Glenn Miller Orchestra brings 80th anniversary show to Tamworth

TIMELESS: Orchestra musical director Rick Gerber will be bringing the Glenn Miller Orchestra back to Tamworth next month. Photo: Supplied
TIMELESS: Orchestra musical director Rick Gerber will be bringing the Glenn Miller Orchestra back to Tamworth next month. Photo: Supplied

THEY were one of the greatest big bands of the 1940’s and the Glenn Miller Orchestra will head to Tamworth next month for a spectacular anniversary show.

In an 80th anniversary extravaganza, music fans are urged to head to the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre on Saturday, October 14 for a concert featuring the unforgettable music of the 1940's – the golden era of swing.

The Orchestra will also feature 24 musicians, singers and dancers - a  presentation that highlights the great ‘Big Band’ hits, the original Glenn Miller arrangements, the music of The Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and the romantic World War II melodies made famous by Vera Lynn.

The concert will also feature dance routines by the Broadway Swing Dancers.

The Glenn Miller musical arrangements are unique; even after 80 years, they are still heard worldwide; timeless icons of American culture such as Chattanooga Choo-Choo, In the Mood, Tuxedo Junction, A String of Pearls, Moonlight Serenade, Little Brown Jug and Pennsylvania 6- 5000.

Musical director Rick Gerber said he was pleased to be bringing it all to Tamworth.

“Even in Tamworth, which is the Australian headquarters for country music, we’ve made a lot of converts,” he said. “We’ve played their three times previously and coming back for our fourth time.”

Mr Gerber described the show as similar to previous years.

“We will be playing Glenn Miller’s biggest hits, what people naturally expect to hear,” he said.  “It is a strange phenomenon that no one can explain.

“They have done studies at a university level on the music of the era – the music is still stronger than ever.

“The make-up of the GMO (Orchestra) is an exact duplication of the original Miller band of the early ‘40s. That is, five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass and drums plus both a male and female singer. 

“This line-up is representative of the original band and is mandatory for all performances that we play as demanded by the Miller Estate. No watered down orchestra, as the total sound would never be an accurate sounding GMO.”

He said September was particularly poignant on the tour calendar as it marked 75 years to the date the original Glen Miller orchestra played their last show.

“We’re (the orchestra) still playing sold-out shows everywhere, in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, we have had to go back and play additional shows in some towns,” he said.

Mr Gerber has been the director of the orchestra for the past 16 years and said the music was in his blood.

“We play the music the way it was written and intended to be played,” he said. “We don’t modernise it.”