Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Pulse of Entertainment: ‘The Glenn Miller Orchestra: 80th Anniversary of the Army Air Force Band’ Album

The Glenn Miller Orchestra
The Glenn Miller Orchestra

*“We (The Glenn Miller Orchestra) have this album…been working on it for a while,” said Erik Stabnau, music director of The Glenn Miller Orchestra, about their latest recorded project “The Glenn Miller Orchestra: 80th Anniversary of The Army Air Force Band” (Hindsight Records) featuring Grammy-winning Crystal Gayle (Grand Ole Opry member).

“The Glenn Miller Orchestra…” project offers 15 classic tracks which include “Sentimental Journey” featuring Crystal Gayle (“Brown Eyes”). The Glenn Miller Orchestra reached a milestone when awarded a Gold Record in 1942 for “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Miller’s orchestra is the only Big Band-era orchestra still on tour. The orchestra performs over 100 dates a year.

“The producer got in touch,” Erick said when I asked how they came to have the Hollywood Walk of Famer Crystal Gayle on the album. “He has some kind of connection or relationship. They are both based in Nashville.”

Miller was an American patriot who brought the country together during the darkest hours of World War II. He was a well-known big band conductor, arranger, composer, trombonist, and recording artist at the time (Glenn Miller and His Orchestra from 1939 – 1942) when he decided to serve in World War II as an officer of the US Army Air Forces. While serving Glenn Miller formed the Major Glenn Miller Army Air Forces Orchestra. Just two years later in 1944, he disappears when his transport plane to Paris never arrives. A year later in 1945, he was declared dead.

“It took a little over a year or more in the studio,” Erik said about the making of the 80th anniversary album. “We recorded Crystal’s vocals on top. She sang beautifully!”

Erik Stabnau
Erik Stabnau, Saxophonist and music director of The Glenn Miller Orchestra.

After learning that The Glenn Miller Orchestra had been constantly on tour since he formed it, I asked about that and Erik said with a slight laugh, “Yes, we tour all the time! The band is active. We have another one coming up.”

Glenn Miller’s music has been performed by Swing bands, Jazz bands, and Big Bands since his passing. The orchestra was reorganized in 1956. They have been performing annually in Japan since 1964. Fast forward 80 years later the Miller Estate is keeping the Glenn Miller legacy alive with The Glenn Miller Orchestra, led by music director Erik Stabnau.

The orchestra is owned and operated by Glenn Miller Productions, Inc. under license from the Glenn Miller Estate. Their road-book of selections consists of 300! Its’ library includes 1,700 compositions that include originals from his civilian and Army Air Force bands.

“I joined the band in 2017 as a saxophonist,” Erik told me when asked about how he became the director of the renowned Glenn Miller Orchestra. “I’ve been a director for 2 ½ years, since 2020. During the pandemic, people were in and out of the band. I stepped up. I sing in the band too. I emulate the 1940’s singing. It was a great era….Frank Sinatra… It’s (The Glenn Miller Orchestra) the embodiment of that era.”

Originally The Glenn Miller Orchestra was built around the tenor sax playing the melody, so Erik’s instrumental role in the orchestra was major when in joined in 2017. Stabnau is a native New Yorker (Western) who earned a bachelor’s from Eastman School of Music in music in Jazz and contemporary media and a master’s from Syracuse University in audio arts. His work as a bandleader throughout the Northeast ended with him joining The Glenn Miller Orchestra in 2017 as a tenor saxophonist. He went on to perform throughout the country and abroad in Canada and Japan. Just three years later he is now music director of the most famous orchestra in the world.

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Dr. Eunice Moseley has an estimated weekly readership of over one million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Business Management/Public Relations Strategist and Consultant at Freelance Associates and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 25th year. The next events are coming to Baltimore via Zoom on Saturday, April 20, 2024, presented by Security Square Mall and The Baltimore Times, and Los Angeles via Zoom on Saturday, November 9, 2024. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference offering a Professional Panel Q&A Session, a Professional Talent Showcase, and a National Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance, and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $19,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto or RSVP for Zoom Access at or email [email protected].

OTHER NEWS ON EURWEB: Filmmaker Sam Pollard Honored with Black Public Media’s Trailblazer Award | EUR Video Exclusive

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