ABOUT THE GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA 

Through an arrangement with Glenn Miller Productions in New York, veteran band-leader Ray McVay

has put together an orchestra we feel the maestro would be proud of were he here to see it.

The exact stage line-up devised by Glenn had been maintained, consisting of the leader, five saxophones,

four trumpets, four trombones and three rhythm plus a male and female vocalist. The singers perform

both individually and as part of The Moonlight Serenaders vocal group. The Uptown Hall Gang - an

outstanding Dixieland group drawn from members of the orchestra is also featured.

The Band's library comprises of more than 200 scores, many of them from

the original library, which includes the great arrangements from both the civilian and

Army/Air Force orchestras. The library features contributions from the world's greatest arrangers

including Jerry Gray, Billy May and Bill Finegan.

Back in the big band era of the 1940's, any dance band worth its salt had a distinctive signature tune.

The theme of the Glenn Miller Orchestra was and remains, Moonlight Serenade. Interestingly though,

Glenn Miller originally wrote the music of the song as an exercise for a music arranging course. He

composed  it long before he had organised his orchestra and today Moonlight Serenade is considered a

standard in the field of popular music. Its popularity as an instrumental continues undiminished.

"

ABOUT THE GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA 

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MEET OUR PERFORMERS

Through an arrangement with Glenn Miller Productions in New York, veteran band-leader Ray McVay

has put together an orchestra we feel the maestro would be proud of were he here to see it.

The exact stage line-up devised by Glenn had been maintained, consisting of the leader, five saxophones,

four trumpets, four trombones and three rhythm plus a male and female vocalist. The singers perform

both individually and as part of The Moonlight Serenaders vocal group. The Uptown Hall Gang - an

outstanding Dixieland group drawn from members of the orchestra is also featured.

The Band's library comprises of more than 200 scores, many of them from

the original library, which includes the great arrangements from both the civilian and

Army/Air Force orchestras. The library features contributions from the world's greatest arrangers

including Jerry Gray, Billy May and Bill Finegan.

Back in the big band era of the 1940's, any dance band worth its salt had a distinctive signature tune.

The theme of the Glenn Miller Orchestra was and remains, Moonlight Serenade. Interestingly though,

Glenn Miller originally wrote the music of the song as an exercise for a music arranging course. He

composed  it long before he had organised his orchestra and today Moonlight Serenade is considered a

standard in the field of popular music. Its popularity as an instrumental continues undiminished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GLENN MILLER STYLE

We have instituted some changes in the music - changes we think Glenn would have brought about

himself were he still alive. However, we've stayed true to his sound and style - even when we've

added new songs to the repertoire.

 

The new additions have turned out wonderfully, sounding very much the way Glenn would

have insisted if he were still here!

 

Quality music always withstands the test of time, ageing gracefully and mellowing over the years.

If anything, we believe that the authentic Glenn Miller music is now more popular than ever.

We owe it to Glenn to keep it that way.

"

RAY MCVAY

Starting out in the rock’n’roll era of the 1950s, Ray McVay has progressed through the popular dance bands of the 1960s, the disco movement of the 1970s, radio, television and is now a leading figure in the resurgent popularity of big bands. He has performed in concerts and gala functions and has played for royalty on many occasions.

He is proud to have made a contribution to keep the Glenn Miller name and tradition alive and to help protect the orchestra's reputation and profile here and abroad. Under the direction of Ray McVay, this orchestra continues to thrill audiences throughout the UK as well as in Russia, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay and United Arab Emirates. Festivals and cruises have also taken the orchestra to all corners of the World.

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Mark Porter
Vocalist

Mark has been involved in the Big Band business since the age of 19. 

 

He joined the New Squadronaires Orchestra under the direction of Harry Bence, followed by many appearances with other great British bands including Joe Loss, Syd Lawrence and Eric Delaney.

Cabaret and concert appearances include sailing the world on luxury cruise liners, tours of the USA and

supporting legendary acts such as Bob Hope, Anthony Newley, Sir Bruce Forsyth and Dame Vera Lynn. 

