The Glenn Miller Orchestra
was originally formed in 1938 by Glenn Miller
Alton Glenn Miller was an American jazz musician , arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known "Big Bands"...
. It was arranged around a clarinet
The clarinet is a musical instrument of woodwind type. The name derives from adding the suffix -et to the Italian word clarino , as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet. The instrument has an approximately cylindrical bore, and uses a single reed...
and tenor saxophone
The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846...
A melody , also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones which is perceived as a single entity...
, while three other saxophones played the harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...
. Miller had already formed one band before this in 1936, but dissolved it as he considered it too similar to other bands of the era.
The new band became very popular and recorded a number of chart
A hit parade is a ranked list of the most popular recordings at a given point in time, usually determined by sales and/or airplay. The term originated in the 1930s; Billboard magazine published its first music hit parade on January 4, 1936...
successes — among these were the ever-popular, "Moonlight Serenade", "In the Mood
"In the Mood" is a big band era #1 hit recorded by American bandleader Glenn Miller. Joe Garland and Andy Razaf arranged "In the Mood" in 1937-1939 using a previously existing main theme composed by Glenn Miller before the start of the 1930s...
", "Tuxedo Junction
"Tuxedo Junction" is a song co-written by Birmingham, Alabama composer Erskine Hawkins and saxophonist and arranger Bill Johnson. Julian Dash is also credited for the music. The song was introduced by Hawkins's orchestra. Lyrics were by Buddy Feyne...
", "Chattanooga Choo Choo
"Chattanooga Choo Choo" is a song by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon . It was recorded in a big-band/swing manner by Glenn Miller and his orchestra and featured in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade, which starred Sonja Henie, John Payne, Glenn Miller and his orchestra, The Modernaires, Milton Berle...
" and "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo
" Kalamazoo" is a #1 popular song recorded by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra in 1942. It was written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren and published in 1942. It was featured in the musical film Orchestra Wives and was recorded by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, featuring Tex Beneke, Marion Hutton and...
After the disappearance
A missing person is a person who has disappeared for usually unknown reasons.Missing persons' photographs may be posted on bulletin boards, milk cartons, postcards, and websites, along with a phone number to be contacted if a sighting has been made....
(and presumed death) of Miller in 1944, the band was reconstituted under the direction of Tex Beneke
Gordon Lee Beneke , professionally known as Tex Beneke, was an American saxophonist, singer, and bandleader. His career is a history of associations with bandleader Glenn Miller and former musicians and singers who worked with Miller. His band is also associated with the careers of Eydie Gorme...
, its lead tenor saxophonist, singer, and one of Miller's longtime close friends. A few years later, the Miller estate, having parted ways with Beneke, hired Ray McKinley
Ray McKinley was an American jazz drummer, singer, and bandleader.McKinley got his start working with local bands in the Dallas–Fort Worth area, before joining Smith Ballew in 1929, when he met Glenn Miller. The two formed a friendship which lasted from 1929 until Miller's death in 1944....
, principal drummer in Miller's Army Air Force band, to organize a new "ghost band" in 1956.
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...
contributed to the band's immortality
Immortality is the ability to live forever. It is unknown whether human physical immortality is an achievable condition. Biological forms have inherent limitations which may or may not be able to be overcome through medical interventions or engineering...
and that of its founder and original members with the 1953 release of The Glenn Miller Story
The Glenn Miller Story is a 1954 American film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart in their first non-western collaboration.-Plot:...
on the big screen. Its popularity garnered award nominations and box office success, as well as top hit status for its soundtrack
A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; or the physical area of a film that contains the...
album in 1954.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra continued to record and perform under various leaders starting in 1956 and is still touring today. Currently trombonist Gary Tole leads the touring band.
Current members 2011
- Gary Tole – Solo Trombonist, Music Director
- Brian Hemstock – Male Vocalist
- Kevin Sheehan – Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Alto Flute, Arranger
- Nigel Yancey – Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute
- Walter Kross – Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute
- Damian Sanchez – Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Assistant Road Manager
- Ian O'Beirne – Baritone Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet, Flute
- Ashley Hall – Lead Trumpet, Sales Manager
- Nick Schroeder – Split Lead Trumpet
- Steve Walters – Jazz Trumpet
- Reid Poole – Trumpet
- George Reinert – Lead Trombone, Stage Manager
- Jaime Parker – Trombone, Road Manager
- John Tyler – Trombone
- Jason Bennett – Bass Trombone, Music Copyist
- Theron Brown – Piano
- Holbrook Riles III – Drums
- Kurt Kotheimer – Bass
- Andrew LaBier - Bus Driver
- Moonlight Serenaders Vocal Group: Brian Hemstock, Ian O'Beirne, Jaime Parker, Kevin Sheehan