Gender and the Large and Shiny Instruments was formed as a playful response to a number of stimuli within the music profession. 

Firstly, both Letty and Beth play large instruments that have not traditionally been viewed as ‘feminine’ choices in recent historical times. This attitude continues to permeate through symphony orchestras and professional ensembles, with worryingly few jobs in brass and percussion held by women, evidenced by data collected in 2019 (see slideshow).

Secondly, although gender advocacy is a burgeoning area within music, we find that instrumentalists and freelancers are often being left out of the dialogue. We have conversations with fellow performers everyday about the workplace and want to help these voices be heard!

Finally, both Beth and Letty believe that education is crucial in order to promote a more equal and fair future. Through highlighting role models of successful female and non-binary musicians, their aim is to encourage young girls, women, and non-binary people to take up brass, percussion, and large and shiny instruments and to view this as a viable career path. Visibility is key in an industry that at present is extremely under-represented on the concert stage, and it is extremely important to show children and young people that there are professional musicians working in this sector at the highest level look like them! 




November 22nd, 6-8pm

Royal Overseas League, Overseas House, London 

Featuring performances and thoughts from our Associate Performers Imogen Whitehead, Jane Salmon, Rosie Bergonzi and Elaine So, panellist discussions led by Beth Higham-Edwards and Letty Stott and a special guest performance from trombonist Helen Vollam. 

Tickets are free but must be booked by emailing us on