Re-live the big band moments of 80 years ago to see one of the most popular bands of that time when the Glenn Miller Orchestra comes to town March 25. For one night, Carson City residents can let the music take them back to a different era.
The band, started by Glenn Miller in 1938, was one of the most popular bands in the country at the time with many No. 1 hits and others that made it to the top 10.
The modern rendition of the band brings the same jazzy, big band sound that it was known for.
“For folks who know this music, they can expect to hear a lot of songs they recognize,” Music Director Erik Stabnau said. “We’re still playing the same music.”
The touring group consists of 15 musicians, and they play selections from the Glenn Miller Orchestra library that includes more than 35 songs. The selection includes songs with vocals and there are instrumentals.
“It’s really just a phenomenal group and we still play all the big hits from the ’30s, ’40s and more,” Stabnau said.
He said the band is excited about having another show in Carson City and that he remembers it being a very pretty area.
Glenn Miller launched his second band, the band that lives on today, in March 1938. He was known as one of the most successful dance bandleaders back in the Swing Era of the 1930s and ’40s. Miller disbanded the band in 1942 to volunteer for the Army. There, he organized and led the famous Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. In 1944 on a single-engine plane ride, Miller disappeared flying over the English Channel. With no body every recovered, the Army declared him officially dead a year later.
In 1954, the movie “The Glenn Miller Story” brought back interest and popular demand for Miller and in 1956, the reformed Glenn Miller Orchestra performed its first concert and has been on the road ever since.
Stabnau said he’s been part of the band for about five years.
“It’s just great; it’s really a unique opportunity to tour the country and play music every night,” he said.
He said there aren’t many bands doing this anymore and it keeps them in high demand. He gives credit to all the musicians at being great at what they do and sounding very professional. Some bandmembers have been a part of the regular rotation for 20 years, but there are also many that come and go since it is such a large band.
Stabnau also serves as MC and between songs — sharing history related to Glenn Miller and the songs as part of the performance.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra hasn’t played Carson City since 2019, with the pandemic responsible for the long hiatus. The band tours year-round, with a few breaks. Many places are on regular rotation. There are about 200 shows booked a year for the traveling band, and it often takes two years to come back to some cities because of how popular the band is. The shows are booked all over the United States and Canada. Right now, the band is in the middle of a three-month tour.
Stabnau said if you’re on the fence about checking out the band, give it a shot because there is a lot of variety.
“I’ll say that for folks that are thinking about coming, give it a shot and you won’t be disappointed.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Glenn Miller Orchestra
WHEN: Saturday, March 25. Doors at 6:30 p.m.; Show begins at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Carson City Community Center, 851 E William St.
TICKETS: Starting at $20, available at www.breweryarts.org
MORE INFO: glennmillerorchestra.com
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