Patrons gathered at the Lied Center for Performing Arts on Monday for a ride back into the past, a time when things were different, and a time when the country went to war.
Magically, it was the 1940s and 700 people were listening to the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Perhaps some were listening to the radio. Maybe some were dancing in their own make-believe ballroom.
But there it was, the traditional Glenn Miller band replete with saxophones, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, piano, bass and drums. Leader-vocalist Nick Hilscher was there, along with vocalist Hanna Truckenbrod, to present an album of Miller favorites, plus arrangements of a couple of numbers from times since the big war.
Truckenbrod’s “I Wish You Love” was a plaintive torch song, wonderfully warm while distant at the same time.
Some of the band members joined Hilscher and Truckenbrod for the original Modernaires’ interpretation of “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” the song from the movie “Sun Valley Serenade” that put the Modernaires on the map in 1941.
You have free articles remaining.
Hilscher brought out the Bill Finegan arrangement of “Rhapsody in Blue,” saying it was the last tune the band played together before that fateful plane crash that killed Miller. It was followed by the standard “American Patrol,” which the band dedicated to all the veterans in the audience.
Truckenbrod appeared back on stage for the Miller rendition of “Bluebirds in the Moonlight.” Her voice and style sound more like singers twice her age — mature, round and sensitive to how those torch songs were supposed to be sung.
The finale was the Miller signature closer, “Moonlight Serenade,” which closed many of the great band’s radio programs and ballroom dances.
Patrons stood and cheered and Hilscher had the band play “Farewell Blues,” an obscure offering from the Miller library that may not have been played since pre-war days.
The Glenn Miller show was a winner, just as it was so many years ago.