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About Us

Steel Magnolias Steel Drum Band features steel drums and island music played on steel drums. We are based in Eugene, Oregon, but travel around the state for parties, weddings and more!

Susan Minor Susan Minor, Director and lead steel drum player, divides her time between family, friends, golf, and music. Her passion is writing and teaching curriculum-based musicals in elementary schools, where she also shares her many smaller steel pans, providing hands-on workshops for students of all ages. A native of sunny Florida, island music brings sunshine to her heart.
Debi Noel
  Debi Noel, our trios player, has taught elementary school music for 18, years, and now teaches at the college level as well. She sings with the Jewel Tones and Blue Skies Big Band, participates in musical theatre, and also plays piano, recorder, and accordion. Debi also enjoys dancing, the outdoors, and spending time with her life partner Gary and their golden retriever.
Barb Ewing   Barb Ewing, our bass steel drum player, is a southwestern soul whose path led to the Northwest in 1980. Recently retired from teaching elementary school music, Barb has sung in several chamber choirs, from college days to the Eugene Vocal Arts Ensemble, loves vocal harmonizing, and plays keyboards and guitar. She loves travelling, especially, with her daughter, Melodie, and husband, Steven.
Donna Courtell   Donna Courtell, our auxiliary percussionist, has sung professionally around the Pacific Northwest, in Alaska and Canada, and in Kansas City opposite Tanya Tucker. Locally, she has sung with the Starliters, and with the Jewel Tones and Blue Skies Big Band. She also delivers singing telegrams, performs in dinner shows, and runs her own talent agency!
Kerri Sage   Kerri Sage, our conga player, is a teacher in the 4J School District working in the area of Talented and Gifted. Kerri also plays the guitar and the ukulele and has been known to sub in singing with the Jewel Tones every once in a while. When not making music, Kerri is backpacking, traveling, reading, or enjoying family and friends.
Laura Beese   Laura Beese, our doubles player, recently moved to Oregon from Oklahoma with her husband Aaron. She is fortunate enough to work in her dream job as an elementary music teacher in the Bethel School District. She plays French horn with the Eugene Symphonic Band, Tenor Horn with the Oregon Brass Society, and piano. Laura also enjoys cooking, reading, running, yoga, and travelling by bicycle.
Liz Diehl   Liz Diehl is a whirlwind of creativity, and is internationally known for her unique and beautiful needlework designs. Her musical path began as a child in Kansas, and included 10 years with a symphony orchestra before moving to the Northwest to start her family. Although she has moved to Portland, Liz still plays the bass drums for us when we need her .
Tama Rowan   Tama Rowan, our keyboard player, contributes musically to her community as a performer and as a full-time Music Specialist at Mt. Vernon Elementary School. She also directs the Junior Academy Singers with the Oregon Children's Choir, and is a Lead Director for Rose Children's Theater. When not making music, Tama can be found with her family participating in one of many activities they all enjoy.