Arts and Culture
Thu August 8, 2013
September show celebrates veterans, America
Once each year the Utah State University ballroom is transformed into a 1940s' era supper club as the Celebrate America Show Corporation presents the big band event: In the Miller Mood.
The show takes the audience on a musical journey back in time to experience the timeless sound and style of bands like Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman, with a toe-tapping, heartwarming show. Throughout the journey, the harmonies of the Stardust Singers, the excitement of the Stardust Dancers and the music of the Larry Smith Orchestra, provide a night packed with show-stopping music of the era including: In the Mood, Orange Colored Sky, Moonlight Serenade, String of Pearls, Sing Sing Sing, Tuxedo Junction, Stardust and many more.
Retired Colonel Von W. Freeman said he drives each year from Tyler, Texas to see the show because he thinks it is important to honor veterans.
“We enjoy the show enough to drive about 1,200 miles each way to attend. We have always rated the shows above anything we have seen in Las Vegas. A fine piece of family entertainment, and being a veteran of three wars I fully appreciate your efforts to honor veterans.”
Many feel the highlights of the evening are patriotic tributes to veterans and current military. Singer April Critchfield, said, “It’s hard to keep singing when we see men who served in World War Two stand up. We study history in school, but here they are, the men who are living history. Every part of you wants to cry with appreciation. I love the military tributes.”
Band leader Larry Smith holds the honor of being named the first ever Jazz Master for the state of Utah. Smith headed Jazz Studies at Utah State University for over 38 years and plays the saxophone, flute, clarinet and piano. He has played in groups who have accompanied Gladys Knight, Shirley Jones, Bob Hope, Buddy DeFranco, Maureen McGovern, the Lennon Sisters, and the Four Freshman. Smith and several band members played in the former USU Glenn Miller Show for more than 25 years.
Production Director Brenda Anthony said there's more to the evening than the singing and dancing.
"It’s really three events in one. First is a delicious buffet dinner, by Utah State University Catering. Next the sensational Broadway-style show. Finally the evening concludes with those wonderful Glenn Miller tunes performed by the band and the Stardust Singers––the audience can dance or just enjoy listening and watching," Anthony said.
The purpose of the show is apparent throughout the celebration, Anthony said.
"While it’s easy to get lost in the music, the dancing or the humor, the show never lets you forget that its underlying purpose is to honor veterans of all wars and people who have served our country. It is a tribute to, and celebration of, an era in America when music brought the nation together,” Anthony said.
In The Miller Mood plays nightly from Sept 3-7 in the Evan Stevenson Ballroom on the Utah State University Campus in Logan, Utah. Tickets are available with or without dinner. All shows (except Sept 3) feature entertainment after the show with dancing. Group and student rates are available. Tickets are available at www.celebrateamericashow.com or at the Eccles Box Office 435.752.0026.
One additional performance is October 19 for the Sun Valley Jazz Jubilee at the world class resort in Sun Valley, Idaho.