News Column

Orchestra Glenn Miller Orchestra takes listeners on 'Sentimental Journey'

July 21, 2014

By Courtney Mabeus, The Frederick News-Post, Md.

July 21--Dottie Misner remembered listening to the Glenn Miller Orchestra as a teenager, though she never got to see the band perform live.

Until Sunday night, that is. Now 88, Misner said she arrived at about 6 p.m. to make certain she got a good view of the band performing at the Baker Park band shell as part of the nonprofit Celebrate Frederick's summer concert series.

Though she wasn't dancing, Misner remembered doing so with her husband, James.

She sat in a lawn chair singing along to several of the big band group's hits and said she looked forward to hearing some favorites, including "Sentimental Journey" and "I Don't Want to Walk Without You."

"We danced to it a lot at Braddock Heights and just different places around," Misner said.

Hundreds of people turned out for the Sunday night show. The band performs about 300 concerts across the globe annually, band director Nick Hilscher said.

"As you can tell, it kind of keeps us young, right?" Hilscher said to the crowd, getting a laugh.

Glenn Miller originally formed the orchestra in 1935, disbanded it after it proved unsuccessful in 1938 and reformed it again the same year, according to the history on the band's website. It went on to have massive hits, including "Tuxedo Junction." Miller, who became a member of the Army Air Corps, disappeared Dec. 15, 1944, after boarding a plane to Paris. He had been in Europe leading the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band at the time of his disappearance and planned to fly ahead of his band to make early arrangements.

The Orchestra has carried on through numerous incarnations since 1956.

Steve and Linda Ranney said they remembered their parents listening to the band, though they are more of The Beatles' generation. Married for 46 years, the couple went to the same dance school in the third grade but met in high school. They showed off their dance moves in front of the band shell Sunday.

"This is Frederick," Linda Ranney said. "This is wonderful."

Alex Ben-Avraham, 19, took turns spinning two ladies in front of the band Sunday. There was his girlfriend, Alex Leigh, 20, and a friend, Elizabeth Merchant, 21. The three met in ballroom dance class at Frederick Community College.

"We love this sort of music," Ben-Avraham said.

Follow Courtney Mabeus on Twitter: @courtmabeus.


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Source: Frederick News-Post (MD)

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