Glenn Miller Orchestra to Play the Spencer, 2/23

Get in the mood with the legendary Glenn Miller Orchestra, one of the most successful of all dance bands to emerge from the great Swing Era of the 1930's and 40's. Performing a matchless string of hit tunes like "In The Mood," Chattanooga Choo Choo," "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree," "Moonlight Serenade," "Tuxedo Junction," "String of Pearls," and "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo," this ever popular big band orchestra continues to jazz crowds by making every instrument shine just as it did on live radio broadcasts and in ballrooms and dance halls way back when!

Appearing with six clarinets and saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, drums, piano, upright bass and vocalists, the extraordinary Glenn Miller Orchestra fills the spotlights at the Spencer Theater at 3 p.m. Sunday, February 23. Excellent seats are available for $69 & $66. Call the Spencer Box Office at 575.336.4800 or go to www.spencertheater.com for tickets or information. Those interested in a pre-performance lunch at the hall may enjoy the roasted turkey buffet ($20) at 1 p.m.

Just as Glenn Miller said, "A band ought to have a sound all of it's own. It ought to have a personality," and his touring orchestra has that down with impeccable, note-perfect renditions for nearly 60 years.

Founded by Miller in 1938, the band's trademark sound has actively maintained its prestige even though the great band leader disappeared during World War II. Glenn, who became Major Miller after volunteering for the U.S. Army in 1942 to lead the Army Air Force Band, was in a single engine plane flying over the English Channel when he vanished in 1944. Neither he nor any fellow passengers were ever heard from again. He was just 40 years old. His estate ultimately responded to popular demand for a return of his sound and reformed the Glenn Miller Orchestra with his original corps of musicians in 1956.

The band of 18 has been on the road ever since and, while currently under the direction of vocalist Nick Hilscher, who serenades audiences with the lovely chanteuse Julia Rich, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is still the most sought after big band in the world. Additionally, Rich's velvety vocals in Miller's tunes like "At Last," and "Cheek to Cheek" prompted Tom Phillips of Jazz News to declare "This lovely southern belle has a voice befitting her name, a style of phrasing to make any horn player jealous, impeccable diction and just enough coquettish mannerisms to keep the audience wrapped around her finger"and the legendary New York DJ Jack Ellsworth to describe Rich as "A pure straight-forward singer of the tasteful school of Ella, Sarah, and Carmen who looks as good as she sounds."

Don't miss this iconic big band at the Spencer! Just as it was in Glenn's time, today's Glenn Miller Orchestra creates golden memories with note perfect arrangements style and celebratory sound. The foot-tapping tunes will have many a patron out front, swinging on the dance floor in front of the stage. Call the Spencer today!

• "HAIR," The Original Broadway Rock-Musical Sunday, March 2 at 3 p.m. ($79 & $76). Exuberant, Tony-winning musical about a group of American teenagers searching for truth, peace and love in the Vietnam War era. Riveting with compelling dancing and chart-topping hits: "Aquarius," "Let the Sun Shine In," "Good Morning, Starshine." (• Story contains adult content).

• "The Firebird" and "Rodeo," Ruidoso Dance Ensemble Saturday, March 15 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. ($30). Love and enchantment is expressed with physical distinction in these two short ballets. "The Firebird" is based on a beloved Russian fairy tale about enchantment and victory with a gorgeous score by Stravinsky. "Rodeo" is a Copland classic, a humorous love story about a tomboy cowgirl yearning for a partner in the pioneer west.




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by Barnett Serchuk