Everything you wanted to know about Adlib, and more!
The Adlib Steel Orchestra was founded in 1989 by a group of Trinidadians who wanted to preserve their culture in the United States. It was incorporated in New York in 1995 as the Adlib Youth and Cultural Organization, with the emphasis shifted to providing young people the opportunity to learn and perform on the steelpan, as well as exposing them to other aspects of Caribbean culture.
The Adlib Youth and Cultural Organization, which operates the Adlib Steel Orchestra, is a registered 501c.3, not-for-profit Corporation. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Adlib’s panyard (rehearsal space) is in Freeport, NY. For contact information and directions, click HERE.
Adlib has an active program teaching people of all ages how to play the steelpan (referred to by some as the steel drum). The unique note placement sequence on a tenor pan makes it an ideal tool to learn the fundamentals of music theory. Many of Adlib’s students go on to play for the band, and some play the steelpan and other musical instruments in their schools.
While steelpan originated in Trinidad, and is most commonly thought of as being used in the performance of Caribbean music, steelbands, including Adlib, play music of all genres, from pop to Classical. Steelpan has now spread all over the world. In the USA, many major colleges, universities and public schools have steelbands. Some jazz bands employ a steelpan, and the instrument has even been used with symphony orchestras.
Being involved in music stimulates the mind and drives many young people to academic excellence. Most Adlib’s members do well in school, and go on and to get a college degree, leading to a worthwhile career. Several have been accepted at top-flight universities.
Many steel orchestras or steelbands (the terms are often interchangeable, depending on the size of the ensemble) have different groups of musicians who perform at different types of events. In steelband lingo, these groups are called sides. The Adlib Steel Orchestra has a stageside, a panorama side and an Adult Band.
The Adlib stageside consists of approximately 30 musicians who play with the orchestra year round for both public and private engagements.
The Adlib Panorama side consists of upwards of 100 musicians who perform for the annual WIADCA Panorama competition during the Labor Day weekend in Brooklyn. In addition to the stageside players, the Panorama side is comprised of former stageside players and other musicians who only play with Adlib for Panorama. Between 2001 and 2018, Adlib has had an enviable record at Panorama: The band has placed first three times, second three times and third three times.
The Adlib Adult Band consists of approximately a dozen musicians who enjoy rehearsing weekly and playing mostly Gospel music at various engagements.
There are no dues to join Adlib’s Panorama or stage sides. There is a nominal weekly fee for Adlib’s pan lessons and to belong to the Adult Band.
If you or a member of your family is interested in playing pan with Adlib, click HERE.
Since its founding, the Adlib Steel Orchestra has performed at hundreds of engagements of all kinds. The band’s musicians have a broad repertoire that will leave any audience yearning to hear more.
If you are interested in hiring Adlib to perform at your event, click HERE.
Running a steel orchestra in New York is expensive. Adlib depends on the income from its public and private performances to fund most of its programs. It also actively pursues grants and donations. The rent and cost of utilities are only two of the expenses. Panorama is a particularly expensive endeavor: An arranger and tuner must be hired; there are the costs of transporting the instruments and racks to Brooklyn; and the band must pay for uniforms for the players and decorations for the racks. Add to those the expenses of buying pans and building racks and stands.
Adlib performs at events open to the public several times a year. These events are a great opportunity to hear the sweet music of a steel orchestra.
For more information on hearing Adlib, click HERE.
For a list of Adlib’s upcoming public events, click HERE.
Click HERE for some links to view or listen to Adlib on-line.
Click HERE for a link to download some of Adlib’s music.
If you particularly enjoy pan music or have a family member who performs in Adlib but don’t want to play pan yourself, you should consider becoming a supporter. Many supporters come to the panyard to listen to Adlib rehearse. Others help out “behind the scenes” in various ways.
For more information about being a supporter and information on attending Adlib rehearsals, click HERE.
Click HERE for a detailed history of Adlib.
Click HERE for a list of Adlib members over the years.
Steelpans are one of the few families of acoustic instruments invented in the 20th century. They were invented in Trinidad shortly before and during World War II. Click HERE or HERE for a history of the steelpan.
Contacts & Directions
The Director and Captain of the Adlib Steel Orchestra is Franklin Mayers.
The Assistant Director, who is responsible for booking engagements, is Jean Mayers.
The Manager is Ralph Branche.
The Junior Captain is Nicole Turner.
Adlib’s panyard has recently moved!
The Adlib panyard is now located at 431 North Main Street, Freeport, NY 11520, behind the laundromat. Enter from Mt. Joy Avenue, through the gate at the rear of the building.
The mailing address for the Adlib offices is: 270 Branch Avenue, Freeport, NY 11520. Use this address for mailing any communications to Adlib.
To reach us by phone call (516)623-4061 or (516)672-1135.
Email Adlib at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any suggestions for or issues with this website, please email: email@example.com.
Directions to the panyard
From the west: Southern State Parkway to Exit 21. Continue through the traffic light at Brookside Avenue onto West Greenwich Avenue. Then turn right at the next traffic light onto Nassau Road. Stay on Nassau Road through the next 9 traffic lights. Nassau Road becomes North Main Street when it enters Freeport. Look for the Casablanca Laundromat at 431 North Main Street, on the right, at the end of the first block beyond the 9th light. Adlib’s panyard is located in the rear of the building, behind the laundromat. The panyard entrance is from Mt. Joy Avenue. Enter through the gate directly behind the building. You can park in the laundromat parking lot or where allowed on the street.
From the east: Southern State Parkway to exit 21. Turn left at the light onto Nassau Road. Proceed on Nassau Road through the next 10 traffic lights. Nassau Road becomes North Main Street when it enters Freeport. Look for the Casablanca Laundromat at 431 North Main Street, on the right, at the end of the first block beyond the 10th light. Adlib’s panyard is located in the rear of the building, behind the laundromat. The panyard entrance is from Mt. Joy Avenue. Enter through the gate directly behind the building. You can park in the laundromat parking lot or where allowed on the street.
By public transportation
From the LIRR Freeport station, take the N40 or N43 bus. This is the starting point for both buses, which proceed north on Main Street in Freeport. When the bus reaches the intersection with Mt. Joy Avenue on North Main Street, exit the bus. Adlib’s panyard is across North Main Street, at number 431, behind the Casablanca Laundromat. The panyard entrance is from Mt. Joy Avenue. Enter through the gate directly behind the building.
From the LIRR Hempstead or Mineola stations, take the N40 bus in the direction of Freeport. The bus proceeds south on Main Street (Hempstead) to Greenwich Street, which changes name to Nassau Road in Uniondale and then North Main Street when it enters Freeport. Shortly after the bus enters Freeport, exit the bus at the corner of Mt. Joy Avenue. Adlib’s panyard is on your side of North Main Street, at number 431, behind the Casablanca Laundromat. The panyard entrance is from Mt. Joy Avenue. Enter through the gate directly behind the building.
From Roosevelt Field or Nassau Community College (Endo Blvd), take the N43 bus in direction of Freeport. This bus goes via Zekendorf Blvd and Corporate Drive. From NCC, the bus crosses Hempstead Turnpike and continues south on Uniondale Avenue and then turns onto Nassau Road in Uniondale, which becomes North Main Street when it enters Freeport. Shortly after the bus enters Freeport, exit the bus at the corner of Mt. Joy Avenue. Adlib’s panyard is on your side of North Main Street, at number 431, behind the Casablanca Laundromat. The panyard entrance is from Mt. Joy Avenue. Enter through the gate directly behind the building.