Halcyon Steel Bids Farewell to a Dedicated Pannist- Fitzroy ‘Blakey’ Philip


We’ve been struggling for weeks to grasp that you’re no longer with us. You were the humblest person we have ever met. You were a phenomenal musician.

When you joined Halcyon in 1978, as a 13-year-old kid playing the double guitar, you didn’t let the disappointment of not making the stage side that year be a stumbling block in your quest to be among the best pannists anywhere in the world. You cried; yes, you cried; and we shared your pain. But that pain was short lived as you made your triumphant return in 1979, this time on a single tenor, helping Halcyon its third (3rd) panorama championship. Since then, you’ve been an integral member of the bands ten (10) other panorama championships.

To Halcyon, you represented everything that was good and pure. You were indeed the “heart” of the band. You were the “go-to” guy if anyone in any group forgot their music. Whether it was a song that was done as recently as the previous month or a song that was done many years before, you remembered it all.

But who was this man. While official court documents refer to him as, ROLAND FITZROY PHILIP; To his peers in Halcyon Steel Orchestra and the rest of the Pan World we simply call him BLAKEY.

This man was a genius in the musical realm. He was multi-talented, contributing as a soloist, percussionist, arranger, and pan player. He was the real deal when it came to utility players; he could do it all. In the past, Blakey had proven himself to be a formidable soloist, winning several prestigious competitions, including national solo championship in 1993. When it came to training panists, age was never an issue for him. He has collaborated with both large and small bands. He was a member of the musical team that led the Halcyon Steel Orchestra to victory in the National Panorama in 2008 with the song “Hitman” by Latumba. He was also one of our musical instructors at our school pan.

We will always remember February 5, 2023. Blakey, your commitment to the Halcyon Steel Orchestra for forty five (45) years is truly astounding. We can never thank you enough for all you’ve done. We still feel like we’re in a bad dream and we are not ready to wake up without you.

However, ultimately, God is in control. We count ourselves incredibly blessed to have found someone on this planet as brilliant and extraordinary as you. You had a golden heart, which was evident in the music you created and the people you helped along the way.

Our love for you will never end. The song of your life may have concluded, but its unforgettable and melodious tune will live forever.

Infinite gratitude!! What can we say other than, “We love you!” What a void you’ve left in

our lives!!


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  1. Play your music on the other side my brother. You are now in the company of icons who have gone ahead of you. RIP….THANK FOR THE MEMORIES

  2. condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

  3. Blakie we will surely miss you on Parliament Street such a great man with a very big heart ❤

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