Phil Solomon started making musical instruments out of tin cans as a child in British Guyana. By age seventeen he was fabricating steel pans and arranging music, eventually enjoying success in the 1970s with The Pegasus Sound Waves, Guyana’s premier steelband. He emigrated to Pittsburgh in 1984 and started Solomon Steelpan Company, the first of its kind in the U.S.
Barrels to Beethoven was founded by Solomon’s daughter Leigh Solomon Pugliano, and utilizes the steelpan as the tool for educational programming. From summer camp, in-home lessons and classroom visits to building The Pittsburgh Youth Steel Orchestra and hosting “Let’s Play Pan” events, Barrels to Beethoven is advancing this unique musical instrument by engaging and entertaining.