The Planets

When Solihull Symphony Orchestra perform Holst's famous Planets suite later this month, it will be in the original version without Pluto. Musical Director Martin Leigh explained, "Gustav Holst completed The Planets in 1917, and Pluto wasn't discovered until 1930. The British composer Colin Matthews added a final movement named Pluto a few years ago, and it was performed at the Proms in 2000. However, the International Astronomical Union decided last year that Pluto wasn't a proper planet, so we decided reluctantly to exclude it from the suite. But there's plenty of great music to savour in the original seven movements, which are arranged in order of distance from the Earth - Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Mars, the bringer of war, and Jupiter, best known through the hymn tune "I vow to thee my country" are always popular."

The concert, which also features works by Nielsen and Haydn is on Saturday 24 March at 19.30 in the Bushell Hall, Solihull School, Warwick Road. Tickets are available from the orchestra's website, or from the Solihull Box Office on 0121 704 6962. The performance is supported by an Awards for All Lottery Grant, with specially reduced prices for children of school age.

Lottery Award

The players of Solihull Symphony Orchestra are celebrating this month after winning an Awards for All Lottery Grant to support their forthcoming concert in Solihull School's Bushell Hall. The concert, which features a large scale performance of Holst's The Planets will involve the participation of a choir drawn from the local community, together with several additional players from local schools. Musical Director of the Orchestra Martin Leigh commented, "The Planets is an ambitious work for an amateur orchestra to attempt, but we are encouraged by the opportunities for greater particpation that the Lottery award has provided. We particularly welcome the opportunity to work with local schools and community groups to perform great music in Solihull."