The Glenn Miller Orchestra, led by Ray McVay, will be appearing at The Platform tomorrow (Friday) for an evening of music from the 1940s.
Back in the late 1930s to the early 1940s, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra packed dance halls across the USA.
The band enjoyed a string of hits like ‘In the Mood’ and ‘Tuxedo Junction’ as well as ‘Moonlight Serenade,’ ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo,’ ‘Pennsylvania 65000,’ ‘American Patrol’ and many others. These songs and melodies have stood the test of time.
The Second World War brought Miller to the UK and in 1944, the band’s musical style and showmanship immediately endeared them to UK audiences.
They played close to 80 concerts around the country and performed some 40 radio broadcasts between July and December of that year.
On December 15, 1944, Miller boarded a single engine C-64 Norseman aircraft to travel to Paris, France where he was to make arrangements for a Christmas broadcast.
Tragically, the plane never reached France and was never found.
As far as UK music-lovers were concerned, a special relationship had been forged between them and Glenn Miller and his music – a bond that continues to this day.
The current UK band was put together in 1988 by legendary musical entertainer Ray McVay in conjunction with Glenn Miller Productions in New York.
McVay, previously best known as musical director for the original Come Dancing series on the BBC, approached the offices of the Glenn Miller estate 30 years ago seeking an arrangement to operate a Glenn Miller Orchestra in the UK.
Since then, as it celebrates its 30th year, the orchestra has built itself into something of an institution as it tours the top provincial venues in the country as well as satisfying a demand for Miller’s music in Europe, Asia and South America.
The orchestra maintains the exact line up on stage devised by Miller, consisting of the leader, five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones and three rhythm plus a male and female vocalist. The current show features the sublime voices of Mark Porter and Catherine Sykes as well as the glorious harmonies of the Moonlight Serenaders.
The band’s library comprises of more than 200 scores, many of them from the original library, which includes terrific arrangements from both the civilian and Army Air Force orchestras.
Songs made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Louis Armstrong are all featured in a show which also pays tribute to other big band leaders of the era like Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman.
The current orchestra leader, Ray McVay, brings more than 50 years of musical entertainment experience alongside young and energetic musicians.
The show at the Platform begins at 7.30pm on Friday. Tickets are priced at £22 each and are available from Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor Information Centres, online at www.lancaster.gov.uk/platform or by calling the box office on 01524 582803.