The brass sections of the Glenn Miller Orchestra use derby mutes in some of their arrangements to get that great doo-wop sound.

Later this month, the most popular Big Band in the world will “swing” into Nebraska.

And, of course, I’m talking about the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The Fun Club has tickets for their Monday, Sept. 30, show at the Lied Center in Lincoln.

This is a recent addition to the Lied schedule so there are plenty of spots open for the evening performance. The cost of $85 includes motorcoach transportation, dinner prior to the show and theatre admission. We will depart York at 4:15 p.m. Call the Fun Club at 402-745-6477 weekday mornings or email yorkfunclub@gmail.com to add your name to the roster.

The Glenn Miller story

The legendary Glenn Miller was one of the most successful dance band leaders in the Swing Era of the 1930s and 40s. He was 34 years old when his orchestra hit it big. From 1939 to 1942 Miller and his band achieved 23 chart-toppers and millions of dollars in record sales.

In 1942, at the height of his popularity, Miller received a commission in the Army Air Force despite the fact he was well past draft age. He formed and led a military band that played for the troops in Europe and made radio broadcasts.

In December 1944, Miller boarded a single-engine plane for a flight over the English Channel to precede his band to France. The plane never made it and no trace of the crew, the passengers or the aircraft was ever found. The army declared him officially dead a year later.

The music lives on…

With the 1954 release of the motion picture “The Glenn Miller Story,” starring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson, popular demand led the Miller Estate to authorize the formation of the present Glenn Miller Orchestra. In 1956, the reorganized Glenn Miller Orchestra performed its first concert and has been on the road ever since.

Today, the 18-member ensemble continues to play original Miller arrangements from both the civilian and military eras. Fun Club travelers won’t have any trouble naming some of those great Glenn Miller tunes. “In the Mood,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “String of Pearls” are some of the favorites.

Back in the Big Band era, every dance band had a distinctive theme song. It was the musical signature with which they signed on and signed off at their engagements and radio broadcasts. The beautiful “Moonlight Serenade” was, and still is, the signature tune of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The song’s use of a clarinet to play the melody, with support from the rest of the reed section, produced the distinctive sound that became Miller’s trademark.

Another Miller device was the use of derby mutes by the trumpeters and trombonists to get that doo-wop sound in songs like “Tuxedo Junction.” The Glenn Miller Orchestra will again feature their female soloist as well as the group of five singers known as “The Moonlight Serenaders.”

Give us a call at 402-745-6477 any weekday morning to add your name to the roster for this evening of toe-tapping fun.

Tour brochures

The Fun Club has openings for the following multi-day tours:

“Christmas in Branson” - Nov. 11 - 15, 2019

“Iceland Explorer” - June 3 - 9, 2020

“Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Glacier National Parks” - July 16 - 27, 2020

“Normandy, Paris & the Seine River Cruise” - Oct. 20 - 28, 2020

Please contact the Fun Club for a brochure on any of these tours. Return the registration form with a deposit to reserve your spot.

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