University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
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This Year's Salute to Big Band Era
Dedicated to Veterans of World War II

 MAILED:  Sept. 22, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire department of music and theatre arts will present "A Salute to the Big Band Era: 60th Anniversary Tributes, 1944-2004 and 1945-2005" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, and 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, in Zorn Arena.

This year's event is dedicated to veterans of World War II, and they are especially invited to attend, along with all Big Band lovers, alumni and friends of UW-Eau Claire.

This special afternoon or evening of music and dancing will feature a centennial tribute to Glenn Miller (1904-1944), who left behind a highly successful civilian career to volunteer for the armed services in 1942. He organized the Glenn Miller Air Force Band in 1943, and that band gave more than 800 performances for troops in England. The world lost this innovative and influential musician on Dec.15, 1944, when a transport plane carrying Miller to Paris disappeared somewhere over the English Channel.

Both performances will include a pre-concert social hour, from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. for the Friday evening performance and from noon to 12:45 p.m. for the Saturday matinee. Refreshments — cheese and crackers, fruit, various dessert items, and wine, beer, soda or bottled water — will be sold canteen style. At the Saturday matinee, a box lunch also will be available for $6.25 by advance order and payment only.

Prior to arriving at Zorn Arena, patrons also are invited to view the Japanese Garden in the Schofield Hall courtyard, which was refurbished with funds contributed by a group of UW-Eau Claire alumni/World War II veterans following a 1996 reunion. The project symbolized the restoration of peace and the rebuilding of international relations after the war.

UW-Eau Claire's award-winning Jazz Ensembles I and II, under the direction of Robert Baca, will provide the salute and the swing, performing music popular between 1928 and 1948, a time Baca refers to as "one of the most memorable musical eras in American history." A variety of Glenn Miller tunes will be featured, including "Tuxedo Junction and "Moonlight Serenade," and songs like "Let's Dance," "Fly Me to the Moon," "Tenderly," "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and "Sing, Sing, Sing" will give dancers plenty of opportunities to both jump and jive and slow dance.

Proceeds from "A Salute to the Big Band Era" will provide support for activities in the jazz studies area. UW-Eau Claire's jazz ensembles have earned numerous awards over the years and have produced 10 CDs. Five have won Down Beat magazine's "Best College Big Band" award and two were nominated for Grammy Awards. About 75 students currently participate in the jazz studies area.

"The Eau Claire community and culture is the foundation for the national success the jazz studies area has achieved," said Baca. "It is our honor and privilege to give back this musical gift to the community to which we belong."

Ada Bors, volunteer coordinator for the event, said she played piano in a jazz ensemble in high school and that her father enjoyed taking her and other members of the ensemble to hear Big Bands during the summer.

"My involvement with this event is in tribute to my parents and the special efforts they made over the years to enhance my music education," said Bors.

Tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for those 62 and over, youth 17 and under and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff; $11 per person for organized groups of 10 or more; and $10 for UW-Eau Claire and UW System students. Tickets went on sale Sept. 8 at the University Service Center in Davies Center. Call (715) 836-3727 or (800) 949-UWEC to request a brochure with more information and a ticket order form (including box lunch reservation information). Tickets can be charged by phone for an additional $3 fee. Patrons are requested to identify any special assistance needs when purchasing tickets.

Tickets also will be sold at the door as space allows.



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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: September 22, 2004