LIVERMORE, CA – (February 5, 2016) –After sold out shows in 2009 and 2012, the Tex Beneke Orchestra will make a welcome return to the Bankhead Theater this February for two performances of “A Tribute to Glenn Miller and the Vocalists.” Filled with beloved big band music, the all new show celebrates legendary bandleader Glenn Miller in a dazzling showcase of his classic hits including “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Got a Gal in Kalamazoo,” and “At Last.” Also featured will be special guest stars The Mills Brothers, whose distinctive sound on such hits as “Paper Doll” and “The Glow Worm” and more earned them a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement, vocalist Polly Podewell, considered a master of the American popular song, and the sweet harmonies of The Lindy Sisters. “A Tribute to Glenn Miller and the Vocalists” will be presented twice on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $32 and $49 for adults and $16 for students and military personnel.
A beloved icon of the big band era, Glenn Miller and his orchestra soared to popularity in the early 1940s with a string of chart-topping hits including the instantly recognizable “Moonlight Serenade,” written by Miller himself. Given his tremendous commercial success, the world was stunned in 1942 when Miller disbanded his orchestra and joined the army at the age of 38. For two years, he led the all-star Army Air Force Band but tragically, his talent was lost to the music world when his plane disappeared mysteriously over the English Channel in 1944.
Born in Ft. Worth and nicknamed after his home state, Tex Beneke picked up the alto saxophone at the age of nine, later switching to tenor sax and playing in local bands throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Beneke joined the newly formed Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1938, where he quickly became known for his signature tenor sax solos and smooth vocals. The immensely popular “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” on which Beneke sang lead vocals, was an immediate hit and became the first gold record in history. Beneke also joined the armed forces in 1942 and, after Miller disappeared, was asked to lead a revived Glenn Miller Orchestra. Eventually, his desire to expand beyond the Glenn Miller style led him to form his own group. He successfully established his own style within the big band genre, working with the leading musicians of the times, including singer Eydie Gorme who made her professional debut with the Ted Beneke Orchestra. Now led by Jim Snodgrass, whom Beneke chose as bandleader when he retired in the 1990s, the Tex Beneke Orchestra continues to delight audiences with the beloved music of the swing era.
The Mills Brothers sound is carried on under the leadership of John Mills, son, grandson and nephew of the original group’s members. Mills is joined on stage by Elmer Hopper, who spent 21 years with the renowned group The Platters. Together the duo recreate the inimitable sounds of The Mills Brothers, singing the hit songs that made them famous and making them popular again for a new generation of fans.
The sound of vocal music continues when internationally acclaimed a cappella group, The Swingles, arrives at the Bankhead Theater on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. For more than half a century The Swingles have pushed the boundaries of vocal music with an innovative spirit and astounding vocal agility that has earned them five Grammy Awards, as well as fans and followers around the globe. These seven young and versatile voices deliver folk, classical, jazz, Latin, pop music, and original songs with equal precision and passion. Tickets for “A Tribute to Glenn Miller” in February, The Swingles in April, and all remaining shows in the 2015-2016 LVPAC Presents season are available now through the Bankhead Theater ticket office at (925) 373-6800, on www.lvpac.org or via the new LVPAC mobile app.
The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center provides wide-ranging programs that provide access to the arts for the Tri-Valley community and beyond. The Bankhead Theater and the Bothwell Arts Center are home to nine resident performing arts companies and over 40 studio artists and cultural arts instructors. The Bankhead Theater ticket office is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. On performance days the ticket office is open from two hours before to 30 minutes after the scheduled start of each show.