We are excited to be celebrating 40 years of the Glenn Miller Festival in Clarinda, Iowa! This year’s festival is shaping up to be a wonderful time. We are pleased to bring a fabulous musical line-up to our 40th festival along with many festival favorites and a few new things for the anniversary.
Musical acts this year include The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Toronto All-Star Big Band, and the Osaka Rakers Jazz Orchestra. The Osaka Rakers, from Osaka, Japan are new to the Festival. They have been playing as a band for around 50 years and strive to recreate the “Miller Sound.”
The Festival kicks off this year on Thursday, June 11th with the Glenn Miller Music Scholarship competition and the Glenn Miller Craft & Vendor Fair during the day. That night, join us for a free concert on the Clarinda town square by The Omaha Big Band. If you haven’t seen this band play, you are in for a treat. Bring your lawn chair and get ready for a “swinging” time! Come early and you can enjoy the kick-off picnic before the concert. This year the picnic will feature local barbeque.
Friday and Saturday are filled with fun events. Four concerts are scheduled on Friday, including our very own Glenn Miller Birthplace Society Big Band which starts off the concerts for the day. The evening ends with The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Saturday starts bright and early with The Big Band Breakfast featuring the Toronto All-Star Big Band. Enjoy concerts throughout the day as well as displays and memorabilia shopping. Savor a wonderful dinner at one of our local restaurants, and then finish the evening with a Big Band dance.
Take time to relax on Sunday morning, and then join us for the closing concert featuring the Osaka Rakers Jazz Orchestra. An ice cream social will follow immediately after the concert.
New to the festival this year is Alan Cass’ program, “American Music Goes to War.” Dr. Cass has created an inspiring compilation of audio segments relating to World War II taken from over 60,000 hours of recorded sound preserved at the Glenn Miller Archives. These recordings, coupled with moving historical images tell the story of how music transformed popular American culture and became a huge morale booster during WWII and is still enjoyed today. This program will be offered on Saturday, June 13th. That same day will see a new program for the panel discussion. Dennis Spragg will present a talk on the research he completed for his soon to be published book, Resolved: The Disappearance of Glenn Miller. A Q&A session with panel experts will end the panel discussion. This will be followed by a book signing by Mr. Spragg.
We are planning some special things to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the festival. Right now we are going to keep them a secret. To learn more about the festival, please visit the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society or the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce websites.