Glenn Miller Orchestra concert to benefit local youth |

Glenn Miller Orchestra concert to benefit local youth


WHO: The Center for the Arts presents

WHAT: The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra

WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7

WHERE: The Center for the Arts

314 W Main Street, Grass Valley

TICKETS: $65 members, $75 general public

Limited standing room: Tickets $30 members, $35 non-member


The Center Box Office - 530-274-8384 ext 14

BriarPatch Co-op or online at


The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform Sunday in Grass Valley as a benefit for the Center for the Art’s youth and education programs.

The dance concert will benefit the Center’s resident children theater company – the Performing Arts Guild, scholarships to art camps, the Free Community Music Jam and affordable school programs.

Glenn Miller was one of the most successful of all the dance bandleaders of the Swing Era. A string of hit records, the constant impact of radio broadcasts and the drawing power at theaters, hotels and dance pavilion, built and sustained the band’s momentum and popularity.

The first Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1936 but saw limited success. Miller knew what he wanted and launched his second band in March of 1938. The Glenn Miller Orchestra has been a hit ever since topping the charts with “Moonlight Serenade,” “In the Mood,” “Tuxedo Junction,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “A String of Pearls,” “At Last” and “(I’ve Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo,” according to the band’s bio.

In 1942, Glenn disbanded his musical organization 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 Dec. 15, 1944, Major Miller took off in a single engine plane from Europe to precede his band to France. The plane disappeared over the English Channel, never to be seen again. The army declared Glenn Miller 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 under the direction of drummer Ray McKinley – 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, according to the bio.

Other leaders have included: 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 has led the band. A native of Georgia, Hilscher began his professional career in his teens, playing piano and singing in the Atlanta area. His early musical influences were Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, and Tommy Dorsey. He graduated from Samford University in the spring of 2000 with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance.

In 1998, Nick became the featured male vocalist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He performed an average of 300 shows a year in venues like the Hollywood Bowl and New York City’s Birdland. His touring has taken him to all 50 United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, and Japan.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra continues to play many of the original Miller arrangements along with modern selections arranged and performed in the Miller style and sound.

Vocalist Natalie Angst joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra in March. Angst grew up in Vacaville and started performing in musical theater as a toddler. She started playing cello at age five. Natalie’s love for musical oldies, classics from the 1930s and 1940s swing era, developed and grew. She joined and performed throughout the Bay Area with The Honeybee Trio, a vocal group who draws musical inspiration from The Andrews Sisters, Glenn Miller, and other artists from the World War II era.

Seating for Sunday’s concert is limited to fixed theater seating, leaving plenty of room to dance to the big band sounds of the Glenn Miller Orchestra on the spacious hardwood dance floor.

Tickets are $65 for members of the Center, $75 for the general public and are available at the Center’s Box Office in person, by phone at 530-274-8384 ext. 14, online at or at BriarPatch Co-op.

For more information, call 530-274-8384, ext. 14.

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