Glenn Miller Orchestra performs Aug. 21 at Munster High School
By Bob Kostanczuk firstname.lastname@example.org August 17, 2011 1:34PM
The Glenn Miller Orchestra has toured for decades with a treasure trove of vintage big band music at its disposal. The orchestra performs Sunday, Aug. 21, at Munster High School. | Photo Provided
Updated: October 3, 2011 12:49PM
The Glenn Miller Orchestra is really unique.
It’s a musical warhorse that tours extensively, keeping the wistful tunes of a bygone era alive — decade after decade.
On Aug. 21, the orchestra performs at the Munster High School auditorium, recapturing the swing era that had America dancing in the 1930s and ’40s.
Owned and operated by Glenn Miller Productions Inc., the big band built a reputation for working 48 weeks out of the year and playing about 300 dates annually around the world.
Not surprisingly, the orchestra has performed in all 50 states.
In a sense, the big-band era has stood the test of time, producing jewels that still rank as pop gems today, like Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” and Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.”
The present Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed by the Miller Estate in 1956 following the public interest that was sparked by “The Glenn Miller Story,” a 1954 film starring James Stewart.
The movie took a sentimental look at bandleader Glenn Miller, known for swing-era hits that included “Moonlight Serenade” and “Tuxedo Junction.”
During World War II, Miller formed an Army Air Force band that entertained American servicemen.
In December 1944, the plane Miller was in disappeared on a flight from England to Paris. His body was never found.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra that started in 1956 has access to a huge, finely arranged catalog of the bandleader’s tunes, including lesser-known ditties such “Everybody Loves My Baby” and “Rainbow Rhapsody.”
Besides the trombones, trumpets and other instruments, the Glenn Miller Orchestra trots out vocalists.
The orchestra’s Sunday concert in Munster will also feature a performance by Charlie Blum & Friends.
Blum, a singer, is an entertainment executive who books shows at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville.
The orchestra’s Aug. 21 concert begins at 2 p.m. at Munster High School, 8808 Columbia Ave. Tickets are $27.50 and $35.50. Group discounts are available. For more details, call 938-9001.
I caught the Glenn Miller Orchestra at Munster High School in the not-so-distant past.
Yep, it’s basically senior-citizen territory, but even those who weren’t alive during the big-band era of the ’30s and ’40s should be able to appreciate the artistic craftsmanship of these well-honed musicians and singers.
Remember the revival of swing music in the last half of the 1990s?
It had many young people infatuated.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was a key purveyor of neo-swing during that time.
Also cashing in on the retro-martini surge were Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, who delivered the bombastic “Zoot Suit Riot.”
The 1996 cult film “Swingers” fueled a craving for cocktail culture, or ’40s-style lounge life.
If you’re younger and dug the neo-swing movement, you might wanna check out the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Expand your horizons a bit.
Bob Kostanczuk talks entertainment with Steve “The Preacher” Glover from 4:15 to 5 p.m. each Friday on WJOB-AM (1230) and online at WJOB1230.com.