Liam Teague

Liam Teague, NIU Board of Trustees professor, presidential research, scholarship and artistry professor and head of steelpan studies in the NIU School of Music was honored with the Key to the City of San Fernando in his native country of Trinidad and Tobago at a ceremony on November 30 in San Fernando.

In a letter sent to Teague by Junia Regrello, mayor of San Fernando, Regrello wrote Teague’s honor is in “recognition of your tremendous  achievements over the years, as you have been flying the San Fernando flag, both as a cultural ambassador and an educator.”

The ceremony was covered by Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday, including photos and Teague’s expression of hope that he can perform more often in his native country.

Teague directs the world-renowned NIU Steelband, the oldest university steelband in the United States, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023. Teague earned both his bachelor and master of music degrees at NIU where he studied under and worked with Al O’Connor and Clifford Alexis, among others, who helped establish and make the NIU Steelband one of the best in the world.

Teague has been dubbed the “Paganini of the Steelpan” and has performed around the world and  received many awards from his homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, including the Hummingbird National Award and the ANSA McAl Caribbean Award for Excellence.

He has created arrangements for the most celebrated steelband competition in the world, Panorama–held annually in Trinidad and Tobago, for Nutrien Silver Stars Steel Orchestra, Harvard Harps Steel Orchestra, Starlift Steel orchestra, and Skiffle Steel Orchestra. He has many recordings to his credit, including: Hands Like LightningFor Lack of Better Words, Panoramic: Rhythm Through an Unobstructed View and Open Window.

The NIU Steelband’s 50th Anniversary concert is scheduled for Sunday, April 16, 2023 in Boutell Memorial Concert Hall at 3 p.m.