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Our History

The Comets Community Project was established in 2002 by Gina Sheridan. The idea came to Gina through years of playing with the Comets Steel Band, which she too set up back in 1992. Gina would often be approached whilst out on gigs by people asking if the Comets taught children how to play. At the time the Comets ‘panyard’ was an empty loading bay underneath the Whitgift Centre in Central Croydon, and this was no place to bring children to learn!

Gina decided to look for more suitable premises to use, so that she would be able to set up an establishment for children to learn the steelpan. She formed a committee, with its own aims and objectives and constitution, and in 2001, a search began.

By late 2002 we had managed to secure a licence to occupy a disused and derelict pavilion from the education department of Croydon Council.

The Comets Community Project was born!

We immediately started to clean and renovate the building using gallons of paint donated from the Anti-Graffiti department of Croydon Council, and plenty of elbow grease!

In early 2004, we applied for and received funding from the National Lottery ‘Awards For All’ and Croydon Police Station to start a community project for multi-cultural musical activities. The grants were used to purchase some instruments and carry out some repairs to the building, which took us another year.

The Comets Community Project first opened its doors to the public in January 2005 and now boasts a membership of around 70 children and adults.

In 2006, due to popular demand, the project launched drum kit classes to complement the ever-expanding steel pan classes, and in the near future, is hoping to expand even further into providing piano and dance classes, so that the project can cater for any type of talent that Croydon has to offer.

The project now offers Steel Pan Workshops to give schools and groups the chance to learn the history and experience the magic of the steelpan.