12 July 2014

Glenn Miller lives - at least for a few days

When, a few months ago, I saw an ad saying the Glenn Miller Orchestra is coming to Brisbane for a few concerts, I had to purchase tickets to go and see one of the concerts. For years I have been following this band and receive their newsletter on a regular basis. In fact, whenever we're in the USA, I always check if they're performing in any town we're in, so far without success. Last time they were in Japan and the time before in Canada. So here was our chance to see them live in our home town. I am a big fan because in my 20s I was playing in a Big Band in Switzerland and we played most of Glenn Miller's tunes. So yesterday, we went to see them in Brisbane at the Concert hall.

If you're too young, you may not known who Glenn Miller was, I suggest you borrow or buy the movie 'The Glenn Miller Story', made in 1954 about the eponymous American band leader and the beginning of this famous band right to the end when Glenn, now in the US army is lost in a flight from London to Paris during the second world war. The film includes most of the band's hits, like Little Brown Jug, In The Mood, American Patrol and many others.

Glenn Miller
The Glenn Miller Orchestra kept going even after Glenn's sad demise. They are stationed in Los Angeles, CA and tour throughout the United States as well as overseas. It was fantastic to have them here in Oz. If they come to your town, I strongly recommend you go and see them, that is if you're into real music.

 Today, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is run by musical director Rick Gerber. Rick has worked with many big names over the years, including Johnny Desmond who was Glenn Miller's favourite vocalists and Ted Beneke, a member of Glenn Miller's pre-war civilian band. He also played trombone in one of my favourite bands, the Harry James Orchestra.
Musical Director of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Rick Gerber
The orchestra was enhanced by the Moonlight Serenade Singers, Mark Kopitzke and Wendy Smith and the Swing Kittens who remembered the Andrew Sisters.

Mark Kopitzke

Wendy Smith
A couple of shots I was able to sneak in during the performance
The band with the Swing Kittens
In the second half of the program, the band was really turned into an orchestra with the additions of strings and French horns.
The full Glenn Miller Orchestra

Here are a couple of pictures from 1965 with our own band, The Modernairs in Switzerland,
Our Band Promo

Yours truly, second from left


  1. My handsome hero. It was a good concert.

  2. I wish I could have joined you! I love his music. In fact it reminds me of Sunday lunchtime back when we lived in Wenlock Cres.


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