CHRIS TANNER (D.M.A., West Virginia University, 2000) is professor of music at Miami University and the founder and director of the Miami University Steel Band. Since the mid 1990s, Tanner’s ensemble has developed a reputation for excellence through high-profile performances and quality recordings. The Miami University Steel Band has appeared three times at the prestigious Percussive Arts Society International Convention (2011, 2005, 2002), and has also twice headlined the annual PANorama Music Festival in Virginia Beach, VA. The ensemble has five studio recordings produced and distributed by Pan Ramajay Productions. Their most recent offering, 20, was released in April 2013 in celebration of the band’s twentieth anniversary.
In the steel band idiom, Tanner is active as a performer, educator, and composer/arranger. He has served as a guest clinician or performing artist at numerous festivals, workshops, high schools and universities. Most notably, Tanner is the author of The Steel Band Game Plan: Strategies for Starting, Building and Maintaining Your Pan Program, published in December 2006 by Rowman & Littlefield Education under the auspices of NAfME. This comprehensive resource, covering all fundamental topics relating to the development of a steel band program, is the first of its kind to be published through a major firm.
In addition to directing the Steel Band program at Miami University, Tanner is an instructor for The Diverse Worlds of Music, a lecture course focusing on non-Western music. He visited the country of Ghana in 1995, and he has also studied West African music with master teacher and scholar Dr. Paschal Younge. He has served as an artist-in-residence on numerous occasions at schools in the Cincinnati area, teaching both steel pan and West African drumming.