Dena Hamid
Chief Executive Officer

My first introduction to pan began in the UK at an inner city school in London. We received innovative funding from the government in an “experiment for first generation immigrants”. Our music program was able to fund a steel orchestra and soon after  an all-girl’s steelpan formed – we competed and won for three years consecutively at Kensington’s Commonwealth Institute, were broadcast overseas on BBC Radio and participated in a youth exchange with a brass band from Xanten, Germany.


I had the privilege of being taught by Russ Henderson, 2006 MBE award recipient and founding father of the Notting Hill Carnival.

My UK experience had a profound impact on me and continues to inspire the vision I have for Souls and the work I have done to create the steelpan program at Holy Name School.


I stand proudly at the helm of Souls of Steel and consider it an honour to be a part of the journey.

If you would like learn more about establishing a steelpan program within your school or community group, feel free to reach out.

Andre Rouse
Creative Director

My music education started at the age of 9 when I began playing the clarinet in elementary school.  I auditioned and was accepted into Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts where I began my formal theoretical, historical and practical musical training.  


During these formative years, I was also exposed to the steel pan and began playing with a local Toronto steel band. My music education ran parallel to my steel pan playing.  I obtained a Bachelor in Fine Arts with Honours in Music and completed an MA in ethnomusicology with focus on composition and music education.


Currently, I am an instrumental music teacher teaching both junior and intermediate grades for the Toronto Catholic District School Board; musical director for Souls of Steel Orchestra and an ongoing composer and arranger for both Souls of Steel and other local music groups in Toronto.

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