussion instrument around that she doesn’t play well! Her studio, Hands On Rhythm and Drum School, is a favorite of her many students, and she also leads community and corporate drum circles. A graduate of the FAME High School, the high school of music and art in New York City, Jill is also a talented intuitive psychic with clients all over the country.
    • Kelly Reid would say that her greatest loves in life are her two young grandsons, and they spend every available minute enjoying each other’s company. She’s also the favorite aunt to several nieces and nephews, including an adorable set of twins. With a very busy work life in the sign business, Kelly still makes time to play with her friends – whether it’s snow skiing, jet skiing, or making island music on the steel drums!


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