Gender and the Large and Shiny Instruments (GALSI) is an initiative started in 2021 by percussionist Beth Higham-Edwards and horn-player Letty Stott to promote gender equality for instrumentalists. We were later joined by percussionist Rebecca Celebuski and run GALSI alongside our freelance careers.
GALSI aims to address gender imbalances for instrumentalists. We 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 by Beth.
We are working towards achieving our aim for gender equality for instrumentalists through four routes:
Advocacy - we regularly speak on panels and podcasts (including at the ABO conference 2022), host round table discussions, and chat with industry professionals and music services, as well as carry our message into our daily work.
Education - we believe that education and the encouragement of young people is key to changing the landscape. In October 2022 we piloted our first holiday course for young women and non-binary people in brass and percussion, and now run this annually during the October half-term.
Community - we are fostering a supportive community amongst those who face barriers to the music profession due to their gender.
Spotlighting - we love shouting about fabulous instrumentalists! We often spotlight people on our social media and curate events, such as with Royal Albert Hall's Late Night Jazz series.
Thursday 25 January 2024, 9:30pm,
Laura Impallomeni brings the trombone to the fore, with an exciting evening of exhilarating music. She plays in a plethora of diverse projects, from swing to jive, reggae, afro beat and Latin music, as well as various experimental music projects.