Joy Gardner was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. She received a scholarship in the Music Dance Theater Program at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. As a freshman, Joy was cast as a member of the traveling musical theater company, Young Ambassadors, where she had her first opportunity to perform outside the U.S. Following her experience with Young Ambassadors, Joy was signed as a lead singer for Holland America Cruise Lines.

Joy has perhaps become most visible in the lead role of “Laneah” in the Christian IMAX film, The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd that is shown at temple visitor centers the world over. After filming The Testaments, Joy returned to Brigham Young University to finish her degree and played “Eve” in the University’s musical Children of Eden. Joy can also be seen in roles of other film productions such as the Prophet Joseph Smith's older sister, "Sophronia," in the IMAX film Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration and as “Sister Larson” in the children’s film series, Liken the Scriptures.

During her time in Utah, Joy was asked to workshop and originate the role of “Mary, the mother of Jesus” in a new musical, Savior of the World; the first major production in the new Conference Center Theater at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Following graduation from BYU, Joy was asked to join the Music faculty at Brigham Young University, teaching contemporary singing. She has also taught in the Musical Theater Department at the University of Florida and Mesa Community College.

Joy has a solo inspirational CD, There Is Hope, and has been a guest artist on numerous professional recordings. She is currently the lead singer for the Upper East Side Big Band. Joy and her husband, Quin, were married in 1999 and have been blessed with three beautiful children.