Women in History: Joyce Ferdinand-Lalljie (Saunder): Classical Music Composer/Concert Pianist

Joyce Ferdinand-Lalljie  was a child prodigy who began playing one of her mother’s piano pieces when she was three years old. She and her younger sister Mavis both became concert pianists and were known as the two Ferdinand girls. Joyce is accredited as being the first black woman, if not the first woman to play a full piano concerto.  In his article on radio in British Guiana for the 1951 Chronicle Christmas Annual, Albert E L Isaacs described Mrs Joyce … read more

Women in History: Valerie Rodway – Patriotic and Classical Music Composer

Ms. Valerie Rodway (1919-1970) was a teacher and Guyanese composer.  She is best known for her national songs, which include, “O Beautiful Guyana,” “Kanaïma,” “Hymn for Guyana’s Children,” “Arise, Guyana,” and “Guyana the Free.  She also put to music the famed Guyanese independence poem by Martin Carter, “Let Freedom Awaken.” Ms. Rodway was a member of one of those families whose contributions to Guyana are still evident. Her father, Newton Berthier Fraser was born in Essequibo into a family of … read more

Guyanese Girls Rock Foundation