About The Steelband Project

The Steelband Project was started in 1997 by Liz Brouckaert and David Wickham. The core focus of the Project is to provide quality music education to young people in the Western Cape, with a particular focus on youth in under-resourced communities and ‘youth-at-risk’.

The Project aims to develop the discipline and listening skills required for playing in a band, and to give band members the personal enjoyment and confidence gained from performing in public. The Project is active in rural, suburban and township schools and centres. There are currently 12 steelbands being taught by the Steelband Project on a weekly basis, with an average size of 15 members.

An important focus of all our programmes is on creating safe spaces where young people, in particular girls and young women, can feel free to enjoy and express themselves musically in a structured and nurturing setting.

The Steelband Project also runs a Rural Steelband Programme, whereby marginalized girls and boys from rural communities and farms are given access to music tuition. Through this programme bands are thriving in the towns of Riebeek Kasteel, Hermon, Riverlands and Malmesbury. The Project has also been instrumental in setting up bands that are now run independently at Wynberg Boy’s High School and in the West Coast towns of Vredenburg and Clanwilliam.

About the Instruments

Originally from Trinidad in the Caribbean and recycled from 44 gallon oil drums, the steelpan is an ideal vehicle for ensemble music instruction. Anyone can learn to play the pans, and they can be used in any musical idiom, from classical to jazz and many popular styles.


Donate to Steelband Project


DAVID WICKHAMProject Co-ordinator
BA (HDE). David is a former English teacher and university lecturer as well as a professional freelance percussionist specializing in African, Caribbean and Brazilian Music. He arranges and composes for our steelbands and co-ordinates the teaching programmes.
Originally from Lima, Peru and now a resident of Riebeek Kasteel, Maria has a BA in Communications from Universidad de Lima. She has worked in Public Relations and administration for more than 11 years. Maria joined the Steelband Project team at the end of 2018. Her children were members of the Riebeek Kasteel Steelband.
Donald has been playing steelpans since 2002, and teaches steelband classes in the Project’s Rural Steelband Programme. He is also involved in teaching the bands in Vredenburg and Clanwilliam. Donald is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and freelance musician.

The Project runs a Teacher Training Programme in Riebeek Kasteel and Heideveld, through which 4 of our teachers have done music theory grades with the Trinity College of Music (London). There are currently 8 assistant steelband teachers working with our Rural and Urban Steelband Programmes.

Where are the bands?

  1. Dryden St Primary School (Salt River)
  2. Heideveld Secondary School (Heideveld)
  3. Heideveld Primary School (Heideveld)
  4. Woodlands Primary School (Heideveld)
  5. International School of Cape Town (Cape Town)
  6. Riverlands Primary School (Riverlands)
  7. Elkana Childcare (Malmesbury)
  8. Ebenaezer & Morester Farms (Riebeek Valley)
  9. Impendulo Steelband (New Rest Valley)
  10. AfroTropica Steelband (Riebeek Kasteel)
  11. For Life Steelband (Riebeek West)
  12. Rondeheuwel Primary School (Hermon)

AfroTropica Steelband is the Project’s main performance band consisting of graduates from our school bands.
This band performs at many corporate and private events and functions every year.

For enquiries regarding tuition, workshops and performances contact:

David Wickham on:
+27 82 8989 663

Other Links

Cape Town Steelband Festival

Steelbands SA

AfroTropica on Gigster


1. Dept Cultural Affairs & Sport (DCAS)
2. National Arts Council
3. National Lotteries Commission
4. The Thinkroom
5. Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival
6. Mary-Ann Brouckaert
7. Kanelbullen – Cinnamon Bun Project
8. Karl & Marionne Knopps
9. Rotary Club Riebeek Valley