The Glenn Miller Orchestra, a big band that has been a hit for nearly 80 years, will come to Lake Superior State University’s Arts Center for a one-night performance at 7 p.m. on July 3.
Glenn Miller was one of the most successful of all the dance bandleaders back in the Swing era of the 1930s and ‘40s. A string of hit records, the impact of radio broadcasts, and the drawing power at theatres, hotels and dance pavilions, built and sustained the momentum of his popularity and that of his band.
Miller disbanded his musical organization in 1942, at the height of its popularity, volunteered for the Army and then organized and led the famous Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. It went to Europe to entertain servicemen. On Dec. 15, 1944, Miller took off in a single-engine plane from England to precede his band to France, never to be seen again. The army declared him officially dead a year later.
With the release of a major motion movie in 1954, The Glenn Miller Story, featuring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson, interest and popular demand led the Miller Estate to authorize the formation of the present Glenn Miller Orchestra on June 6, 1956.
Today’s Glenn Miller Orchestra is a fully self-contained group consisting of the music director, five saxophone players, four trumpeters, four trombonists, and three rhythm musicians (piano, bass and drums). Also, there are two vocalists, one male and one female, who perform individually and as part of The Moonlight Serenaders vocal group.
The 19-member orchestra continues to play many of the original Miller arrangements. Additionally, they are also playing more modern selections in the big-band style, selecting newer tunes that lend themselves to the Miller style and sound. The entire repertoire, which now exceeds 1,700 compositions, keeps the band popular with both young and old.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra tours longer and more continuously than any other in the whole world. It covers more than 100,000 miles a year, performing for a half million people annually.
Tickets are available from the Norris Center Box Office or online at www.lssu.edu/artscenter for $21, $18 for seniors over 62, and $5 for LSSU students and kids under 17. There will be beer, wine, water, lemonade and snacks available for purchase at the event.