Friday, July 10, 2020

John Stein brings Glenn Miller to Lely High

Some of the Miller Orchestra music is quick and spunky. Other tunes are slow and melodic, even meditative and haunting. All display the intricate harmonies and rhythms that are the mark of Glenn Miller’s style. Submitted

Some of the Miller Orchestra music is quick and spunky. Other tunes are slow and melodic, even meditative and haunting. All display the intricate harmonies and rhythms that are the mark of Glenn Miller’s style. Submitted

By Carl Kelly

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I got a gal in Kalamazoo, zoo, zoo.

Fun lyrics combined with intricate harmonies and driving rhythms, choreographed movements of the saxes, trombones, trumpets, audience participation shouting Pennsylvania 6, 5, Oh, Oh, Oh.

On January 30th The Glenn Miller Orchestra played, dazzled and mesmerized an audience at Lely High School with these and 25 other songs from the big band era.

Lely Band Director John Stein has arranged these big band concerts for five years as fund raisers that allow him to buy new band uniforms. That goal has been met, but Stein hopes to continue the concerts.

“This is the best music. We need to keep this music alive,” he said. Before the concert one of Stein’s students, a French horn and trumpet player Kerrianne Cortez, noted she had never heard the Miller Orchestra. At intermission she said, “It’s awesome!” One convert made.

For most of the audience this was a walk down memory lane. They were of the age to have danced to this music as youth. A few noted they had played it in high school and college bands. A very few said they had performed in professional bands, but none near the caliber of the Miller Orchestra. The memory walk was good.

The people were quiet and attentive when the music was pensive and weighty; they tapped feet, clapped hands, and shouted lyrics to music of a more jubilant nature. And, when the last note of the final piece was sounded they demanded one more.

The band gave them two, closing with “America,” and everyone sang the lyrics.

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