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Glenn Miller Orchestra
Prepare for an unforgettable night of old-school singing and dancing on July 3, 2012, as the Glenn Miller Orchestra invades the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino. This is actually the closing stop of the band’s Philippine dance-concert series that commences at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay City on July 2.
Presented by Ovation Productions, the two-night Philippine trip is part of the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s ongoing world tour that averages 300 live dates. The band commemorates its 75th year in popular music under the guidance and inspiration of its founder Glenn Miller, who became one of America’s biggest stars in the big band-swing era.
Regarded as one of the most popular big bands for both concert and swing dance performances in the world, the Glenn Miller Orchestra will take the Cebuano audience back in time as it performs classical World War II tunes and other well-known hits from the Great American Songbook. Fans are looking forward to its famous night opener, the “Moonlight Serenade,” which features an impressive clarinet-led saxophone section. Its famous repertoire includes “American Patrol,” “In the Mood,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “Tuxedo Junction,” Little Brown Jug,” and a lot more.
The musical event guarantees a very entertaining night from the 17-piece orchestra. It comprises of four trombones, four trumpets, five saxophones (a baritone sax, two alto saxes and two tenor saxes) and a piano-bass-drums rhythm section that portray the original Glenn Miller band’s instrumentation and style.
Joining the legendary orchestra onstage are the Swing Kittens as the famous Andrews Sisters and Filipino ballad singer Arthur Manuntag. It is definitely going to be a musical riot! The tickets are priced at Php4,000 and Php3,000. For more inquiries and reservations, you may call (032) 232-6888 or (0917)622-8705.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra was originally formed by Alton Glenn Miller in 1938. It was arranged around a clarinet and tenor saxophone to play the melody, and three other saxophones to play the harmony. This sound combination differentiated his band’s style from the many existing big bands in the late thirties. The band became very popular and recorded a number of chart-topping hits including “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “A String of Pearls,” and “At Last,” (I’ve Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo.”
Miller was an American jazz musician (trombone player), composer, arranger and band leader from Clarinda, Iowa. He has been greatly recognized for successfully leading one of the most excellent groups in the big band era. His band rose to popularity in the spring of 1939, when they performed at the Meadowbrook Ballroom in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, and at the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, New York. On the same year, “Tuxedo Junction” sold 115,000 copies in the first week.
Miller and his band also appeared in two Twentieth Century Fox films. In 1941, they became major cast members of the “Sun Valley Serenade” that featured comedian Milton Berle. The band also starred in the film “Orchestra Wives” in 1942.
In 1942, Miller joined the war effort. After receiving an officer’s commission in the United States of America Army Air Force, he organized a service band that played for the troops in Europe and made radio broadcasts weekly.
Miller’s dominance in popular music came to an end at the age of 40. On December 15, 1944, he boarded a transport plane in England for a flight to France over the English Channel. He intended to join his service band in performing for the soldiers who had just freed Paris. He never made it to France and there were no traces of the plane that carried Miller, its crew and passengers.
The original band was reformed numerous times and had continued to record and tour under the direction of different leaders. After Miller’s disappearance and presumed death, the band was reconstituted under the direction of Tex Beneke. He was the band’s lead tenor saxophonist and singer, and one of Miller’s close friends. A few years later, Beneke and the band parted ways. He was replaced by Ray McKinley, the main drummer in Miller’s Army air force band in 1956.
The band became more popular when Hollywood released “The Glenn Miller Story” on the big screen in 1953. It earned box office success and various award nominations. The movie’s soundtrack album also garnered top hit status in 1954.
Singer Nick Hilscher is currently the director of the touring band, replacing director Gary Tole. Although Miller died before his time, his music legacy lives on through the reincarnations of his orchestra. He remains very popular among fans of big-band music to this day.