The TAMU-CC Performing Arts Center Presents: The Glenn Miller Orchestra

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Photo courtesy of Stan Leja.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra and vocalists performing the opening song of their concert, energizing the crowd for an afternoon of jazz.

To kick off the Spring Furgason BRAVO! Series, the Glenn Miller Orchestra brought their beloved jazz sounds to Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi on Sunday afternoon as part of their 2022 tour. 

Also known as “the most popular and sought after big band in the world today for both concert and swing jazz engagements,” the orchestra energized the crowd throughout the concert as they brought on a truly entertaining performance. Full of visuals and excitement, the orchestra played a great variety of both original and classic jazz tunes for almost two hours, which almost didn’t feel long enough. 

With a program of almost 40 songs, the orchestra performed original songs such as “Moonlight Serenade,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “A String of Pearls,” and the widely known “In the Mood.”

The Glenn Miller Orchestra is well known for their unique sound involving the clarinet playing the melodic line, coupled or doubled with the tenor saxophone playing the same notes, as the harmonies are produced by three other saxophones, along with the trombones and trumpets acting as the final piece to the intricate puzzle. 

Sunday’s performance makes this the third year the orchestra has played at the TAMU-CC’s Performing Arts Center, and according to the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s director Erik Stabnau, the PAC has become a favorite location. 

“This is one of our favorite places to play,” Stabnau said. “We’ve come here three times now. 2019, 2020, and now 2022. It’s a beautiful theater to play in, it has a beautiful landscape just outside, so we’re able to make it here about once a year and we have a great time.”

The Glenn Miller Orchestra was first formed in 1937 by Glenn Miller, but ultimately the group was a financial failure. He relaunched his second band in 1938 after recognizing his unique sound, and achieved success with multiple hit records and large record sales. 

After signing into the Army in 1942, Glenn Miller formed the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band in 1943, and went on to participate in over 800 performances in less than a year, with over 500 performances broadcasted for millions, and over 300 done in person. In 1944, Glenn Miller boarded a plane on Dec. 15 to Paris, and was never seen again. 

Former TAMU-CC professor, Stan Leja, attended the concert with a nostalgic perspective. “I was thinking about 1940,” Leja said. “How people lived and how people enjoyed music at that time, any different type of music. This was the music that basically united the nation for WWII, it was not just music, it was the soul of the nation at that time.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on the entire nation, the music world had to go a while with no performances in front of an audience. Now as live performances are being held again, the Glenn Miller Orchestra wasted no time on filling out their schedule for 2022.

“It’s nice to have a chance to play some live music again after so long without shows during the pandemic,” Stabnau said. “So we’re just happy to be performing again for audiences, and we’re just about back to our full time schedule, which would take us up to about 200 shows per year.”

For more information about the Glenn Miller Orchestra and their tour schedule for the year, visit https://glennmillerorchestra.com/. To see the full lineup for the Furgason BRAVO! Series this spring, visit https://www.tamucc.edu/performing-arts-center/event-information/index.php