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 Uniondale, 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 2007 and 2013, Adlib has had an enviable record at Panorama: The band has placed first three times, second three times and third once.
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 Captains are Jelani Noel and Nicole Turner.
The Adlib panyard is located at 855 Nassau Road, Uniondale, NY 11553.
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: email@example.com.
If you have any suggestions for or issues with this website, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions to the panyard
From the west: Southern State Parkway to Exit 21. Turn left at the traffic light (Brookside Avenue) and then left at the next traffic light (Nassau Road). 855 is a two-story red brick industrial building on the right just before the following light. Immediately after the building, between 855 and Ultimate Auto Body shop, next door, is a small parking lot. The entrance to the panyard is in that parking lot, on the north side of the building.
From the east: Southern State Parkway to exit 21. Turn right at the light (Nassau Road), proceed through the next light. 855 is a two-story red brick industrial building on the right just before the following light. Immediately after the building, between 855 and Ultimate Auto Body shop, next door, is a small parking lot. The entrance to the panyard is in that parking lot, on the north side of the building.
By public transportation
From the LIRR Freeport station, take the N40 or N41 bus. This is the starting point for both buses, which proceed north on Main Street (Freeport), which changes name to Nassau Road in Roosevelt. The N40 is more direct (approximately 2.5 miles to panyard), as the N41 detours to Babylon Turnpike before reconnecting to Nassau Road. 855 Nassau Road is approximately two blocks north of the Southern State Parkway on the right.
From the LIRR Hempstead or Mineola stations, take the N40 or N41 bus in direction of Freeport. The buses proceed south on Main Street (Hempstead) to Greenwich Street, which changes name to Nassau Road in Uniondale. Both buses follow the same route to the panyard, 855 Nassau Road, which is on the left, approximately 2 miles from the Hempstead bus depot.
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. Exit the bus at corner of Nassau Road and walk to the right about two blocks. 855 Nassau Road is just before the next traffic light.
Or take N45 bus in direction of Bellmore. This bus goes via Stewart Avenue. From NCC to the corner of Nassau Road, the N45 follows same route as the N43 (see above).