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Now retired and no longer silenced by a contract Maggie Cotton presents an honest and long-overdue player's perspective of life inside a professional symphony orchestra describing how she became the first female percussionist in what was initially a staunchly male-dominated world. Now retired after forty years with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Maggie gives a fascinating and humorous insight into every aspect of her working life including tours conductors composers soloists colleagues recording contracts and educational work as well as her own family life and the social conditions of wartime England and post-war Eastern Europe. Bolstered by her gritty Yorkshire roots and naively undeterred by overwhelming odds Maggie overcame many hurdles in pursuit of her ambition to play percussion in a professional symphony orchestra in so doing transforming the face of women in that field from one of novelty circus performer to respected professional and colleague.

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