By Asta Kraskouskas

The Florida Keys Concert Association opened its 53rd concert season with program director Norman Werbner and FLKCA board member Delcine Alexander introducing  the audience to a well-known Glenn Miller orchestra. 

Glenn Miller was an American big band founder, composer, arranger and trombone player. In the “dance band music “era, also called the “swing era,” big bands needed musical parts for the musicians.  At that time, Miller discovered a simple music formula that made his music distinguishable and broadly liked for its sound, simplicity and rhythm. 

Miller chose a clarinet and tenor saxophone playing the melody together while the other saxophones provided harmony, with trumpets and trombones muted. In 1938, Miller formed his band that began breaking attendance records on the east coast. His romantic “Miller Sound” became so popular that from 1939 to 1943, Miller had 72 Top Ten records and 23 were No. 1 — more than Elvis or the Beatles had in their careers. 

Today, the band has five saxophones, three trombones, three trumpets, a rhythm section of three (a piano, drums, and base) and one female vocalist. The band’s saxophonist/vocalist Eric Stabnau is the band’s music director. He took the position a year-and-a-half ago after graduating from Syracuse University with a master’s in music.

“I like Glenn Miller’s music for its iconic swing sound,” Stabnau said. “Miller is still popular and widely recognized. I always wanted to travel and tour. We have 200 concerts a year all over the U.S., Canada, and almost every year in Japan for the past decade.”

The band is known for its music and for its charismatic performances. The musicians’ showmanship adds historic touch of the past era, creating a reciprocal link between the musicians and audience. The band builds up an experience that one can get by attending the concert and seeing the band playing live.

George Reinert, the band’s trombonist, enjoys playing in a big band and has played there since 1994. Reinert thinks that Miller’s music appeals to everyone. He enjoys the opportunity of touring, seeing things and having various experiences. For him, to be in the band is exciting, but it also has its price. George points out that everyone is not married in the band. 

 “Married musicians stay only seasonally. We have a different way of life,” Reinert said. 

To Reinert, it is important to be a part of Glen Miller’s music. “The band plays an important, popular historical music. Without it, we as musicians would have no purpose,” he said. 

Lauren and John Dunn are longtime season ticket holders. Lauren is a realtor and John has his own electrical business. In his free time, John likes to play the guitar and piano. Lauren comes to the concerts to support culture and arts, which she thinks are underappreciated.  

“Music like this (Miller’s music) you cannot put into the headsets. You must come and experience it with a band playing live right in front of you,” John Dunn said. “This band amazes me that they keep the band going for that long. With Glenn Miller’s songs, you know it right away. Our relatives and family liked Miller’s music and passed it on to us from their generation”.  

Glenn Miller is considered to be the father of the modern U.S. military bands. The band pays a special tribute to veterans at each concert. There were about a dozen veterans in the Coral Shores audience. The musicians and audience expressed their gratitude to the veterans by applauding them. The band’s paid tribute to the veterans by playing the “American Patrol” song.

The band ended its concert with the “Moonlight Serenade,” with an extra addition of the “Farewell Blues.” 

Fred Moyer Jazz Trio will grace the stages on Monday, Jan.24 in Marathon High School and Tuesday, Jan. 25 in Coral Shores High School. The concerts start at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets can be purhcased at the door or at