100 not out!

George Newns playing Hawaiian Guitar

Solihull Symphony Orchestra is celebrating this week as former violinist and Honorary Member George Newns reaches his 100th birthday. George played with the orchestra and its forerunner, Knowle Sinfonia since it was founded in 1990, and will be in the audience on Saturday 24 January at Shirley Methodist Church for a special concert in honour of the occasion

George's father bought him his first violin for seventeen shillings and sixpence in 1925, and he took part in school concerts at a time when music hardly featured in the normal curriculum. During his twenties, George also played the Hawaiian guitar (above) with other guitarists and a singer in a small group playing popular songs of the day, way ahead of his time! In recent years, he has taken up the guitar again, and has recently produce a CD of Hawaiian dances.

George's advice for young musicians ? "If your parents encourage you to take up an instrument, stick at it, even if practice seems a bit of a chore. In later years it will provide solace, comfort, enjoyment and companionship second to none"

24 January Concert Poster

George at the concert

The Mayor of Solihull, Cllr Mrs Kate Wild with George at the party after the concert. The Mayor presented George with a card and a buttonhole.

Former music director Martin Leigh, associate leader Vivienne Brown and leader Sarah Sasse with George, alongside former leader Ros Peters, music director Jon Malaxetxeberria and former conductor Malcolm Peters MacDougall

George with Jon Malaxetxebarria

George with former conductors Martin Leigh and Malcolm Peters MacDougall.