Jan 9, 2016

Joycelynne Loncke

Joycelynne Eleanor Loncke, BA (Hons) UWI; DPhil (Oxon), LRSM, Dip Langue et de Civ Francaise (Sor, U of Paris); FTCM, London; AA; CCH,  studied extensively in French and Music, and the history of these studies is a tale of extraordinary talent, dedicated scholarship, the pursuit of excellence and its undoubted achievement.  
 She was a winner of the Guyana Scholarship in 1960, which took her to the University College of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica.  While there she was awarded a French Government Scholarship for study in France which she completed at the Sorbonne in the University of Paris.  With the offer of a UCWI Post-graduate Scholarship she proceeded to Somerville College, Oxford.  But that was not all.  Dr Loncke received a French Government Fellowship in 1971, followed by a Ford Foundation Grant for Research in France in 1974.  
 Concurrently with her studies in the French Language, its Civilization and Literature, Dr Loncke sustained an illustrious career in music.  By 1960 she was already a Licentiate of the Royal School of Music, London, and became a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music at London in 1971.   Therefore, it is without surprise that we learn of Professor Loncke's several important performances and her inevitable rise to become one of Guyana's leading concert pianists, and the foremost performing artist in classical music resident in Guyana.  
 This celebrated musician, accomplished academic, and cultural connoisseur, is also highly decorated, having been recognized for her services and achievement by both the French and the Guyanese governments.  She was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1974, awarded the Arrow of Achievement (AA) in 1980, and the Cacique Crown of Honour (CCH) in 1987.  The latitude and quality of the foregoing make a mockery of the belief that we are recognising Joycelynne Loncke at this forum because of her outstanding career at the University of Guyana.  But there is nothing mocking about her legendary service to this institution.  
 Dr Loncke joined the Department of Modern Languages in the Faculty of Arts and served as exemplar extraordinaire in academics, research, culture and administration.  She has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dean of Faculty and Coordinator of Music.  She introduced the study of Music to the Division of Creative Arts and has sustained it single-handedly and with determination invictus.  It is understandable that such intense engagement with classical music, with French civilization and academia, one is in danger of floating away on the notes of Debussy, Mozart or Chopin, but Prof Loncke has used the weight of all that knowledge to anchor her on the terra firma of Guyanese folk traditions and African consciousness.  These are reflected in her research and her leadership in the Guyana Pan-African Movement and her piloting and publishing of a Round Table on African-Caribbean scholarship at the University, among many other activities that leave the institution in her debt.  
 Honoris causa.


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