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IN MEMORY - Joyce Gill RIP

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19th January 2022

IN MEMORY - Joyce Gill RIP

Joyce Gill - Honorary Life Member and rehearsal pianist for countless HAOS & HATY shows throughout the years.

Many of you will remember our lovely Joyce with great affection, and although the society grows and changes year upon year, certain members just leave a lasting impression that will never easily fade, and Joyce will always be one of those special ladies. 

The amateur music & dramatic scene of Halifax, the Calder Valley and surrounding areas will sadly have to bid farewell to this amazing musician and good friend on Tuesday 25th January, Elland Wood Crematorium at 1030 am, and we are sure to see many of your faces there.

In honour of the selfless, relentless hard work and passion that Joyce put into the society we wanted to invite those of you who wished to, to share your thoughts with us, and we would like to feature them on the tribute area of our website. We are fortunate that 2 valuable long standing supporters of the society, who were lucky to work closely with Joyce, have shared their thoughts already, and we would like to include them here now as a brief introduction to this tribute....

"I'm pretty sure that Joyce was the longest serving rehearsal pianist that HAOS and HATY have ever had. I think I initially persuaded her to play for some HAOS rehearsals in 1989 and she subsequently played for literally many hundreds (if not thousands!) of rehearsals over a space of more than 20 years. I personally feel very privileged to have had Joyce playing for rehearsals (and sometimes in the orchestra) for dozens of productions.

Rehearsals were always fun with Joyce at the piano; her wicked sense of humour and raucous laughter immediately recognisable! And you could always tell when Joyce was in the audience at a theatre and she found something funny! You just had to laugh, because Joyce was laughing!  


Not only was Joyce a thoroughly accomplished pianist, but she was consistently reliable and conscientious. Three, four or five rehearsals a week was the 'norm' for Joyce, plus she'd be playing for other functions and events as well. A real rarity of a person - both then and now. She enjoying playing piano immensely, together with the social interaction and fun of rehearsals and performances. I know she will be very much missed." - Graham A. Robbins

"So many memories of this remarkable lady. Joyce was one of life's givers - always ready to offer time and encouragement to young performers. I am so grateful for her support and friendship over so many years. Rehearsals were always fun with Joyce on piano and I can still hear her infectious chuckle when, during a particularly energetic dance rehearsal, Vee threw a tea-towel over our wonderful Beth Harvey's bouncing boobs !! 
I know Joyce found great pleasure in seeing our young performers grow in confidence and they all loved her. And so did I.   RIP dear Joyce" -
Norma Bateman

If you would like your memories of Joyce to be included please send by email to laraine.cowgill@aol.co.uk who has kindly offered to help us collate the undoubtedly large numbers of responses we expect.

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