The Team



Diana Hancox - Director

Diana was first introduced to pan in the 1990′s whilst working as an English as a Second Language teacher and Multicultural Co-ordinator at Coten End School. Inspired after borrowing a set of pans to support a project on St Lucia, Diana worked to buy pans for her school and created 4 successful young bands. Steel Pans took over her life and her subsequent job as Head of World Music at Warwickshire’s County Music Service from January 2000 to March 2007. The role gave her the opportunity to fulfill some of her visions to develop steel pan teaching and learning in Warwickshire. She successfully developed a strong team of quality teachers in a growing number of schools, set up music centre pan groups for junior, youth and adults in all areas of the county and ran 3 very successful steel pan festivals.

In 2006 Diana was already being invited to contribute to many pan projects nationally and decided it was time to establish and develop the Steel Pan Academy. In March 2007 Diana left the service to work full time developing the Academy and its mission to increase access and opportunity to quality steel pan playing, teaching and learning.

She has been regularly published, has taken a lead in trying to establish a nationally recognised accreditation system for steel pan and is currently being funded to do some research to further this project.

Diana loves teaching pan with a passion and is also a a complete believer that working as a team achieves the best results. Steel Pan Academy has an exceptionally strong team who not only work well together but also with other organisations and in particularly with Phase One Steel Orchestra and T&T Pan workshop.

Lisa Russell - Assistant Director

Lisa was taught by Victor Phillip at her secondary school in Coventry and was asked to join Phase One Steel Band in 1990. During her time with Phase One Lisa has performed at many events all over the Uk and abroad. Lisa started teaching in Coventry Schools in 2000 and both her teaching and her reputation have grown. While still teaching at Coventry Lisa also taught as part of Diana’s team at Warwickshire Music Service in the Northern area.

Sharing the same vision as the rest of the Academy team, Lisa joined the Steel Pan Academy in April 2007, and like the rest of the team is dedicated to raising the status and quality of steel pan playing and teaching.

Beverly Wickham (Phillip) – Assistant Director

In 2000 Bev joined Diana’s team at Warwickshire Music service where she taught full time in many of Warwickshire’s schools and established youth pan groups of great reputation. In September 2006 Bev was asked to teach with the Birmingham Music service team, and has enjoyed the contrast of different children from different social and economic backgrounds, and in September 2007 she also joined the Steel Pan Academy team.

Bev splits her teaching time between Birmingham Music Service and the Steel Pan Academy. “With the Academy I am working with a strong established team, and can focus on more than just teaching. The Academy will give me the opportunity to promote pan to a wider audience nationally. The Academy is already involved with many projects, working with organisations nationally and internationally and this is something that is close to my heart. Everyone in the Steel Pan Academy has experience working together and we all share the same passion, the same vision and the same goals.”