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Vale Joy Saunders

We are sad to announce the passing of Joy Saunders (1946 – 52) who died peacefully at home on Thursday 28 April after a short illness. She was surrounded by her family.
Her sons Keith and Chris said,  We hope that many of her family, friends and former colleagues will join us for the funeralWe hope that this will be a colourful celebration of a rich life well-lived.  Please do not send flowers but donations in mum’s memory will be welcomed by the Funeral Directors.  Donations will be split evenly between National Youth Arts Trust , Young Classical Artists Trust , Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Donations may be sent via the Funeral Directors’ website  Please feel free to circulate this message to anybody who knew mum.
For details of Joy’s funeral, please contact Vanessa on or call (+44) 01904 23 23 25.

In Memoriam

After The Mount, Joy read Modern Languages at Oxford and studied School Organisation and Management at Birmingham. She returned briefly to The Mount to teach part-time and was very active in MOSA and on Committee. She is fondly remembered by many. 
Joy was a an Old Scholar and a valuable member of the Mount School Committee of Governors. As a school HMI (inspector) she made a huge contribution and was a tremendous support to me as Headmistress,” said Diana Gant (Headmistress, 2000 – 09) 
In 2021 she contributed an excellent article, The Arts at the Mount 1946-52, for MOSA Magazine

My warmest memories at the Mount centre on the Arts. Music has transformed my life. I arrived already quite a keen pianist and continued lessons on the piano, with moderate success. I began learning the flute, and soon joined the orchestra. I loved making music, and holing up in the piano cubicles was such a pleasure. Best of all was the singing. The deputy organist from the Minster came once a week, and we learned to sight-read, a skill for life, although a deadly dull activity. We behaved extremely badly in his classes, and another member of staff had to sit at the back of the hall and growl threats if things got out of hand.

The next year, O triumph, I and my friend Margaret joined the Joint Choir, practising twice a week in Clifford Street Meeting Room after meeting every Sunday and Wednesday. Every Easter we sang the Matthew Passion under Percy Lovell from Bootham. No nonsense there! Turn up on time and keep your eyes fixed on the conductor or death would follow, or so we thought. I loved it and can still sing most choruses from memory, and I once had a tiny solo.  I had fun playing flute sonatas again with Percy when we met up one year at the Buxton Festival not long before he died. When I went to Oxford I joined seven choirs, one for each evening of the week, but of course I had to cut it down to three. One year we sang under Barbirolli, which was enormous fun, as he behaved at times quite outrageously, to our great delight. At the age of 86 I am still singing.

Art too was important. I loved to paint, and when at the age of 12 I was told to choose between Maths and Art for School Certificate, you can guess which I chose. There was a bit of a scene, as clearly Art was only for thickies. But I argued logically that if there was a free choice, I would exercise it. In the event Art was the only SC exam I took, as I passed out in the exam and was then confined to bed with bronchitis. Maths I forgot at once, and found that I could cope perfectly well with being my church’s treasurer, as the computer now does all the adding up and produces lovely charts.

Drama was so important. Mary Ure was a good friend, and Judy Dench was in the year below. I saw the Mystery Plays of course, with them as the Virgin Mary. And we had so many plays at school. Judy as Ariel was unforgettable. I once had a part as Scrooge, and our Latin teacher made us dress up in sheets as togas and recite Cicero’s speeches or bits of Latin plays. Judy told me years later that Mrs Mac taught her all she ever needed to know about acting and voice-production. Before Mrs. Mac we had elocution lessons, a priceless activity – and one incidentally that was strangely useful in my job.

I will not start on literature. Suffice it to say, that I discovered that by turning up late for Hockey, I would be made  to run twice round the field, and was then sent in. Bliss! I saved about  40 minutes and could hole up with a book in the Library. Another of life’s passions!

May Joy rest in peace. May we hold her in the Light.