LU RADIO'S MONTHLY TOP 30
Roy Coran Big Band to Perform Classic Tunes
By Kris Ketonen
Thunder Bay’s Roy Coran Big Band will be celebrating musical history when it takes to the stage this month.
The Magic of Miller is being held at the Da Vinci Centre on March 4, and will feature a selection of music by the late trombone player, composer, and arranger Glenn Miller. “It’s kind of the tradition,” Roy Coran Big Band artistic director Ted Vaillant says. “He’s our bread-and-butter kind of composer.” Miller was born in March 1904. His band, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, was the bestselling band from 1939 to 1942; his recording of “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” released in 1941, was, in fact, the first-ever gold record.
In 1942, Miller enlisted in the U.S. Army, entertaining troops during World War II with the Major Glenn Miller Army Air Forces Orchestra. “He was a military musician, and he took, basically, his band with him into the military," Vaillant says. “A lot of his music has got a lot of military flair, a lot of marching-sounding pieces.” In December 1944, a flight Miller was on disappeared over the English Channel. Miller and the plane’s other occupants were later declared dead; Miller himself was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
“We’re gonna play stuff that people obviously know,” Vaillant says of the Magic of Miller show. “You come to see a Glenn Miller concert, you need to hear a tune called ‘In the Mood,’ which is one of his classics— probably everyone knows it even if they don’t know they know it.”
“There’s a number of other things, like ‘Tuxedo Junction’ and ‘Pennsylvania 6-5000,’” he says. “But I’ve been doing a lot of curating of lesser-known Glenn Miller tunes, and we’re going to mix in some of that stuff, too, which will be a lot of fun.”
The Magic of Miller will take place on March 4 at 7:30 pm at the Da Vinci Centre.Tickets are available—cash or cheque only—at Music World Academy. For more information, find Roy Coran Big Band on Facebook.
“We’re gonna play stuff that people obviously know.”