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Joyce Ferdinand Was the Caribbean foremost classical concert pianist and is now the Caribbean’s foremost classical, composer, composing for a variety of instruments other than the piano as well as composing folk music for both Caribbean and Britain. Like a lot of other musicians before her Joyce was a child prodigy who sit alongside her mother who was an organist and piano teacher in British Guyana, observing and absorbing all her mother was doing. One day when about three years old Joyce began to play the piano herself and then there was no stopping her. She quickly learned all her mother could teach her and thereafter would acquire all the music books she could so that she could to teach herself. Her mother died when she was still seventeen and Joyce succeeded her mother and became the organist at the local church. Joyce was then sent for by Ruby Macgregor who was the foremost piano teacher in New Amsterdam the small town in which they both lived. Ruby then began Joyce formal teaching and very soon she took her first music exam, grade eight which she passed. It was obvious that Joyce was unusually gifted but fortunately along with her gift she was dedicated and practiced for an average of eight hours per day. Any time she made a mistake in a certain piece she would insist on playing that piece one hundred consecutive times with out any mistakes before she was satisfied. When the renowned Guyanese musician and composer Randolph Dunbar returned to Guyana on one occasion Joyce was to surprise everybody. They were looking for pianist to give a concert in Georgetown, the Capital and could find not find one proficient to play the pieces chosen for the concerts in New Amsterdam. When she was indentified it was said; “If we can’t find someone in Georgetown to play the pieces we will find someone in New Amsterdam who can play them? Despite the doubt Joyce was sent for and to their surprise proved well capable of performing all the chosen pieces much to the delight of Dunbar. It was not just Joyce playing, she had a phenomenal memory and could memorise over a hundred pages of music and recall where and when other instrument came in, and this was what was beating the other pianist. Joyce passed her Licentiate exam when in Guyana and proceeded to Trinity College of Music in London where she passed there more Licentiates as well as her Fellowship, in 1964. She then proceeded to Birmingham where she taught in schools. While teaching there she at the request of black West Indian parents taught their children the piano. She did so well that on one occasion the examining board wrote her congratulating her as all her students came first in the grades that she had entered them in. Further in one grade where she entered three students, the three children took the first three places in Britain. Joyce Ferdinand was happy to give the information to the Birmingham Post who refused to print the story because the children were black and from Hansworth! Joyce left England in the seventies to take up an appointment as head of music at a college in Guyana and after she finished there she returned to England where her composing began and which and which she carries to this day. Most her pieces are very picturesque, while some are tone poems and her Kaie which tells the Amerindians legend of a great Indian leader who sacrificed himself by going over the Keituer water falls for the tribe has been classed as a major composition comparable with any other classical piece ever composed.