wsoThe Windsor Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 70-year history during a gala evening at The Capitol Theatre with The Beat Goes On, Friday, June 9.

The evening includes performances by Shahida Nurullah, Huladog, Green Eyed Soul, Ray Manzerolle, Tino Popovic, and a trio of WSO musicians. And, for the first time in the WSO’s history, three Music Directors will be together as Susan Haig and Dwight Bennett return to join Maestro Robert Franz for the celebration. Several former Executive Director and Board Members also return to take part in the festivities.

Every theatre within the Capitol, in addition to the lounge, will have music and food, a different feel and flavour in each area. Attendees can relax in the Kelly Theatre with a WSO trio, dance the night away in the Joy Theatre, and dine on stage in the Pentastar as Detroit jazz legend Shahida Nurullah performs. Funds raised from this gala birthday celebration will further strengthen the Orchestra’s Community and Education Outreach programs.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s history spans more than three generations, dating back to performances by community musicians in the 1930s. In 1941, CKLW staff musician Ernest Rennie formed the Windsor Concert Orchestra to raise funds for local servicemen serving overseas. The following year, violinist Matti Holli took over for an ailing Rennie, and remained at the helm until his death in 1977. In 1947, the Windsor City Council recognized the value of having a symphony orchestra in the community and provided the Orchestra’s first grant, enabling the WSO to give its first performance as a professional symphony orchestra on November 16, 1947.

Maestro Robert Franz is the sixth Music Director to be at the helm of the WSO. Since his appointment in 2013, he has led groundbreaking performances including the first concert on earth with of a suite of music written off-planet—written by Col. Chris Hadfield. The Beat Goes On launches a year of celebration that will include Windsor 125 and three Canada 150 Signature Project event weekends. The year will conclude with a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Point Pelee National Park next spring.

Purchase by phone at 519-973-1238, online at, or in person at the WSO Box Office, WSO Box Office – 121 University Ave. West, Windsor.

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