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Glenn Miller Orchestra Comes to Long Center


Glenn Miller Orchestra Comes to Long Center

Sam Arvin

The world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra came to the Long Center in Lafayette on Saturday, April 23.

Widely revered as one of the greatest bands of all time, the Glenn Miller Orchestra travels the world constantly, performing about five nights a week for 48 weeks out of the year.

The band made its stop in Lafayette and wowed the crowd with its classic swing, jazz, and concert style music.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra is of course world renowned, but it also has a fascinating back story.

Glenn Miller started the band back in 1937, but it quickly became unsuccessful and was disbanded.

The band regrouped when Glenn Miller gained more recognition with hits like “Sunrise Serenade,” “Moonrise Serenade,” and “Over the Rainbow.”

In 1944, Glenn Miller took his band to Great Britain to perform for the troops during World War II, but on December 15 of that same year, Miller took a transport plane to Paris and was never seen again. 

“A band ought to have a sound all of its own,” Miller said. “It ought to have a personality.”

This band truly does.

The current Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1956, and since then has been touring consistently.

As of now, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is under the direction of Nick Hilscher, who also serves as a vocalist along with Jenny Swoish.

Both Hilscher and Swoish are extremely talented, and look and sing as if they are living in the 1950s. 

The band opened with their theme song, “Moonlight Serenade.”

From then on, the band went through several of their most well-known songs and on a few occasions brought out a trio of vocalists who also played instruments in the band.

This trio helped form what was known as the “Moonlight Serenaders,” a group that accompanied the two main vocalists in a few songs.

The band also made sure to honor veterans who were in the audience by playing “The American Patrol.”

Veterans were asked to stand, and a score of elderly gentlemen stood to the applause of the crowd.

One of these veterans had served in World War II.

In an impressive two-hour performance, one cannot help but think about the physical toll that constantly traveling and performing has on a person.

Except for a select few, most of the musicians are only in the band for a year at a time and then are replaced by another.

It would be difficult to do, on average, 300 shows per year.

The evening was a magical trip down memory lane for most of the audience, who were all long-time fans of the Glenn Miller Orchestra and will reminisce on this night forever.