TERRE HAUTE -- The Wabash Valley has the opportunity to enjoy the distinctive sound of the Glenn Miller Orchestra Tuesday, March 23, at the Indiana Theatre, 7th and Ohio Streets, Terre Haute.
Sponsored by the Twelve Points Merchants Association, the evening will begin at 6 p.m., with a wine bar and hors d'oeuvres with music scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tickets for the event are $25, and may be purchased at Bit-O-Britain, Nancy's Mall, Tilford's Variety Store and at the theatre the night of the performance.
Larry O'Brien is currently the leader and musical director of the Glenn Miller Orchestra and has performed in the capacity since 1988. A trombonist, O'Brien has been involved with the big bands most of his career, having performed with the orchestra of Ray Eberle, Les Elgart and Sammy Kaye, to note a few. He was also the featured soloist/lead trombonist with the Sam Donahue/Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, performing all the great Tommy Dorsey solos.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra was originally formed in 1937 by Miller. Its distinctive sound is created by the clarinet and tenor saxophone playing melody coupled with three other saxophones playing the harmony while growling trombones and wailing trumpets add to the sound. The new band became very popular and recorded a number of chart successes -- among these were "Moonlight Serenade," "In the Mood," "Tuxedo Junction," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," and "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo."
After the disappearance and presumed death of Miller in 1944, the band was reconstituted under the direction of Tex Beneke, its lead tenor saxophonist, singer and one of Miller's longtime friends. The Miller estate hired Ray McKinley, principal drummer in Miller's Army Air Force band to re-organize a new "ghost band" in 1956.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra celebrated its 50th anniversary in June 2006. It travels more than a hundred thousand miles a year, working almost every night for 48 weeks. With more than 300 playing dates, it is estimated that the orchestra performs for an "in person" audience that adds up to more than a half-million persons annually.