They say good work is it’s own reward. Perhaps Musician and Philanthropist Joy Sigaud would agree, having donated her earnings from her highly anticipated “One Night At The Palace” which took place at the Orangery, Kensington Palace in September.
Joy, who began learning to play the Piano at aged 4, followed the family tradition of being a musician and love of music from her Father and Grandfather who both played several instruments including the Harp, Organ and Classical guitar. However, to reach the heights of entertaining Royalty, foreign diplomats and members of our high society- it is almost hard to believe Joy had taken several breaks before returning to the keys.
“I started playing the piano aged 4 and took my first grade exam a year later. I loved all kinds of music from a very early age but my mother did not allow me to play pop music, however, my father who could play simply by hearing a piece would entertain me with ragtime and ska beat whenever she was out. I developed a complete dislike for the Mozart minuets and endless scales that I had to learn in those days and when my elderly wheelchair bound piano teacher could not teach anymore my piano lessons came to a halt.”
It would be ten years before Joy would take to the Piano for an ill-fated second time at the age of 14. “The problem that time was is that when you are fourteen, there are so many other things that seem interesting to you.” Joy’s third and far more successful attempt at picking up the Piano would be attributed to a rendition of Tchaikovsky in B flat minor whilst at a friends house one summer.
It took me four hours to learn to play the first few bars. Notes upon notes upon lines, I had never seen such music and had to hear what it sounded like! I struggled relentlessly and loved every minute. That was the day I fell in love with classical music – I might add here that no piano teacher I had has ever allowed me to even attempt to play that piece”
Joy’s success can be attributed to a number of reasons. Firstly, her talent on the Piano is one that amazes even herself due to her own admission that she is not classically trained, or has completed many of the exams someone takes to be proficient in the piano. Instead, Joys talent has been nurtured by several teachers who have developed this proficiency through the enjoyment of learning, offering Joy the chance to learn music rather than exam pieces- making Joy Sigaud an almost unencumbered in the way she plays and composes music.
This does not take away from the excellency of Joy’s work. Her lack of formal training does not mean she is a weak Pianist, unworthy of the time dedicated to her by Royalty, foreign diplomats and members of high society. Instead, it offers to us a success story; one in which I was personally inspired since Joy’s success is not reliant on a piece of paper which validates her, but one in which validation is found through her hard work and achievements.
At her most recent concert, performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Joy made donations to Alpha Boys School in Jamaica who have said “this substantial donation will enable us to integrate an entire music programme into the curriculum”. The donation made to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity ” will service 3 families with a terminally ill child for an entire year”.
It is through hearing Joy’s story that I find a well wishing from Buckingham Palace no surprise. The story of a Musician and Composer who found success through forging her own path, one which defies convention to eclipse expectations, is a story that inspires me personally and anyone else fortunate enough to hear her story.
Joy Sigaud & Philharmonia Orchestra’s One Night at the Palace is know available for download from itunes