You can catch the Glenn Miller Orchestra in Melbourne on Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31 at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne.
Glenn Miller formed his first band in 1936 but it didn’t work out because it sounded too similar to other big bands of the era. As Miller himself said, ”A band ought to have a sound of its own. It ought to have a personality” – and so it came to pass. In 1938 he formed the band that clicked, using a clarinet and a tenor saxophone to play the melody with three other saxophones providing the harmony.
The hits happened – Moonlight Serenade, In the Mood, Tuxedo Junction, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, A String of Pearls, At Last, American Patrol, Little Brown Jug and (I’ve Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo.
Miller was on his way to entertain U.S. troops in France when the plane he was on went missing in bad weather over the English Channel in 1944. The music remained popular and was given a boost in 1953 with the release of the movie, The Glenn Miller Story starring Jimmy Stewart.
In 1956 a ‘ghost’ orchestra was formed, enlisting the best swing and jazz musicians of the day and that was the forerunner to the current line-up. The band has performed continuously since 1956, performing around 300 gigs a year. The timeless nature of the music is evident at any concert when you see the age range from Gen Y to Baby Boomers.