Glenn Miller Orchestra Comes to Ridgefield Playhouse Tonight
A legend lives on! The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, the most popular and sought after big band in the world today for both concert and swing dance engagements, is coming to The Ridgefield Playhouse tonight, July 12, at 7:30 p.m.
With its unique jazz sound, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is considered to be one of the greatest bands of all time and, just as it was in Glenn's day, today's Glenn Miller Orchestra is still the most sought after big band in the world. The 18-member ensemble will play many of the original Miller arrangements both from the civilian band and the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band (AAFB) libraries, with some more modern selections arranged and performed in the Miller style and sound, sprinkled in. Under the baton of Music Director/vocalist Nick Hilscher, the five saxophone players, four trumpeters, four trombonists, and three rhythm musicians (piano, bass and drums) plus a male and female vocalist will perform some of the greatest generation's greatest music. Of course, all of the biggest hits are included in this program, and the audience will thrill to hear some of the following selections from the Glenn Miller Orchestra library live: "Moonlight Serenade", " Little Brown Jug", "A String of Pearls", "Chattanooga Choo-Choo", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "I Dreamt I Dwelt in Harlem", "Juke Box Saturday Night", "That's Sabotage", "Sunrise Serenade", "At Last", "Tuxedo Junction", "In The Mood", "St. Louis Blues", "Stardust", "Someone To Watch Over Me", "Rhapsody in Blue", "The Nearness of You", "Everybody Loves My Baby", "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" and many more. This show will also include some of the less well-known tunes like "The White Cliffs of Dover", "Rainbow Rhapsody", and "That's Sabotage" plus some standards and contemporary numbers such as "Over the Rainbow", "September Morn", "The Body Electric" from the T.V. series Fame and "Star Wars/War of The Stars".
There will be a wine and cheese tasting courtesy of No. 109 Cheese & Wine at 6:45 p.m. plus artist's reception in the lobby. This event is part of the No. 109 Cheese & Wine Art, Wine and Jazz Series and the Ridgefield Magazine Broadway and Cabaret Series and is partially underwritten by Laurel Ridge Health Care Center. Piccolo's Pizza & Jazzeria will pour a free glass of house wine with dinner the night of this event when tickets/stubs are presented.
The present Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world. Glenn Miller was one of the most successful of all dance bandleaders back in the Swing Era of the 1930s and '40s. Despite his untimely death during World War II, The Glenn Miller Orchestra is as vital a part of the American Songbook as ever. A matchless string of records, the constant impact of radio broadcasts and the drawing power at theatres, hotels and dance pavilions built and sustained Glenn Miller's reputation. In 1942 at the height of its popularity, Glenn disbanded the orchestra to volunteer for the Army where he organized and led the famous Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band (AAFB). On December 15, 1944, Major Miller took off in a single engine plane from Europe to precede his band to France and disappeared over the English Channel. The army declared him officially dead a year later.
With the release of the 1954 major motion picture 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 in 1956, and they've been on the road every since performing about 300 concerts a year.
What is it about the Glenn Miller sound that is so infectious? That sound is created by the clarinet holding the melodic line, doubled or coupled with the tenor sax playing the same notes, together with the harmonies produced by three other saxophones, while growling trombones and wailing trumpets add their oo-ahs. Who knew that The Glenn Miller Orchestra had more hit records in one year than anybody in the history of the recording industry? In fact, its recording of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" earned the first Gold Record ever awarded to a performing artist.
For tickets ($38), call the box office (203) 438-5795, or order online at ridgefieldplayhouse.org. The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT; ridgefieldplayhouse.org.