 

He has also appeared at Buckingham Palace and given private performances for HM The Queen Mother, HRH Prince Charles, Diana Princess of Wales not to mention three US Presidents.

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Catherine Sykes
Vocalist

Catherine studied voice at the Leeds College of Music and since graduating has performed at venues such as the 100 Club, the 606 Club as well as travelling all over Europe with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra amongst others.

 

More recently she enjoyed two months as resident Jazz singer in a 5 star Hotel in Penang, Malaysia.

Catherine’s first album ‘Signing In’ which she recorded with pianist Dave Newton was featured on Humphrey Lyttleton’s ‘Best of Jazz’ programme on Radio 2.

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Dave Ford
Lead Trumpet

Dave started playing cornet at the age of ten in brass bands, then moved on to trumpet at the age of 13. He enjoyed working around the South West of England and was involved in the vibrant jazz scene there.

Dave is an avid big band fan and joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra back in 2002, and now currently occupies the lead chair, bringing his impeccable sense of time, and wonderful sizzling sound to the fore!

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Alan Berlyn
Trumpet & Vocals

Alan has been a professional musician since graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1985. He joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1995.

He has worked extensively in the theatre, playing in many musicals, both in the West End and on national tours.

 

He is also a Musical Director, and has conducted ‘The Sound of Music’ in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother at Sadler's Wells Theatre.

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Danny Hammerton
Trumpet & Vocals

Born in Darfield near Barnsley, Danny is a multi-instrumentalist. At six years old he started playing piano and violin, then added the trumpet when he was 13.

Danny studied at Leeds College of music (where he got a first class degree in jazz!), and there he added the trombone and the saxophone to his repertoire.

Danny was a member of the Pasadena Roof Jazz Orchestra for 8 years and has also worked extensively with the Brass Hoppers and the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra to name but a few.

 

Recently Danny could be seen on the Jools Holland Show playing trombone.

Danny enjoys playing trumpet with the GMO and is a member of our vocal team.

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John Hinch
Trumpet

Graduate of Leeds College of Music and Postgraduate Jazz Scholarship Trinity College of Music, London.

John is an experienced freelance trumpet player, working in all areas of the profession. John's extensive CV includes studio work, live broadcasts, West End theatre, cabaret.. the list goes on!

Artistes and organisations that John has worked for include Shirley Bassey, Nancy Wilson, The Drifters, BBX, Rosemary Clooney, Vic Damone, Andy Ross TV Orchestra, BBC Big Band, Eurojazz, The Drifters, Petula Clark and last but not least Sir Norman Wisdom!

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Dale Gibson Jr.
Lead Trombone

Dale started to play trumpet when he was 6, but at the age of 8 moved on to trombone as it was bigger than his dad’s trumpet.

Dale has worked on the QE2 and other ships.  He has played in various bands up and down the country. 

 

He played a season in Fame at the Victoria Theatre, London.

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Ray Wordsworth
Trombone and Vocals

Ray started playing trombone and piano at the age of eight and went professional on leaving school at 16.

 

At 21 he joined Ken Mackintosh, then Sid Phillips, Joe Daniels, BBC Radio Band, Syd Lawrence, Geoff Love, Humphrey Lyttleton, Alex Welsh and many more.

 

He has worked with artists including Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Mel Torme, Shirley Bassey and Jack Jones.


Near the end of George Chisholm's career, when he was too ill to play, George asked Ray to stand in for him on several broadcasts.

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Keith Hutton
Trombones

I play tenor trombone, bass trombone and euphonium. I started aged 13. Studied at Trinity College of Music, London from 1989-1992.

I then worked in Monaco for 5 years at the Sporting Club and Casino Cabaret before doing cruise ships for 6 years, 2 years as MD.

Singers that I have played for include Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr., Shirley Bassey, Barry White, Donna Summer, Tony Christie, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Platters, Al Martino and Buddy Greco.

The shows that I have done include ‘The Rat Pack - Live From Las Vegas’, ‘42nd Street’, ‘Chicago’. ‘Mary Poppins’, ‘Respect La Diva’, ‘A Chorus Line’, ‘Hair’, ‘Crazy For You’, ‘Hello Dolly’, ‘Top Hat’, ‘Hairspray’, ‘Barnum’, Priscilla’,  ‘The Glenn Miller Story’ and ‘Berlin, Berlin.’

