I can't pretend I knew much about 1940s jazz or Glenn Miller's orchestral arrangements before I went, but the joy of free tickets is that that doesn't matter. I discovered that Glenn Miller's music is all surprisingly bright and cheery considering the era it came out of, and the events of the world at the time, and my friend and I weren't so sure whether that was the way of the people to escape it or to actually deal with it.
The fellow who conducted the orchestra, as well as playing several instruments, also introduced each song and told us some of the history of what was occurring in the war when it was composed, so the evening was quite educational.
As well as the orchestra, there were a couple of solo singers, the Swing Kittens (three girls who harmonised like many of the vocal bands of the day) and the Broadway Swing Dancers, which kept the evening varied and entertaining. I enjoyed it, and it's my kind of melodious jazz (I do find that some modern improv jazz gets rather tuneless, and I can only listen for so long).
Here are a couple of phone photos of the evening, and below that I have posted Glen Miller's arrangement of the ballad 'White Cliffs of Dover', which, while probably the saddest song played, is by no means mournful. Perhaps I am just revealing that I listen to too much melancholy music that I found all of this music rather cheery. But my friend commented that she thinks the White Cliffs of Dover is eschatological, so be ye cheered.