Glenn Miller Orchestra gets Grand |

Glenn Miller Orchestra gets Grand

Event has drawn close to 600 people

— After receiving a posthumous, life achievement award at this year’s Grammy Awards, Glenn Miller’s music continues to inspire audiences and propel a band that bears his name through years of success.

Miller, who disappeared in 1944 after his plane left England on its way to France, was never seen again.

A movie released in the ’50s called “The Glenn Miller Story,” starring Jimmy Stewart, reminded audiences worldwide of their love for the Glenn Miller’s big-band, swinging sound.

In 1956, Miller’s estate authorized the formation of the present Glenn Miller Orchestra and the band has toured 300 days a year ever since to satisfy a demand that never relents.

This is the third year that Strings in the Mountains will bring the Glenn Miller Orchestra to Steamboat. In the past, the swing dance event has been held in a hangar at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport during the summer.

“This time of year the hangars are really cold,” Strings executive director Betse Grassby said. “This is part of our effort to bring more events year round.”

In the past, the event has drawn upwards of 600 people, Grassby said.

“The thing I love about this event is that it attracts everybody — ranchers from Craig, kids from Steamboat, people from Denver — and since this is the height of the winter tourist season, I’m sure we’ll see people from all over the world.

“You don’t need to be intimidated about being a swing dancer (in order to attend),” Grassby said. “This is such happy music, anyone can dance to it.”

The Glenn Miller Orchestra will play tonight in the Sheraton Resort Grand Ballroom. Doors will open at 7:45 p.m. with a silent auction fund-raiser for Strings in the Mountains.

There will be a horse lover’s basket, a fishing basket with day fishing trips to private lakes and a skier’s basket with a season pass, Grassby said.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra will take the stage at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person.

Strings’ regular festival season opens on June 6. The group recently purchased a plot of land with plans to build a permanent structure suitable for year round events.

Construction will begin this spring, Grassby said, to prepare for holding the festival on site in 2004.

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