JOAN TRIMBLE (b 1915 )
Joan Trimble was born in 1915 in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. Her mother, Marie Dowse, was a Dublin-born violinist of some accomplishment; her father, William Egbert Trimble, although first and foremost proprietor of one of Irelands most famous regional newspapers, The Impartial Reporter, was an instinctive musician by all accounts with a good bass-baritone voice. Both Joan and her sister Valerie were encouraged to make regular, lengthy trips to Dublin for instrumental lessons while at the same time benefiting from the conducive amateur music-making of their immediate family and provincial society. It was a heady mixture which instilled in Joan a respect for tradition, a sense of history and an instinctive understanding of all kinds of music and musicians.
By the age of twenty, Joan graduated as a Bachelor of Arts, and had embarked upon the external degree of Mus. B at Trinity College, Dublin. Her piano studies with Annie Lord and Claud Biggs at the Royal Irish Academy of Music initiated her into the soundworlds of Debussy and Ravel, the rhythm and discipline of Bach. With hindsight, it is not hard to detect the fingerprints of all three in the music she would later write. Coupled with earlier memories of Field and Scarlatti, these composers moulded the individual combination of primary colours, rhythmic clarity and structural conception which was to become a feature of her own compositional style.
It was something of a turn of fate which decided her to move to London in 1936. After a concert tour with the Irish tenor John McCormack, she was persuaded to study at the Royal College of Music where Valerie was already studying cello as her first instrument. She came into contact with some of the leading teachers of the day Arthur Benjamin, Herbert Howells and Vaughan Williams and this acted as a stimulus for her to make her first essays in composition.