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Woodrow Wilson Wildcat Band: Glenn Miller Orchestra Tribute Concert Featuring Julia Rich

Granada Theater



Rachel Rose, Band Booster, [email protected]

Chris Evetts, Band Director, [email protected]



On Sunday, March 26 from 4-6 pm, the Woodrow Wilson High School Band will hold its fourth annual concert fundraiser at the historic Granada Theater. The Varsity Band, led by Band Director Chris Evetts, will perform A Tribute to the Glenn Miller Orchestra (GMO)—considered one of the greatest bands of all time. The concert will feature Nashville-based solo recording artist Julia Rich, who has held the role of “Girl Singer” with the GMO since 1985 and has toured the world with them.




The concert will raise funds to provide music lessons for the Private Lesson Scholarship Fund. Tickets are available for $20 online at http://www.woodrowwildcats.org/performing-arts/band/or at the door, the day of the show.   





Evetts, who came to Woodrow in 2012, said, “The Woodrow Band students are very dedicated. They start the year by marching in Texas heat in August and traveling to every football game in the fall. They put in hours of practice for competitions in the spring. Their hard work paid off with straight ‘1’ Superior ratings in the UIL competition.”




By receiving all 1’s in the UIL Marching Competition—a first in Woodrow history—the band earned the distinction of being the top marching band in the district. According to Evetts, the Granada concert serves as a reward for the students’ dedication throughout the year.




“This concert is something the students really look forward to every spring. It is such a thrill for them to play in a historic concert venue that has hosted greats like Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Adele, David Crosby and Blondie. And, it makes me smile to see how much they get into the music, which is more than likely new to their ears,” said Evetts. “It is especially rewarding for me this year to conduct them in the Glenn Miller classics like “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” "Chattanooga Choo Choo," Moonlight Serenade” and “String of Pearls” with the uber-talented singer, Julia Rich.”




The Woodrow Wilson High School Band has grown from less than 20 students in 2012 to almost 100 this year. The band has performed at charity and community events, including the Veteran’s Day Parade, Light-Up Lakewood, the Swiss Avenue Home Tour, and even marched in the Disney World Parade in 2015. Multiple students have qualified for All-City and All-Region Bands, and advanced to state level Solo & Ensemble competition. The Wildcat Band attained full Varsity 5A status in 2015 and scored all 1’s at the spring UIL Concert Competition. 




This year, the band’s goal is to sell out the concert. According to Band Booster Carrie Furman, the fundraiser has come close in the past.




“We really hope to have a sold-out show this year. We appreciate the support of the community—those without an association with the school, but come out to hear a great concert and support continuing the great tradition of music at Woodrow,” said Furman.








The original GMO was formed in 1938 and disbanded after Glenn Miller’s disappearance in WWII over the English Channel. The present Glenn Miller Orchestra was re-formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since. With its unique jazz sound, it is one of the most sought-after big bands in the world today. But, it is interesting to note that the Woodrow Wilson High School Band, formed in 1928 actually pre-dates the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The Woodrow Band is one that is rich in tradition.  One of its favorite new traditions, started by Band Director Chris Evetts, is this community-wide concert featuring a different genre of music every year. In years past, the band has played the Beatles hits alongside Beatles Tribute Band Hard Day’s Night, Dean Martin Classics with Mickey Dino and Blues with Gary Porterfield creating a new favorite tradition for the high school band at the Granada Theatre. 




About Singer Julia Rich



As longtime chanteuse with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, Julia Rich has performed across the Americas and around the globe: from Iceland to Brazil, from the Hollywood Bowl to Lincoln Center, from the World’s Fair in Seville to Orchard Hall in Tokyo. She appears on several Glenn Miller Orchestra recordings and videos and has five solo albums on the Cardinal label. Rich’s renditions of both jazz standards and original songs can be heard on radio and as a regular feature of TV’s Music Choice: Singers and Swing alongside such greats as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, Diana Krall and Paul McCartney.




As a GMO singer, Rich has worked with musicians of note including GMO leaders Larry O’Brien, Dick Gerhart and Nick Hilscher; former GMO leaders Buddy Morrow and NEA Jazz Master Buddy DeFranco; original GMO trombonist Dr. Paul Tanner; big band singers Jeannie Dennis, Lynn Roberts, Connie Haynes, Kay Starr, Barbara Rosene, Joe Francis, Bryan Anthony, Nick Hilscher; and a wealth of talented and distinguished players.  During Rich’s tenure with the GMO, the band has performed with The Mills Brothers, Helen O’Connell, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, Lynn Roberts, Kay Starr, Connie Haines, Teresa Brewer, Jerry Vale, The Four Aces, Kathie Lee Gifford, Joan Shepherd, and former GMO leaders Buddy de Franco and Buddy Morrow.





About Woodrow Wilson High School Band Director, Chris Evetts



Chris Evetts joined Woodrow in July 2012. Prior to that, he taught band in Highland Park ISD and Richardson ISD (at Lake Highlands High School and Lake Highlands Junior School). 




Evetts graduated from TCU in 1994 and earned his Master’s in Popular Music from the University of Liverpool, UK, in 2001. In 1996-97 he was part of the first-ever world tour of Barney the Dinosaur and in 1999-2000 he toured with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra on Reed 5 playing alto and baritone sax, clarinet and bass clarinet. He sold two jazz arrangements to the GMO, one of which was featured as their encore on a live XM-Radio concert and was also recorded on their “On The Air” album. Evetts has performed with numerous musical groups in Dallas/Fort Worth, including the




Swingtime and Celebration Jazz Orchestras, the Dallas Christian Jazz Band and the Dallas Civic Winds. He also created Mack Mallone & the Swing Machine in 1998 and co-founded the Rebel Alliance Jazz Ensemble in 2009.


  He has made numerous UIL sweepstakes ratings over the years and considers himself to be a “program-builder” when it comes to school bands.


  The Wildcat Band’s improvement since 2012 is directly tied to ALL students having access to private music lessons.   Proceeds from this concert go to the Private Lesson Scholarship Fund for students who are unable to afford the payments


Official Site  

  • $20
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Find This Event 3524 Greenville Avenue · Dallas, TX 75206

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