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Bruce Douglas
Bass Trombone

Bruce is one of the top bass trombonists in the country. It was his school band and the Boy’s Brigade in his home town of Bangor N. Ireland that got him started and if you ever saw the Irish Guards Band around 1980, you probably heard Bruce in there somewhere. But it was after he left the Guards that his career really took off.

He is also popular with touring artists … including stars like Jack Jones, Al Martino, Frankie Vaughan and Rosemary Squires and has been with Dame Shirley Bassey’s Orchestra since 2015.

 

Bruce regularly works in London’s West End and has featured in many hit musicals including 42nd Street, Matilda, Guys and Dolls, The Lion King, The Rat Pack, Crazy for You, Wicked, Saturday Night Fever, The Full Monty, The Lord Of The Rings and Les Miserables.

 

Ray McVay, who always looks for the BEST, sought Bruce out to play with the Glenn Miller Orchestra back in 2001. He’s played with the Orchestra on tours of Argentina, Costa Rica, Spain and Portugal as well as around the UK and Ireland.

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Andy Potts
Lead Alto & Clarinet

Playing with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for what is more than 20 years has been, and continues to be, a real pleasure, and something that fills me with great pride.

 

The swing era was when the saxophone was at its height of popularity, and to find myself playing this music all over the UK and Europe as part of the most famous orchestra is a humbling and wonderful experience.

My career has taken me all over Europe, to North and South America, and to most of the concert halls in the UK. I've played on a song by Ska band No Doubt that was No 1 in the US charts, which went on to win a Grammy, and recently have been fortunate enough to play lead alto for the legendary Jack Jones.

 

I’ve also played with Martha Reeves (although I didn’t dance in the street).

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Simon Meredith
Saxophone

I have toured Europe and the UAE extensively with bands such as the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and various small jazz groups and touring shows. I was also lucky enough to play in China with Sticky Wicket and his Swing Orchestra for whom I write many of the arrangements – we were treated like rock-stars despite playing 1940s swing!

 

Closer to home, I have played in the Millennium Dome, the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and many other great venues across the UK including two week-long residencies at Ronnie Scott’s in London with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. I have also worked with and recorded sessions for bands and artists such as the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Buddy Grecco, Michael Ball, Jools Holland, Tony Hadley and Cee Lo Green.

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Martin Dunsdon
Lead Tenor Sax

At 18 I went to Salford to study ‘Electroacoustics’, but after two years it was obvious that life was taking a more musical detour: My first long-term gig was with Eric Delaney and I have to admit that I made no end of mistakes (and not just musical ones!) - I also had to play 'The Pink Panther' every day, sometimes twice, I became absolutely sick of it!

 

Eventually Eric ‘cut the band down’ and there followed some interesting (i.e badly-paid) ‘werke’ in Germany, Belgium and Djibouti plus a couple of cruising stints in the South Pacific and the Caribbean.

For a while I played in a busy Saxophone Quartet from Birmingham called 'Saxtet', before going on the road in the backing band for Edwin Starr. I moved to London in 1988 and continued to 'freelance' until joining the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 2001. Along the way I've worked with Al Martino, Jack Jones, Stacey Kent, the Syd Lawrence, Michael Garrick, Joe Loss,  Jeff Hooper and Freddy Staff Orchestras besides 'depping' on 'Chicago' and ‘The Rat Pack’ in the West End. Last year I played for the New York City Ballet at The Coliseum but when I get the chance I still love to go out to play jazz ‘standards’ in a small club or pub somewhere.

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Daniel Faulkner
Tenor Sax

Dan started playing the saxophone at the age of 11 and discovered jazz soon after. He juggled his studying for a Physics degree with a chair with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and although his playing improved his physics did not.

 

After a fairly circuitous route in his early 20s with a variety of 'proper' jobs, he was awarded a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he gained a masters in jazz performance.
Since turning professional Dan is enjoying his position with the band as well as a career as a freelance musician in London.

