A few months ago I received a marketing email from the King Center in Melbourne, FL, that announced that the Glenn Miller Orchestra was coming to their venue in the coming months. While the King Center is a great venue, I found that they would also be performing at the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center close by our home base in DeLand. I bought tickets for the two of us…then realized that my sister and her husband would be in town from frozen Minnesota, and got two more. Then my son and his family. And our niece. In all, nine of us caravanned to Ormond Beach for dinner and the show. What an evening.
Four generations were represented, from Grandma to 13-year-old granddaughter, and all were impressed and amazed by the sounds and show. Sixteen musicians provided over two hours of great tunes from the Glenn Miller library including String of Pearls, Tuxedo Junction, Moonlight Serenade and of course, In the Mood. These sixteen were led by Nick Hilscher, the music director and vocalist, supported by vocalist Hannah Truckenbrod.
The range of emotions in our little group was quite amazing. Grandma cried – memories flowed keyed by the music that was so much a part of her life. Other younger folks in our family had never heard live music that wasn’t supported by electronics, synthesizers, mixers and other currently-common tools of modern music. Just four trombones, five sax/clarinets, four trumpets, a piano, upright bass and drummer making music and memories.
The Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center is a small venue, so our fourth row seats were right in the center of the music. The show traced the band’s beginnings in the late 30’s with Glenn Miller’s pre-war musical genius up through the war, with the band breaking up in the early fifties. When the Jimmy Stewart/June Allison movie The Glenn Miller Story was released in 1954, the popularity of Glenn’s music rose again, and the band reformed in 1956 – and continues to this day. While the movie showcased a great love story, the focus was on the music of Glenn Miller. Here is the trailer for the movie:
The Glenn Miller Orchestra has captured and preserved great music that has endured for over eighty years. This is definitely NOT a “tribute band” or poorly-done knockoff, but the real thing – the continuation of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Check their website at https://glennmillerorchestra.com and make the effort to see them soon. Their tour schedule has eighteen shows in February alone! The band travels all over the country, four or five shows a week, up to 45 weeks a year, so they are sure to be near you sometime soon. It’s worth the price of admission, which is pretty low!