GREENVILLE — Music lovers enjoyed a “Moonlight Serenade” Saturday night as the Glenn Miller Orchestra brought its toe-tapping, big-band style to Greenville’s Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall.
The sold-out performance, hosted by the Darke County Center for the Arts (DCCA), staged in honor of Gene Oda and sponsored through the generosity of Greenville National Bank, entertained the audience with a variety of hits.
Ticket-holders heard traditional Glenn Miller favorites “Moonlight Serenade,” “In the Mood,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “Little Brown Jug,” “Tuxedo Junction,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” and “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” among others.
Christmas songs on the band’s playlist included “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Let it Snow,” “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Sleigh Ride,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
The Orchestra honored veterans in the audience with a rendition of “American Patrol.”
After World War II, following the December 1944 disappearance (and presumed death) of Glenn Miller during a flight across the English Channel, the Orchestra discontinued touring. The present version of the Glenn Miller Orchestra was resurrected in 1956 and has been touring ever since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year worldwide.
Glenn Miller Music Director Nick Hilscher said he was inspired by the Orchestra’s music after seeing the 1954 film “The Glenn Miller Story.” He began his time with the band as a male vocalist in 1998 before becoming music director in 2005.
“Though we travel from town to town, we don’t phone it in, it means something every night,” he said. “It’s really great to be here.”
The Glenn Miller Orchestra performs using brass, woodwinds, piano, drums and bass. Vocalists accompanying the band include Hilscher, soloist Natalie Angst, and three members of the orchestra, termed “The Moonlight Serenaders,” based on the original “Modernaires” vocal group that sang with the band in its heyday.
DCCA Executive Director Andrea Jordan expressed great satisfaction that the show was a sell-out performance and thanked the community for its support.
“It’s been a wonderful evening,” she said. “It’s so exciting to have sold out the performance. I want to thank the community and our many sponsors for making this all possible and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.”
The Darke County Center for the Arts presents and promotes performing and fine arts to encourage cultural enrichment in the community. For more information on upcoming performances, contact the DCCA office by phone at 937-547-0908 or visit the DCCA website at www.centerforarts.net.
Erik Martin may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.