Sunday Bandstand 26 November 2023

Sunday Bandstand 26 November 2023


Maisie Ringham MBE (June 1924 – 3 December 2016), later Maisie Ringham-Wiggins, was a British musician. She was the first woman to be a principal trombonist in a British orchestra.

Ringham was born in Woolwich, London. Her parents were both musical, as were two uncles and several male cousins. Having taught herself the basics of how to play the euphonium at the age of six she began to study the trombone at the age of 10 with her father as her first teacher. A year later, she took part in a Divisional Young People's Festival in Ipswich, giving an impromptu performance of "Unfathomed Love". The solo was such a success that she was regularly appearing in Salvationist concerts and other events as "The Wonder Girl Trombonist".

Ringham began to take lessons with George Maxted, principal trombone of the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Junior department of Trinity College of Music (now Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance) however her studies with Maxted were disrupted due to her evacuation from London during World War II. In 1941 she was awarded the Candlin Wind Scholarship to study at the Royal Manchester College of Music (now the Royal Northern College of Music) where she studied until 1944. Whilst still a student Ringham featured as a soloist on several recordings and was the college's first trombonist to earn a performer's diploma.

She lived with relatives in Cardiff during World War II.

Ringham played in the BBC Midland Light Orchestra after college. She was invited to join the Hallé Orchestra in 1944 by John Barbirolli, and in that context became the first woman to be a principal trombonist in a British orchestra. She remained with the Hallé Orchestra until 1955. She made several recordings in 1946, and had several trombone compositions written for her, including works by Erik Leidzen and Ray Steadman-Allen.

Ringham taught trombone and continued performing with Salvation Army bands into her later years. For a time she was the denomination's only female bandmaster in the British Territory, and was bandmaster of the London Ladies Brass. She was made a Member of the British Empire in 2011, "for services to music", and accepted the honour "on behalf of all female trombonists, everywhere!" In 2016, she received the Sheila Tracy Award from the British Trombone Society.

Trombonist Edward Solomon was one of her students and was invited to play at her funeral.

Towards the end of her life, she ran the Herga Swing Band in Northwood. She once told off a trumpeter for ‘flourishing’ during a performance of The Muppet Show theme tune. He replied that this was a swing band and improvisation was part of the ethos. Uniquely Maisie would conduct the big band like an orchestra and hit the table with her stick whilst doing so to keep the tempo.

Ringham married a fellow trombonist, Ray Wiggins, in 1950. They had two children. She died in December 2016, aged 92 years. Trombonist Dudley Bright recalled Maisie Ringham as "a remarkable lady trombonist in a man's world."[

Maisie was a keen football fan and would often go and watch Tottenham Hotspur Ladies.

We are featuring Maisie on this week's show playing G.F.Handel's "Sound an Alarm" accompanied by the Tottenham Citadel Band with Bandmaster James Williams in 1961.


Playlist 26 November 2023


Recording Details 

Rhythm and Blues – Philip Sparke   Opening for weekly show Foden's Band MD: Michael Fowles - 2010  'Patrons' Choice III' - CD - Egon CD-SFZ154 - 2010
Wingates March - J.A.Greenwood  Wingates Temperance Band MD: Denis Smith - 1970  'Brass from Wingates' - Vinyl - Pye Golden Guinea Records – GSGL.10461
Triquetra Fantasia on Old Hundredth - Peter Graham Black Dyke Band MD: Professor Nicholas Childs - 2023  'Force of Nature - the music of Peter Graham' - CD - Naxos Label -  2023
Luck be a Lady - Frank Loesser arr. Sandy Smith  Grimethorpe Colliery (UK Coal) Band MD:  Richard Evans - 2005  'Grimethorpe In concert 2' - CD - SFZ 125 - 2005
Hail Ancient Walls - Gounod arr. Howard Snell Euphonium Soloist Glyn Williams with the Foden's Band MD: Michael Fowles - 2015  'Platinum Celebration - Glyn Williams' - CD - Doyen DOYCD342 - 2015
Hungarian March - Hector Berlioz arr. Philip Catelinet Rigid Containers Group Band MD: John Berryman - 1996  'Around the World in Eighty Minutes' - CD - Harlequin Recording HAR1128 - 1996
Queen's Park Melody - Jacob de Haan Torbay Brass Band MD: Howard Taylor - 1992  'More Sounds of Torbay' - Vinyl - 
Sound an Alarm - George F. Handel arr. Frederick G. Hawkes Trombone Soloist Maisie Ringham with the Tottenham Citadel of the Salvation Army BM: James Williams - 1961  'Tottenham Citadel Band Of The Salvation Army – Salvation Army Music' - Vinyl - Regal Zonophone – LRZ4003 - 1962
St Elmo March - Keller St. John Ambulance's Brigade Band and Burwood Brass Band (Sydney, Australia) MD: Albert Baile - date not known  'Listen to the Big Brass Band' - Vinyl - Fidelity Sound Recording LP1225 - date not known
La Belle Helene - Jacques Offenbach arr. Howard Lorriman Black Dyke Band MD: Nicholas Childs - 2008  'Fantastic Overtures Vol 3' - CD - Obrasso Label  CD931 - 2008
Colonel Bogey on Parade - Kenneth Alford The Morris Concert Band MD: Harry Mortimer - 1970  'Harry Mortimer Conducts the famous Morris Concert Band' - Vinyl - Music for pleasure 1381 - 1970
Diversions on a Bass Theme - George Lloyd  Grimethorpe Colliery RJB Band MD: Major Peter Parkes - 1999  'Brass from the Masters Vol 2' - CD - Chandos Recording CHAN4553 - 1999
The Heavenly Light - Ivor Bosanko Cornet Soloist Robert Venables with the Canadian Staff Band of the Salvation Army (Canada) BM: John Lam - 2014   'Solo Flight' - CD -     -  2014
Waltzing Trumpets - Denzil Stephens Williams Fairey Band MD: Leonard Lamb - 1969  'Melodious Brass' - Vinyl - His Master's Voice – CSD 3668 - 1969
Brass Beatles - selection arr. Frank Bryce Besses o'th Barn Band MD: Frank Bryce - 1970  'Variety in Brass' - Vinyl - Marble Arch Records Mals 1278 - 1970
Glorifico Aeternum - Dean Jones  International Staff Band BM: Dr. Stephen Cobb - 2004  'Jubilee' - CD - SP&S CD180 - 2004
Sprites and Flares - Christopher Bond Leyland Band MD: Thomas Wyss - 2016  'Leyland in Concert Vol 2' - CD -Leyland Band - 2016
Blaydon Races - Gordon Langford  Euphonium Soloist David Woollam with the Roberts Bakery Band MD: Colin Cranson - 2002  'The Heart of Cheshire' - CD - Amadeus Recording AMSCD0-53 - 2002
Singing In The Rain - Nacio Herb Brown arr. Alan Catherall Foss Dyke Band MD: Walter Ritchie - 2001  'Fanfare from Foss Dyke' - CD - DeciBel Beverley DBCD010528 - 2001
March of the Bowman from the Robin Hood Suite - Frederic Curzon arr. Frank Wright Fodens Motor Works Band MD: Rex Mortimer - 1967  'Sounding Brass' - Vinyl - HMV ‎– CLP 3629 - 1967
Rhythm and Blues – Philip Sparke   Closing for weekly show Foden's Band MD: Michael Fowles - 2010  'Patrons' Choice III' - CD - Egon CD-SFZ154 - 2010

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