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Renowned Northwood trombonist receives MBE for services to music
A WORLD-RENOWNED trombonist from Northwood is among those named in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.
Grandmother Maisie Ringham-Wiggins was awarded an MBE for services to music.
The 86-year-old was principal trombone of the HallÃÂ© Orchestra, Britain's longest-running professional symphony orchestra, for 10 years, during a time when female brass musicians were unheard of.
After making her trombone dÃÂ©but aged 11, during a Life Saving Scout and Guard display in Ipswich, numerous performances followed, from smaller venues including Salvation Army corps to the illustrious Royal Albert Hall.
Mrs Ringham-Wiggins has since undertaken solo tours of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as using her talent to teach budding musicians at several independent schools across London, including Harrow School.
The mother-of-two, who has a 14-year-old grandson, Kai, modestly said: "I am very honoured although I believe the award belongs to the hundreds of people I have been associated with, as well as my late husband, Ray, who was always so supportive.
"One of my highlights was my time in the HallÃÂ© Orchestra, but the biggest reward is passing on my passion for music to students and seeing their accomplishments.
"I never thought I would be honoured in this way. My family are very proud and I'm sure my husband would be chuffed.
"I have also had more than 100 people writing congratulatory messages on my Facebook page, which has been wonderful.
"As long as I am fit and healthy, I plan to continue for the foreseeable future.
"My philosophy is that we don't stop playing because we get old - we get old because we stop playing."
Mrs Ringham-Wiggins' daughter, Susie, said: "My mum has dedicated 70 years of her life to playing and teaching music. She even went carolling in Moor Park during the blizzard conditions last month, to spread a bit of Christmas cheer and make people smile.
"I can't think of anyone more deserving of the award and we are all extremely proud of her."
A former pupil of Mrs Ringham-Wiggins, Kate Pratt, added: "Despite last seeing Maisie about 20 years ago, I have nothing but good memories of her as a mentor for young musicians.
"She was one of the most inspiring conductors I have ever had and I am over the moon she was recognised in this way."
Kenneth Wild, of Links Way, Northwood, was also awarded an MBE for services to financial reporting, while Carolyn Dhanraj, of Rickmansworth, received an MBE for services to the public and voluntary sector.
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