The first woman principal trombone?

We have been informed of the death last weekend, aged 92, of Maisie Ringham Wiggins, principal trombone of the Halle Orchestra from 1946 to 1956, an era when women were seldom seen in brass sections, let alone on trombone,

After leaving Barbirolli’s orchestra to raise a family, she continued playing and teaching into her 90s, receiving the MBE from the Queen for her services to music.

maisie-ringham-wiggins

Here’s a tribute from Dudley Bright, principal trombone of the LSO.

And a Maisie recording from 1955.

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  • The tribute, written in 2014 for her 90th birthday, is by Katy Jones (Principal Trombone, Hallé Orchestra), not Dudley Bright.

  • Round about the same time the Hallé also had a woman horn player, Enid Roper, when it was sufficiently unusual to be noteworthy. Clearly an orchestra ahead of its time.

  • what a wonderfull lady and she had a great tribute to the salvation army music and a great example for woman in brass bands.

  • There was also Betty Glover who was Principal Trombone of the Kansas City Symphony in 1944. She then was a member of the Cincinnati Symphony for about 30 years.

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