The world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will be making a concert stop in Chipley in January. Through special arrangement by Dr. James Clemmons and the Chipley High Band Boosters, this famous band will present a special concert on Wednesday, January 16, 7:00pm, at the CHS Auditorium on Brickyard Road.
The legendary Glenn Miller was one of the most successful of all the dance bandleaders back in the Swing era of the 1930s and ’40s. A matchless string of hit records, the constant impact of radio broadcasts, and the drawing power at theatres, hotels, and dance pavilions built and sustained the momentum of popularity.
Glenn disbanded his musical organization in 1942, at the height of its popularity, volunteered for the Army and then organized and led the famous Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. It went to Europe to entertain servicemen, and then, on December 15, 1944, Major Miller took off in a single-engine plane from England to precede his band to France, never to be seen again. The army declared him officially dead a year later.
Because of popular demand, the Miller Estate authorized the formation of the present Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1956 under the direction of drummer Ray McKinley, who had become the unofficial leader of the Army Air Force Band after Glenn’s disappearance. Since then, other leaders have followed Ray including clarinetists Buddy DeFranco and Peanuts Hucko, trumpeter & jazz educator Dick Lowenthal, drummer Clem DeRosa, trombonists Buddy Morrow, Jimmy Henderson and Larry O’Brien, and tenor saxophonist Dick Gerhart.
The 19-member band continues to play many of the original Miller arrangements that keep exciting fans who have not heard them played for a while. Additionally, they are also playing more modern selections in the big-band style, carefully selecting only those newer tunes that lend themselves naturally to the Miller style and sound, carefully selected pieces that will stay around for a while. The entire repertoire which now exceeds 1,700 compositions keeps the band popular with both young and old.
Most of the band’s shows are sell-outs. It has proven staying power, and its popularity has never seemed to wane. Indeed, the Glenn Miller Orchestra today is still the most sought after big-band in the world just as it was in Glenn’s day.
Tickets for the January 16 concert at Chipley High School are $15 and can be purchased at the door, or purchased at the CHS Office between 8am-3pm, Monday-Friday, starting January 4. All seats will be general admission for this 7:00pm concert in the CHS Auditorium located in the center of the campus at 1545 Brickyard Road in Chipley. Proceeds from the event will go to the Chipley Band Boosters, whose mission is to support the band program at CHS.