 

He has performed around the world in a variety of styles and settings, lead his own jazz quartet and has been recorded on a range of albums in various genres including Jazz, R&B, Ska and Reggae.
 

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Loren Hignell
BARITONE & ALTO SAX

Loren has toured Europe many times with big bands such as Glenn Miller UK, the BBC Big Band and in the backing band for many Jamaican Reggae Artists; primarily Max Romeo but also Big Youth, Gregory Isaacs, Mikey Dread and Little Roy.

Back in Blighty, Loren has played at venues include the Royal Albert Hall (backing Sir Cliff Richard and Oscar nominee, Imelda Staunton, on separate occasions), the QEH, Royal Festival Hall, the Radio Theatre at  BBC Broadcasting House, the Savoy Theatre, Buckingham Palace and the Palladium.

 

Loren is equally at home on alto, tenor and baritone saxes, but makes such a wonderful sound on the baritone, that we couldn't have him play anything else. The sound of a saxophone section is typically pinned with a great baritone sax playing the bottom of the chord, and a sonorous lead alto at the top. Duke Ellington's band is a case in point with Harry Carney producing the huge foundation with the soaring sound of Johnny Hodges the icing on the cake. 

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Paul Scott
Bass

Paul spent several years on cruise ships followed by work in theatres, and much freelance work.

In 2002 he was awarded an MMus degree at the London College of Music. He also has a PGCTL from TVU/UWL. He has been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2007.

 

Paul has played with many varied artists. He combines a busy freelance schedule with teaching. He was a senior lecturer at the London College of Music, and at ICMP for 26 years.

He was Music Editor of Bassist magazine for six years (1994 - 2000).
He has written instrument reviews for Guitarist magazine, and was also Technical Review Editor of Musician (the journal of the Musicians' Union) for nine years.

 

He has played double bass with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for many years - playing on the first gig in 1988 in New Brighton gives him founder member status.
 

Paul uses SWR and Ashdown amplification, Pirastro, Thomastik and Rotosound strings, and ANS pickups.

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Bob Cleall
Drums

Bobby has been a professional drummer since the age of 18 (about 100 years ago!).His first gigs included cruise ships, summer seasons and other 'learning the trade' gigs.In the early 70s he was Buddy Rich's roadie for three unforgettable weeks. His first job was setting up his kit for a Royal Command Performance at the London Palladium!

Bobby first joined Ray McVay’s band at the Empire, Leicester Square at the height of the disco boom in 1979, and he played for the televised World Disco Championships three years running as well as Ballroom Championships, Prince Charles's 30th birthday at Buckingham Palace and other gigs too many to mention.

Around this time he was playing in a rehearsal big band that won the BBC Big Band competition and he won the Best Drummer Award presented by Jack Parnell.

Bob has always maintained a strong commitment to teaching and many of his pupils have become professional drummers.

He has also written a book with top American drummer Steve Gadd and articles in Modern Drummer magazine.

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Bunny Thompson
Piano

Bunny (the nickname is nothing to do with his three years at the London Playboy Club) has.......

worked in Jazz ( with Art Farmer, Sonny Stitt, Jimmy Witherspoon, the BBC Big Band, Pete Long’s Ellington and Goodman Tributes) to name but a few. .....performed in West End shows (“City of Angels”, “A Chorus Line”, “42nd Street”, “Anything Goes”, “Crazy for You” , “Evita”), films and TV (“ Birth of The Beatles”, “Barnum”, “You Rang M’Lord”, several Royal Variety Performances). .....acted as MD/ arranger or accompanist to Barbara Dickson, Helen Shapiro, Shirley MacLaine, Larry Adler, Sammy Davis Jr., Shari Lewis ( BBC TV series) and Bing Crosby. He has arranged for the West End (“Charlie Girl”), several Palladium pantomimes and variety shows) .....played on many recordings and broadcasts, including “ Friday Night is Music Night”, “ Loose Ends” and “ In Tune”.

Revisiting his classical roots, he has featured with the English National Ballet and Brighton Philharmonic orchestras and on the QE2 with flautist wife Phillida White. Some of Bunny's arrangements/ compositions were premiered at London’s Purcell Room.