In Memory of





Obituary for Joyce E. Aaron-Elcock, LRSM

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Joyce Elaine Aaron-Elcock (nee Langford), LRSM, was born at Lot P Durban Street, Georgetown, Guyana, on February 4, 1922, to Felix Adolphus Langford and Mary Alicia Langford. After her mother died in 1936, the family moved to Queenstown, then Subryanville. Joyce was the fourth of sixteen siblings, including James (Sonny), Lanroy, Barrington, Bernice, Leon, Ulric, Felix, Allan, Carmen, and Errol (All deceased). Joyce is survived by her siblings Helen (Patricia), Joy, Megan, Waveney, and Alma.

Joyce attended Freeburg Primary and Modern High Schools. From age nine, she exhibited a penchant for music. In 1946, Joyce earned her Royal Schools of Music (LRSM) Licentiate in Pianoforte (performance) diploma from the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Music. She was one of only three Guyanese women who earned the LRSM diploma that year. She also won two exhibitions from the Trinity College of Music and the Colette Medal for being the top student in then British Guiana. Joyce was a member of the music department at Bishop’s High School, where she taught music and accompanied the Bishop’s High School choirs (1958-1972), and was the Music Mistress at Central High School (1972-1978) in Guyana.

On August 23, 1947, in Georgetown, Guyana, she married Reginald “Reggie” Aaron (Deceased 1976), a tenor who sang with and conducted the Maranatha Male Voice Choir. He led a quartet from that choir to victory at a music festival in Trinidad and Tobago. The union resulted in four children: Colin, Keith (Aubrey), Julian, and Andrea (Ann).

Joyce Aaron-Elcock’s early musical career was an exciting one. She was part of a musical community that supported two orchestras and an active concert circuit of public and private salon concerts. Among her contemporaries were Cecilene “Lee” Baird, Daphne Davis (now Scott), Inez Davis, Lynette Dolphin, Shirley Garraway, Janet Hunte, Joyce Laljee, Doreen McGregor, Cradlyn Spence, and Moses Telford.

A much sought-after accompanist, Joyce, was regularly invited by the Guyana Police Force to accompany its Male Voice Choir and participated in the first concert organized by that choir. In that concert, she and Doreen McGregor performed the Blue Danube. For fourteen years, Joyce was the accompanist for the Bishop’s High School choirs, and along with Florizel Francis, she was, for many seasons, also an official accompanist for the British Guiana Music Festivals. Joyce has mentored many Guyanese musicians, including Bertley Bakker, Mabel Daniels, Doreen, Cecilia, and Rosalind Dolphin, Everette Jarvis, Ivor Phillips, Esther Martinborough, Andrea Massey, Dr. Gordon Rohlehr; Ted, Patricia, Gordon, and Kathleen Moore; Elvis Allicock, David Pollard, Lilette and Linda Kitt, Desiree Hamlin, Joyce Weekes, Helen Caglin, Deryck Bernard, Dawn Wilson, Denise Nelson, and the daughters of R.R. Baird. Many of her private students won distinctions in national music examinations. Her son Colin Aaron was an accomplished trombonist with the Guyana Police Force Band and the innovative Solo Sounds International Orchestra.

Through radio broadcasts, Joyce Aaron-Elcock also shared her musical talents with the wider Guyanese community. She was a significant part of the Bureau for Public Information (BPI), an essential institution in developing public broadcasting in Guyana, with programs produced by H.R. Harewood. Joyce and Shirley Garraway often brought the house down with dual piano concerts presented at St. Rose’s Convent and the Young Women’s Christian Association.

Joyce was recognized as a member of a distinguished group of persons instrumental in forming the Guyana Music Teachers ’Association in 1948. The other members of the group included Eleanor Kerry, Miriam Daniels, Shirley Garraway, Edna Jordan, Sybil Husbands, Ivy N. Loncke, Lynette Dolphin, Lucille Dewar, Bernice Waddell, Clothilde Casey, Winifred McDavid, Berle Marshall, Peter Koulen, and Joseph Glasgow.

In 1977, she migrated to the USA and resided in Aurora, Illinois, where she taught piano at the Swalley Music House from 1978 to 1981. Then, she moved to Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1979, she married Audley “Ovid” Elcock, a talented Guyanese musician (Deceased 2010).

Joyce has always used her musical gifts to worship God, and for sixteen years while residing in Guyana, she played the organ at the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Church Street in Georgetown, Guyana. She continued using her talented gifts to worship God in the United States as the Takoma Park Seventh-day Adventist Church pianist and, until recently, at the Word of Hope Mission Church.

The Guyanese Diaspora has recognized Joyce’s musical contributions, inducting her into The Guyana Musicians Hall of Fame in New York in 1988. She never severed her relations with Guyana and remained in touch by being an overseas Guyana Music Teachers Association member. Although she stopped being a musical tutor to students some years back, she continued to encourage her grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the field of music.

Joyce Elaine Aaron-Elcock has been a shining light and an inspiration in Guyana’s cultural life. Music has been her joy; with it, she has brought joy to countless others in Guyana and the United States. Through her students, she has spread music around the world. She leaves to mourn her children and their spouses, Colin, Keith Aubrey* (Donna), Julian (Eileen), Andrea (Terry), as well as her loving stepchildren John Lennox (Dianne), Reginald Jr., Winston, Shirley Binning, Ronald (Bruce), Handel (Andy), Trevor and Gordon Elcock, and Wendella Agard.

Also in mourning are her two former daughters-in-law, Hyacinth (Nancy) Aaron and Carolanne Aaron, countless nephews and nieces, and twenty-one grandchildren - June Ann, Colin Jr. (Kelly), David (Leslyn), Wayne, Sharon (Lance), Jason, Folake (Kevin), Jamal, Damani (Colleen), Kwesi, Liadi, Wray, Ryan (Rachel), Sean-Michael, Christine, Denise, Dexter, Ayana, Seneca (Natalie), Seretse (Sarah), Junior. Her fifteen great-grandchildren Sabrina, Trazanna, Kendi, Sherida, Afia, Steveland, Aidyn, Rhyan, Sekai, Emeri, Lincoln, Scarlett, Kai, Walker, Calliope, and her only great-great grandchild Wynter Rose.

May Her Loving Soul Rest In Peace Forever