Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form

Tribute To Women In Pan

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Meet Alexis Schloss - Brooklyn, New York

“...challenges. There is so much to learn, from music theory to Kendall's offbeat phrasings. There's always something to do or something I don't know about as yet. Music is infinite.”

Multi-talented, multi-disciplined and focused. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks - panist, model, choreographer and college student Alexis Schloss shares her reflections, experiences and views on Pan, and the steelpan art form overall.

A When Steel Talks Exclusive

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WST - “Tell us about Alexis Schloss?”

Alexis S. - “Alexis is a young-spirited individual who loves anything that brings out her creative side. I am also a stage-side member of CrossFire Steel Orchestra since Sept 2011.”


WST - “When and how did you first become aware of the steelpan instrument?”

Alexis S. “When I was younger I lived on Nostrand Avenue and Glenwood Road in Brooklyn. There was a pan yard on the corner and I used to hear them play all the time. I didn't know who they were or why they were playing, but it was very interesting to watch.”


WST - “What keeps your passion for the instrument and music going?”

Alexis S. - “The challenges. There is so much to learn, from music theory to Kendall's offbeat phrasings. There's always something to do or something I don't know about as yet. Music is infinite.”


WST - “What does your family think about your involvement in Pan?”

Alexis S. - “Both sides of my family are from Jamaica. Most of them don't really know much about it, but they think it's nice that I do it, they call me Trini all the time.”


WST - “What is the greatest challenge facing this current generation of steelpan musicians in Pan?”

Alexis S. - “I want to say practice space but that was mentioned several times. Another challenge is respect. Respect for the instrument respect for the players and respect among pan players.”

Alexis Schloss
Alexis Schloss

WST - “Describe your most memorable steelpan musical experience?”

Alexis S. - “My most memorable pan moment was my first pan summer which was 2010. I didn't play but I went to Sesame's panyard almost every night and danced to their arrangement of "Pan Army." I also held their banner that year for Panorama.”


WST - “What have you been most proud about as it relates to Pan?”

Alexis S. - “Being able to read music. Even though I'm still a beginner, it helps a lot during practice and with visual memory.”


WST - “What disappoints you the most in the steelpan movement?”

Alexis S. - “I feel like steelpan is so underrated. It can do so much and go so far, but only we can change that.”


WST - “If you had the power to change something in Pan immediately what would that be?”

Alexis S. - “The little hand gesture and fake tenor sound people make when they're trying to explain it.”


WST - “What is Panorama to you?”

Alexis S. - “Panorama is a time where everyone comes together for the "battle of the bands." Bands get larger, I get bake and shark, less sleep, beautiful arrangements and I love every minute of it.”


WST - “Is Panorama a curse or blessing from your perspective?”

Alexis S. - “Definitely a blessing, the only curse-like aspect is that I get less sleep that weekend.”


WST - “Who is your favorite arranger?”

Alexis S. - “Don't judge me when I say Kendall Williams. It's not just his musical talents because to me that's not the only thing that makes a great arranger. It's the way he thinks as an arranger. One of the things he tells me is that if you are having a bad day and come to practice 'don't bring that into the music'. He says "Leave it at the door" and "The music doesn't do anything to harm us so why abuse the music?"”


WST - “What type of music do you listen to outside of Pan?”

Alexis S. - “I believe everything, besides country. I only know like one country song.”

Alexis Schloss
Alexis Schloss
photo by ATORPHOTOGRAPHY

WST - “What is your vision for the steelpan instrument?”

Alexis S. - “One day there will be a special truck for moving pans. It'll have different compartments, be cushioned so the pans will be protected. It will also come with a special board with wheels, padding and a handle that you put the basses on.”


WST - “You are a musician, a model, an athlete, a choreographer, and a scholar. Where do you see yourself five years from now?”

Alexis S. - “Aww thanks. Well in my head I see myself doing it all even though it might not be possible. I want to be a better panist, a signed model specializing in swimsuit and sportswear, and a dance teacher specializing in dance for children with disabilities.”

Alexis Schloss performing with CrossFire Steel Orchestra



Their Story, Their Voice, Their Life, Their Dreams - click for more stories

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