How long have you played in Heart of England Co-operative Concert Orchestra? 45 years [Gerry is our longest standing member!]
How long have you played the viola? I've played the viola for 35 years. When I first joined the orchestra as a second violin, there was just one dear little old lady playing viola. So I bought a Chinese viola for Â£32 and joined her
Why did you take it up? I had my first violin lesson aged 13 at grammar school, but we had to take it in turns as there weren't enough instruments. After the Second World War there were no teachers so I learned tenor horn and joined a band. Later on when I came back to Coventry I got violin lessons and joined the orchestra as a second violin.
What do you love about playing with the Coop orchestra? I love the music we play because we're a concert orchestra (although I do love symphony orchestras too!).
Why do you think an orchestra like Coop is important in the community? It keeps you young, and it keeps the brain active!
What would you say to someone thinking about taking up and instrument or playing with an orchestra like Coop? I'd tell them about the 100s of hours of pure pleasure I've had playing with the orchestra. After a rehearsal I go to bed with the music still in my ears!