The famous Glenn Miller orchestra will play with the jazz group Wylie High School
ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After two years of scheduling conflicts, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is scheduled to play at the Wylie Performing Arts Center on February 21, 2023. The orchestra reached out to the high school band in 2021 to arrange a show as a learning opportunity for the band. students.
Tickets are on sale now for $20, with all funds above orchestra fees going to the band’s operating fund.
“At first, I didn’t really think it was real. I thought I was catfishing or something… But then the guy emailed me back and I was like, “Oh, maybe this is real,” laughed Ashlyn Ray, assistant manager of the Wylie band and manager of the jazz band.
The students of the jazz band will enter for free, in addition to asking the professional musicians questions and playing a few tunes with them. Ray told KTAB/KRBC that she was thrilled to see the kids rewarded for all their hard work.
“It’s a super exciting thing for my jazz band and for my kids,” Ray said proudly. “Mostly, perhaps, [for] some of those who… They’re on the fence, like maybe they want to do music next year or not. Just to perform, it’s a great opportunity and for the community. Like the famous Glenn Miller Orchestra coming to Abilene, Texas. Like, that’s damn cool!
The orchestra’s music director, Erik Stabnau, said the band is always looking for opportunities to meet and inspire young musicians in the same way they admired the orchestra when they were young.
“We’re all products of music in schools, so it’s kind of near and dear to us too,” Stabnau explained.
The Orchestra was established by famed trombonist and musician Glenn Miller in 1938. Following his success in other bands and performances, after his death in 1944 the band continued. New members have been added every year since, and the Orchestra now averages 200 performances a year.
“All these years later, the band is still touring. Obviously with different musicians, but still playing those classic songs as well as new ones,” Stabnau said.
While the students are thrilled to hear the band perform, Stabnau told KTAB/KRBC that it’s been just as much fun for the band to pass on their expertise to a truly engaged audience.
“We play so many shows that it’s refreshing to meet young people and young musicians, and see their genre, you know, their whole new take on and aspect of this genre of music,” Stabnau shared.
Wylie Board Chairman Steve Keenum paid for tickets for all high school band members so that all music studies students could see this once-in-a-lifetime show.
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