CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Dec. 3, 1999
Hancher Millennium Eve party celebrates an Iowa musical
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Millennium Eve at the University
of Iowa Hancher Auditorium will celebrate an Iowa musical legend, Glenn Miller,
in festivities beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31. Hancher's "Swing into
the Millennium" will feature dancing on the Hancher Stage to the Glenn Miller
Orchestra with champagne toasts, hors d'oeuvres and desserts in the lobby,
and it will culminate with a fireworks display just after midnight to greet
the year 2000.
Audience members may view the fireworks from the Hancher
lobby and Hancher Cafe to the accompaniment of a custom-made CD of music chosen
for its connections with Hancher history -- including selections from Kodo,
'Les Miz' and Yo-Yo Ma.
Party-goers are encouraged to attend in "black tie"
or in any costume suitable to the millennium dawn of their choice. But any
attire, from the most formal to the most casual, is welcome.
"We're delighted to host a spectacular millennium
eve party with a distinctive Iowa flavor," Hancher director Wally Chappell
says. "Not only that, but swing music is a nostalgic New Year's Eve memory
for many of us. The atmosphere of a swing-band 'Auld Lange Syne' is an indelible
part of the New Year's Eve tradition in America, and we hope to recapture
some of that atmosphere with a contemporary flair to fit the turn of the new
Glenn Miller, who was born in Clarinda, formed his
first Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1937. At the height of his popularity -- fueled
by runaway hits including "In the Mood," "Moonlight Serenade" and "Tuxedo
Junction" -- Miller disbanded his ensemble to volunteer for the military in
the depths of World War II. Miller died in December 1944, when his airplane
crashed in the English Channel while he was on the way to entertain American
troops in France.
In 1941, Miller's band released more hit records than
any artist in the history of the recording industry, including "A String of
Pearls" and "Chattanooga Choo Choo," and the Glenn Miller Orchestra received
the first Gold Record ever awarded.
The Glenn Miller Estate formed the current touring
Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1956, following the box office success of the film
"The Glenn Miller Story," starring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson. The band
has toured consistently ever since, averaging 300 dates each year around the
globe and becoming the longest lived and most in-demand Big Band in history.
The 19-member band, now under the direction of trombonist
Larry O'Brien, still plays the original Glenn Miller arrangements, augmented
by newer tunes suited to the Glenn Miller style. The band's repertoire now
includes more than 1,700 compositions, epitomizing the sound of swing.
In addition to celebrating the turn of the millennium
(or, depending on how you calculate, the beginning of the party marking the
millennium's final year) Hancher's Millennium Eve also marks the midway point
in Hancher's Millennium Festival, the nation's most ambitious and extensive
performing-arts millennium celebration.
Hancher's season-spanning Millennium Festival features
20 major commissions in music, theater and dance, with 15 of the commissioned
works and productions receiving their world or American premieres in Hancher.
New works have been created -- or are being created
-- by theater visionary Robert Lepage; choreographers Twyla Tharp, Ushio Amagatsu,
UI alumnus Lar Lubovitch, Susan Marshall, Paul Taylor, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar,
and Bill T. Jones; and composers Richard Danielpour, Michael Daugherty, Paul
Schoenfield, and UI alumnus David Lang.
Performances of the commissioned works feature prominent
ensembles including American Ballet Theatre, The Alvin Ailey American Dance
Theatre, Twyla Tharp Dance, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Bang on a Can,
the Kronos Quartet, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Paul Taylor
Dance Company, Sankai Juku, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Ahn
Trio and the Ethos Percussion Group.
A major fund-raising effort is being conducted to
support the Millennium Festival. For additional information about the Millennium
Festival Fund, contact Victor Mashburn at the University of Iowa Foundation,
Public tickets to Hancher's Millennium Eve are $200
from the Hancher Auditorium box office. Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30
p.m. weekdays, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. The box office will be closed
Dec. 19-26, but will re-open on Monday, Dec. 27, for Millennium Eve ticket
From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial
(319) 335-1160. Long distance from outside the Iowa City local-calling area
is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged
to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases
to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option
of payroll deduction.
People with special needs for access, seating and
auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered
by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking,
wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The
line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that
For UI arts news and information, and arts calendar
updates, visit the ArtsIowa website, www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr.
Learn more about the Glenn Miller Orchestra at http://www.glennmillerorchestra.com
(NOTE TO EDITORS: Requests for Glenn Miller Orchestra
advance interviews should be directed to Charles DeStefano at 407-585-2020.
The band is only in the country for three days before their arrival in Iowa
City -- Dec. 12-14 -- so if you intend to do an interview, you should contact