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Good Crowd Enjoys the “Big Band Era” Thursday at Hempstead Hall

By photos by Terri Perkins, 02/11/22 5:21 PM

Glenn Miller died when his plane disappeared over the English Channel in 1944 but his music lives on as a good crowd turned out Thursday to enjoy a tribute program to the Big Band Great.  The program featured many of Miller’s favorites in arrangements that still thrill audiences as much as they did eighty-plus years ago.

Glenn Miller’s Orchestra, along with those of Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman, led the “Big Band Era”, a period when American pop music was dominated by large orchestras between the mid 1930’s and mid 1940’s.  Some orchestras concentrated on “swing”, some on “sweet” music, and some combined both.  The Miller Orchestra was equally well known for such “flag wavers” as “In the Mood” as well as ballads like “Moonlight Serenade”.  Even after Miller’s death, his long-time sax player and singer Tex Beneke maintained an orchestra sanctioned by the Miller Estate.  After Beneke moved on to his on sound, the Miller Estate sanctioned an orchestra led by Ray McKinley who played drums for Miller’s Army Air Force Orchestra.  Since the 1950’s, there have often been several orchestras paying tribute to the “Glenn Miller Sound”.  It is a testament to Miller’s taste in music that the public still supports programs like that presented Thursday at Hempstead Hall.