Yale Concert Band & Yale Jazz Ensemble bring Cole Porter and Glenn Miller back to life

Cole Porter

The Yale Concert Band and Yale Jazz Ensemble, both directed by Thomas C. Duffy, will present “ Cole Porter and Glenn Miller Return to New Haven!” featuring New York cabaret artist Steve Ross on Friday, December 3, at 7:30 pm.

The first half of the program will offer a tribute to Cole Porter, who graduated from Yale College in 1913. Porter wrote the Yale University fight songs that are still performed today, as well as the innumerable great American song classics. This concert will include “Begin the Beguine,” “Night and Day,” “Can Can,” “Let’s Do It,” and more. The New Yorker called Steve Ross “the personification of the spirit of Cole Porter.”

The concert’s second half will recreate Glenn Miller‘s broadcasts from Yale. In 1943, Captain Glenn Miller and the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command Band – better known as the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band – made six live broadcasts from Yale’s Woolsey Hall. Titled “I Sustain the Wings” (from the AAFTCC motto “Sustineo Alas”), these broadcasts were twenty-five minutes in length and included radio skits, musical selections performed by the larger AAF orchestra, and numbers with vocalists and the military version of Glenn Miller’s popular big band.

Glenn Miller

With Woolsey Hall’s stage dressed as it was in 1943 and members of the Yale Jazz Ensemble appearing in the roles of their counterparts from six decades ago, this retrospective is a re-enactment of portions of these broadcasts, complete with radio skits, vocalists, and a swinging big band. Included are the Miller classics “In the Mood,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “Little Brown Jug,” and more.

The Yale Bands have performed this acclaimed program numerous times throughout Connecticut and New York since its original inception in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy. While stationed at Yale, Glenn Miller and his military big band touched all of New Haven and, indeed, the country with their performances. This re-enactment has won rave reviews from the public and journalists alike, with audience members describing the experience as “transporting, uplifting, riveting, a special gift.” Fourteen years and numerous performances later, the show is just as powerful and relevant. MORE

Published October 28, 2010
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