Joyce Spence

Founding Director (Deceased)
1979 to 1982

Excerpt from "History of the Lydians", by Jennifer Jones-Morales, July 1997

"Are you still singing?" asked Mrs. Joyce Spence when she telephoned one of the twenty persons she had chosen to found the Lydians. Mrs. Spence had a vision of conducting a Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Bass Choir(SATB) and when she combined her imagination with determination and resourcefulness, her dream became reality in 1979. 

She was already famous for her discipline and diligence. In those days, Choir started at 6.00 p.m. sharp and ended at 8.00 p.m. every Friday. She conducted a traditional SATB Choir with five members for each voice. All the ladies, save one were "Old Girls" (past pupils of Bishop Anstey High School, Port of Spain, or “Old Hilarians”) where Mrs. Spence had spent most, if not all, of her working life as a music teacher. Mrs. Spence was a salient force. She had a passion for excellence. She showed innate creativity to flourish.

She also had a penchant for the music of Johann S. Bach, and in Christmas of 1982, the Lydians performed Bach's Christmas Oratorio. By this time the choir had already had another Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival (the national performing arts festival) success under their belt. (The Choir had already copped 1st Place in 1980 when Mrs. Spence entered the choir in the Under 20 Religious Class with "O Lord Increase My Faith" and "Hallelujah".)  

In the Music Festival of '82, the Lydians entered again entered the Under 20 Religious and also the Under 40 Religious classes. Dressed in their gold blouses and black skirts, they performed songs like "Rock-A-My-Soul", "All My Trials Lord" and "Gloria". It was obvious that she did not only enjoy the competition, but she also relished the victory.

Although the choir's complement of members had doubled, Mrs. Spence still had to hear the voice before one could join. After the Christmas concert in 1982, Mrs. Spence indicated that she would no longer be able to continue directing the choir. Although it's a well-kept secret, the Lydians were defunct for two years. Miss Denise Stephenson was instrumental in rejuvenating the choir and in late 1984 she approached Miss Alma Pierre, who was described as a "brilliant composer" to lead the choir. 

Read about Alma Pierre here