Gender and the Large and Shiny Instruments (GALSI) is an advocacy and education initiative whose mission is to promote a more fair and equal future for women, girls, and non-binary people who play brass, percussion, and other large instruments.
It was formed in 2021 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!
Thus, our mission and activities are threefold:
1) Advocacy - panels, podcasts, and consulting
2) Education - female-lead education events for young brass and percussion players
3) Community - community-based workshops/education
October 24 & 25, 2022
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Following Beth winning the Guildhall Futures Fund award, we now have the seed funding to hold a two-day workshop during the autumn school holidays for young female and non-binary brass and percussion students!
Details and sign up are now on the Course page of our website.