The world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will be swinging back into the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square at 6:00 on July 8, 2017! After an initial pre-sale period to Ozark Arts Council members, ticket sales are now open to the public. (To be eligible for our ticket pre-sales—which for some events include ticket discounts—join the OAC today, and to be always up to date on OAC news, Be watching this site and subscribe to our OAC eNews.)
The first Glenn Miller Orchestra did not make it at all. It was a total and absolute economic failure. But Glenn knew what he wanted, held to that dedication and relentlessly worked to succeed. He launched his second band–the one that lives on today–in March of 1938. The Glenn Miller Orchestra has been a “hit” ever since.
The legendary Glenn Miller was one of the most successful of all dance bandleaders back in the Swing Era of the 1930’s and 40’s. A matchless string of hit records, the constant impact of radio broadcasts and the drawing power at theatres, hotels and dance pavilion, built and sustained the momentum of popularity.
Glenn disbanded his musical organization in 1942 at the height of its popularity to volunteer for the Army. There, he organized and led the famous Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. It went to Europe to entertain servicemen performing numerous live and radio shows. On December 15, 1944, Major Miller took off in a single engine plane from Europe to precede his band to France, disappearing over the English Channel, never to be seen again. The army declared him officially dead a year later.
With the release of the major motion movie “The Glenn Miller Story” featuring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson in 1954, interest and popular demand led the Miller Estate to authorize the formation of the present Glenn Miller Orchestra. On June 6, 1956, and under the direction of drummer Ray McKinley who had become the unofficial leader of the Army Air Force Band after Glenn’s disappearance, the reformed Glenn Miller Orchestra performed its first concert and has been on the road ever since. Other leaders have followed Ray including clarinetists Buddy DeFranco and Peanuts Hucko, trombonists Buddy Morrow, Jimmy Henderson, Larry O’Brien and Gary Tole, and tenor saxophonist Dick Gerhart. Since January 2012, vocalist Nick Hilscher leads the band.
Today, the 18 member ensemble continues to play many of the original Miller arrangements both from the civilian band and the AAFB libraries. Additionally, it also plays some more modern selections arranged and performed in the Miller style and sound. The Glenn Miller Orchestra is owned and operated by Glenn Miller Productions, Inc., under license from the Miller Estate. Glenn Miller Productions, Inc., has the sole and exclusive right to use the Glenn Miller Orchestra name—so, this is not a “tribute to the Glenn Miller Orchestra,” but the orchestra that is in official and unbroken succession to the original.
The big-band business today requires almost constant travel as a result of an arduous schedule of one-night stands. The Glenn Miller Orchestra is “on the road” longer and more continuously than any other in the whole world, having celebrated its 60th year anniversary on June 6. It covers over a hundred thousand miles a year, working most every night for 48 weeks out of every 52-nearly 300 playing dates, performing for an “in person” audience that adds up to more than a half million people annually.
Just as it was in Glenn’s day, the Glenn Miller Orchestra today is still the most sought after big band in the world. But when it comes to seeing the Glenn Miller Orchestra in Arkansas in 2017, there is exactly ONE place to do it: #OnlyAtTheLyric!
After the overwhelming response to the special appearance of the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra on June 26, 2016, the band will be returning to Harrison for it’s only Arkansas performance of 2017, 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 8!