In 2016, Alicia ‘Lissi’ Brown started setting up her company, Lissipan (website coming soon – www.Lissipan.com), which incorporates steelpan teaching, steelpan sheet music, steelpan hire etc. Alicia has been sourcing and buying steelpans for about ten (10) years and finally had enough to start up the hire side of the company. Alicia and her family spent the whole of Easter painting all the steelpans ready for new clients.
One of Alicia's clients for Lissipan is St Ann's CE primary school based in Tottenham. This school has not had a steel band for many years but was revived but unfortunately did not have any steelpans.
This project started in April 2016 with 15 children per group with every child from year 3-5 learning the Steelpans. Every week each of Alicia’s bands rehearse in the church hall for 45 minutes.
She was so pleased with their progress that each group performed after only 9 weeks of practice at their school summer fair. The children at this school are extremely musical.
Since the project started the school has done amazing. After only a term Alicia entered St Ann’s Year 4 Band to take part in the Music for Youth Regional Festival, they did so well in the Camden 1st round that they were invited to perform in Birmingham at the Symphony Hall, the reception they received was amazing.
Alicia stated, “I was truly astounded when I found out the St. Ann’s steelband was the only steelband chosen nationally out of many steelbands to perform at the Royal Albert Hall schools proms.It was truly an amazing experience that we will never forget we had amazing feedback from the audience and other musicians.”
St Ann’s CE Primary School steelband was hoping to perform at the 2017 Classorama competition initiated by Kyron Akal and hosted by the Steel Pan Trust but unfortunately they never got to take part as the performance date was too close to Music For Youth Festival and the focus on the MFY was well worth it.
Mrs Morcea Walker MBE who attended the MFY Proms stated, “On Tuesday 14thNovember the last act of the first half was introduced by the compere as the ‘cutest so far at the Proms – St Ann’s CE Primary School Steel Band! What an amazing group of performers! They all walked on to the stage with such confidence – size did not matter. We were all given an energetic musical treat. Such excellent collaboration amongst their musicians and staff! Their three pieces were varied and gave all those playing a real challenge, which they were able to master perfectly. I was completely overwhelmed by their musicianship.”
Alicia continues to work laboriously to spread the steelpan gospel far and wide, something that she has made a personal commitment owing to her love of the instrument. Alicia keep your dreams alive, your determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort will ensure you reap your rewards. Watch out for more of her achievements with the steelpan instrument in the future.