Residents "In the Mood" for some big band music can satisfy their craving on Tuesday, Sept. 27, when Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts' 65th season gets under way with an appearance by the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra.
A sellout is expected, but tickets are still available for the show, sponsored by Capsugel, Lakelands Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Clinic, Wesley Commons, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Miller Orchestra's repertoire includes some of the best-known songs of the World War II era, such as "Stardust," "A String of Pearls," "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," "Tuxedo Junction" and Miller's signature piece, "Moonlight Serenade."
The band, which consists of musical director Gary Tole, five saxophonists, four trumpet players, four trombonists, a pianist, bassist, drummer and two singers, also plays carefully selected newer tunes, all in the unmistakable Miller style.
Miller, it is perhaps unnecessary but nevertheless essential to note, will not be personally present. In 1942, at the height of his popularity, he disbanded his musical powerhouse, volunteering for the army and organizing the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, which went to Europe to entertain servicemen. On Dec. 15, 1944, Miller took off in a single-engine plane from England to precede his band to France. He was never seen again.
Interest in Miller was revived in 1956, with the release of "The Glenn Miller Story," starring James Stewart and June Allyson. The result was the formation of the present group, sanctioned by the Miller estate, which has been traveling the world, playing an average of 300 dates a year, ever since.
Admission for the performance, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. in Lander's Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium, is $40 for adults and $20 for youth (18 and under). Tickets can be purchased by calling the GLPA office at 864-388-8326.
GLPA executive director Cecily Morris called the first event of the 2011-2012 season "a great show for younger people to invite an older friend, relative or veteran to attend with them."
Having the Glenn Miller Orchestra in town, she said, "is a real coup for Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts and the Greenwood community. I hope people will realize the caliber of performer who's right here in their own backyard."