If you’re looking for a step back in time to the swing bands of the 1940s, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is on its way to Ballarat.
Band leader Rick Gerber has been in charge of the musical project, which is an exact replication of the original Glen Miller band, since 2001.
“This will be our fourth tour of Australia,” Mr Gerber said
“We’ve met some of the nicest people there, very warm, friendly and enthusiastic crowds everywhere. In big cities and in small towns. I’ve got a waiting list of top notch New York musicians want to come on tour with us there.”
His mother was musical and Mr Gerber said and between her natural born talent and the sounds of jukeboxes that his father brought home as part of his business, he became interested in music at the age of seven.
He cites some of the earliest sounds he listened to on records as the Dorsey Brothers, Benny Goodman, Harry James as well as Glenn Miller, with a preference for swing bands.
Mr Gerber attributed the popularity of the’s bands music to its authenticity.
“The continued popularity of music is often referred to as the Miller Magic and Miller Mystique. We’re playing authentic exact arrangements that were huge hits for the band 70 years ago,” he said.
“September 26 marks 75 years to the day that they played their last show. Then Glenn Miller went into the air force. 75 years later we still have sold out audiences anxious and eager to hear music played by a live band. We do not modernise it with electronic voodoo and rock and roll beats.”
He added that the music still has an appeal for young people.
“We get a good percentage of young people that accompany grandparents and parents and express they’re overwhelmed, this is great stuff,” he said.
“All they’ve heard is records recorded years ago with techniques of the early 40s. Once they hear it live with a swinging drummer and outstanding solo players, they’re won over wherever.”
He said all performances by the band include a complete orchestra of five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass and drums and a male and female singer, in keeping with the original band.
In total, the band will be comprised of 24 musicians, singers and dancers.
Along with Glenn Miller hits, the music will also include classics from the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Vera Lynn’s World War Two melodies, as well as dances by the Broadway Swing Dancers.
During a string of national performances, the Glenn Miller Orchestra are in concert in Ballarat at the Wendouree Centre of Performing Arts on September 20.
To book a ticket, contact 5338 0980.