Colorado Public Television to Premiere Glenn Miller Documentary
Denver, Colorado (December 20, 2016) – Colorado Public Television (CPT12 PBS, Channel 12) will debut the documentary, Glenn Miller: The Birthplace of His Music at 9pm on December 30, 2016. The 58-minute film tells Miller’s story from his formative – and little reported – days in high school in Fort Morgan, Colorado.
The numerous biographies about Glenn Miller focus on his years of big band fame or his mysterious disappearance over the English Channel during World War II. His early years have always been noted in passing until Glenn Miller: The Birthplace of His Music, which relies on new research which reveals that this small, rural town in Colorado provided Miller with a musical foundation that contributed to his becoming one of the greatest band leaders of the swing era.
“What distinguishes this project from other Miller biopics, is that it focuses exclusively on his life before he became famous,” shares Dr. Kerry Hart, President of Morgan Community College and the film’s executive producer. Based on scholarly research conducted by Hart, the documentary examines the cultural and musical influences Miller experienced during his high school years. “We wanted to answer the questions of how and why Glenn Miller’s time in Fort Morgan contributed to his famous musical sound,” said Hart.
The documentary features interviews with University of Colorado Glenn Miller Archives Curator, C.F. Alan Cass, local historians, and area residents. Audiences will also hear from Lynda Kreutzer, granddaughter of Glenn Miller’s High School band director Elmer Wells. The Morgan Community College Jazz Ensemble is featured throughout the film, playing some of Miller’s iconic tunes and demonstrating key musical concepts.
The film, produced in partnership with Eden Lane, co-owner of Sleeping Dog Media and host of In Focus with Eden Lane, fills a historical gap in the recorded history about Glenn Miller’s life, and documents Fort Morgan’s contribution to a culturally significant and important era in music history. Glenn Miller was most notable for a new sound combination during the jazz era; he found a way to differentiate his band's style from the many bands that existed in the late thirties and early forties.
"[The Miller sound] was nevertheless very special and able to penetrate our collective awareness that few other sounds have," writes jazz critic Gunther Schuller. The documentary establishes that Miller’s unique sound has its roots in the musical influences he experienced in Fort Morgan.
“CPT12 has a long-standing relationship with Eden Lane,” said Dominic Dezzutti, Vice President for Content at the PBS station, “presenting quality, locally interesting and independent programming is a big priority for us. Glenn Miller: The Birthplace of His Music fit the bill. We’re delighted to premiere the work.”
The film was created with the consent of Jonnie Miller Hoffman, Glenn Miller’s daughter. The project was made possible through private sponsors, including the Dahms-Talton Foundation, the Morgan County Tourism Panel, the Bloedorn Foundation, The City of Fort Morgan, and Dr. Jarrold and Sue Schaefer.
More information about the documentary is available at GlennMillerDoc.com.