The Glenn Miller Orchestra2018-10-05T18:29:06+00:00

The Greatest Band of the Greatest Generation…

Born born to Elmer and Mattie Lou Miller in Clarinda, Iowa in 1904, Alton Glenn Miller was one of four children. His mother introduced him to music through her simple but sweet playing of the pump organ. Glenn really took to the Trombone in band in high school. He struggled in college and eventually quit to become a musician full time. Glenn Miller worked with some of the greats and eventually became the musical director for Tommy Dorsey’s band with brother Jimmy Dorsey.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed by Glenn Miller in 1938 , a big band that would soon take the nation by storm. What was unusual about this big band is that the arrangements were built around the winning combination of a clarinet and tenor saxophone playing the melody while the remaining saxophones play the harmony. This allowed the impeccable Glenn Miller to create his own arrangements in style and sound the broke away from the normal big-band pack. Initially struggling to make his mark, it was his band’s gig at the famed Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, New York, in 1939 that helped put Miller on the map. Broadcast on the radio, this performance gave them great public exposure.

In 1939 the Glenn Miller Orchestra really hit it big with their biggest hits… “Moonlight Serenade” and”In the Mood.” By 1940 the Glenn Miller band had 31 top 10 hits and a record eight number one hits in a single calendar year.

The ever-popular “Moonlight Serenade”, “In the Mood”, “Tuxedo Junction”, “Pennsylvania 6-5000”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “A String of Pearls”, “At Last”, “Little Brown Jug”, and “(I’ve Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo” have appeared various times in pop culture and brought swing music to a new height.

Glenn Miller’s fantastic career was cut short when his plane disappeared on December 15, 1944 from a departure from the United Kingdom to Paris. Glenn Miller made such an integral impact on the world that his incredible music and arrangements live on today. The Miller Estate formed the present Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1956 following strong popular demand aroused as a result of the successful motion picture, an immense box office smash – The Glenn Miller Story, starring James Stewart and June Allyson. The band has been touring consistently  since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year around the globe to millions of fans. Today, the impeccable Glenn Miller Orchestra is led by Nick Hilsher.

See The Full Glenn Miller Biography
Read More About Nick Hilscher

Nick Hilscher

Nick Hilscher is a first rate singer of the American Songbook. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, he began his professional career in his teens, playing piano and singing in the Atlanta area. His early musical influences were Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, and Tommy Dorsey. A piano student of Atlanta’s Harris Wheeler, Nick was encouraged to pursue music professionally. 

In 1998, Nick became the featured male vocalist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He worked with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for one year, taking a year off from college, and then returned to school to finish his degree. After earning his degree in 2000, Nick returned to his singing post with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, performing an average of 300 shows a year in venues like the Hollywood Bowl and New York City’s Birdland. His touring has taken him to all fifty United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, and Japan.

Nick’s first performance as music director of the Glenn Miller Orchestra was on January 12,2012.

Maria Schafer
| GMO Female Vocalist

Maria Schafer is a vocalist, private instructor, and recording artist based out of Long Beach, CA. Her consummate swing feel, likewise affection for Brazilian music, and penchant for putting a twist on pop tunes give her a widely-varied songbook with treats to offer music lovers from all realms of jazz, pop, and world music. In her relatively short time on the jazz scene as a solo artist, she has performed in venues across the world, including notable performances in Australia and Latvia. Maria has been awarded Outstanding Soloist Awards at the Next Generation Jazz Festival and Reno Jazz Festival, and for 4 consecutive years served as a leading member of vocal jazz groups which won Downbeat Awards for “Best Vocal Jazz Ensemble” and “Outstanding Performance”.
Ms. Schafer is currently working on recording her debut solo album.

“The group quickly established the energy and spirit that made for a lively show at the Saco River Theatre.”

Steve Feeney, Portland Press Herald

“For two hours on Friday night, the Glenn Miller Orchestra transported its Miller Auditorium audience back to the 1940s, playing Miller’s hit tunes in the well-preserved sound of the orchestra’s heyday.”

Dana Packard , E. D., Saco River Theatre

“The special evening was a win – win for all… young and old. The large crowd left the theater very satisfied.”

Robert von Bernewitz, Musicguy247

“The Glenn Miller Orchestra is blessed to have Nick Hilscher not only as its brilliant director, but as a dynamic vocal soloist, and gifted showman. Nick’s warm introductions of the band members and invitations for them to solo flowed with the music, and his enlightening historical anecdotes brought the Glenn Miller era to life.”

David Nichols, Sarnia Concert Association

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