James Monroe is the only high school in Monroe County with a steel drum program as a part of its curriculum! Classes in steel drums are offered in grades 9-12, and steel drum ensembles are open to students in grades 7-12.
Urban Steel is a student steelband made up of Monroe students that performs throughout the Rochester area. You may have seen them at community and RCSD events such as the Lilac Festival, Transfer of Flags, the Multicultural Festival at REOC, Carifest, and the RCSD School Expo.
Being a member of Urban Steel not only challenges the students in terms of musicianship, but teaches and reinforces responsibility and professional behavior skills that they will use throughout their lives.
Our steel drums are made by hand by musicians from the island of Antigua West Indies who maintain and tune them as well. Monroe students have the opportunity to learn about the history and making of their instruments from the artists themselves for a very unique experience.