A COVENTRY orchestra is celebrating 100 years of public performances this weekend by putting on a show to remember.
Founded as the Centaur Road Boys’ School Orchestra in Earlsdon in 1917, the orchestra is now known as the Heart of England Co-operative Concert Orchestra.
Founded by Alfred Petty – headmaster at Centaur Road – the group performed throughout the World War, rehearsing in the day to avoid the blackouts.
Parks, hostels, clubs and army bases all welcomed the orchestra to boost morale and ensure the fighting spirit of the war continued.
Support from the Co-operative continues today, with the Heart of England Co-operative Society meeting the hire costs of the amateur orchestra’s rehearsal venue and the cost of its annual October concert.
To celebrate 100 years, the orchestra will play its first centenary concert this Saturday, March 25, at the Central Methodist Hall from 7pm.
Mark Wooton, conductor of the orchestra, said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be part of such a long-established group.
“The orchestra would not have been able to thrive for so long without the loyalty of music lovers across the region.”
Tickets for the event are £8, concessions at £6, children £1 – all proceeds will be donated to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.