We are proud to announce that Opus One will be headlining this years Glenn Miller Festival at Twinwood Aerodrome near Bedford. We will be performing on Sunday Evening the 27th August 2006 at this historic sight, being the airfield from which Glenn Miller took off from on his last fateful flight on the 15th December 1944.
Glenn Miller was based in Bedford and made many broadcasts from the Corn Exchange in the town centre. He was a great morale booster to all the G.I.’s stationed in the E.T.O. a long way from home. With his various concert broadcasts over the B.B.C. from Bedford he became a weekly institution not only for the troops but also for members of the civilian population.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra was not merely a swing band but a whole musical package that played everything from traditional jazz with the Uptown Hall Gang through to the light classical style of the full orchestra. Many of the radio shows went under the title “I Sustain the Wings”. Glenn Miller also introduced guest stars such as Vera Lynn, Gloria Brent and also on one of their very first radio broadcasts the Beverley Sisters. Opus One are pleased to tell you that we will be featuring Babette Wright daughter of Joy Wright one third of the Bev’s and the late Billy Wright ex Wolves and England football captain as one of our featured vocalists.
Not only did they broadcast, but also played many live gigs for the troops in aircraft hangars or on the backs of low loader trucks often on the runways. In fact this Orchestra still holds the record for doing more gigs than any other band in a set time (960 in just under a year!). Glenn Miller had the pick of the top American classical and Swing Musicians. If they did not come voluntarily he got round the problem by having them conscripted into his unit.
Opus One featuring a full big band and a 12 piece string orchestra plus a french horn will be recreating many of the Glenn Miller Radio Broadcasts from his days in Britain during 1944 in what promises to be a truly memorable concert. The band will dress in genuine G.I. uniforms featuring the insignia of Glenn Millers 418th Army Air Force Band.
Ted Higgins Opus One Bandleader when asked for his comments said “ We have performed at many of the most prestigious events over the last twenty years. I was truly proud and excited to be invited to headline what is probably one of the most important events in our history. Especially to be able to recreate Glenn’s big orchestral production numbers”.
Glenn Miller always wanted to do his bit for the war effort. With this in mind he decided that as the allies were advancing towards Germany he needed to take his musicians to perform near the front line. Glenn was going to fly over to France before the band to search out digs and performance venues. With the mist swirling, freezing fog and bad storms all over South East England, he took off as the passenger in a small Norseman Aircraft from Twinwood on the 15th December 1944, never to be seen again.
As they say the rest is history.
AFTER OUR SELL OUT CONCERT IN NOVEMBER 2014 AT WARE DRILL HALL, WE ARE PLEASED TO ACCEPT BOOKINGS TO REPEAT THE SHOW IN 2018:
KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING
KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING
A commemoration concert marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1, featuring Opus One Big Band, Ware Brass Band, Ware Choral Society and featured soloists. Keep the Home Fires burning will commemorate the tragedy, heartache, comradeship and triumph with an unforgettable performance guaranteed to be remembered long after the final echoes of The Last Post have faded.
Taking Bookings Now! - Contact Us for details
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