Online Staff Report
DEKALB, Ill. — The big band sound from the 1940s returns to the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb, Ill., as the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra takes the stage at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 4.
Friends of the Egyptian have the first opportunity to purchase tickets from 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 5, through 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, March 6. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 11 a.m., Thursday, March 7. Ticket prices are as follow:
• Premium reserved seats are $32 for adults and $27 for seniors and students.
• Regular reserved seats are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and students.
• Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more; contact the box office for information.
Tickets are available by phone at (815) 758-1225 or in person during box office hours from 2 to 6 p.m., Tuesdays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursdays. Tickets are available online at www.egyptiantheatre.org.
The first Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1937 and failed financially. Glenn Miller launched his second band in March 1938, and it became a sensation, with multiple hits and huge box office sales. In 1941, the Glenn Miller Orchestra had more hit records in one year, including A String of Pearls, than anybody in the history of the recording industry at that time. In addition, Glenn Miller’s Chattanooga Choo Choo received the first Gold Record ever to be awarded, with more than 1 million copies sold.
In 1942 during World War II, Miller volunteered for the Army and disbanded his musical organization. Dec. 15, 1944, now Major Miller took off in a single engine plane from England — against his better judgment — to precede his band to France, and was never seen again. The army officially declared him dead one year later.
Based on popular demand, the Miller Estate authorized the formation of the present Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1956.
Nick Hilscher is the current music director and male vocalist for the orchestra; Eileen Burns is the featured female vocalist. The Glenn Miller Orchestra is a fully self-contained group consisting of the music director, two vocalists, five saxophone players, four trumpeters, four trombonists and three rhythm musicians (piano, bass and drums). As the vocalists, Hilscher and Burns perform individually and as part of The Moonlight Serenaders vocal group.
Today, the Glenn Miller Orchestra travels more than 100,000 miles each year, playing nearly 300 dates and entertaining more than 500,000 people annually. The orchestra has performed in all 50 states, as well as throughout Europe, Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Guam, the Philippines, South and Central America. The orchestra has also toured Japan annually for 45 years.
The orchestra’s complete library totals more than 1,700 compositions, including all of the original charts from both the civilian band and Miller’s Army Air Force Band. The “Road Book” carried by the orchestra adds up to more than 300 charts — many of them out of the original library.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.egyptiantheatre.org. Become a Friend of the Egyptian and receive free movie tickets, discounts on concessions, advanced ticket purchasing for select shows and 10 percent off at participating downtown DeKalb restaurants.
The Egyptian Theatre is by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Preservation of Egyptian Theatre, Inc., and is at 135 N. Second St., downtown DeKalb, Ill.
Posted March 6, 2013