A COLOURFUL mix of literary greats and musical geniuses will keep audiences entertained throughout Clacton Arts and Literary Society’s packed programme of events.

A series of 16 performances and presentations will kick off with a dazzling rendition of classic wartime chart toppers.

Ray McVay presents the Big Band Show, which aims to bring the 1940s back to Clacton.

Alongside the wonderful Glenn Miller Orchestra, the show features fabulous harmonies from an array of talented vocalists, together with the orchestra’s own swinging jazz band.

Wartime hits including In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade and Tuxedo Junction will be played.

A spokesman said: “Audiences of all ages will be thrilled by the sound of this sublime Big Band.

“Come along and enjoy real music played by the UK’s very best musicians.”

The Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed 30 years ago and retains the exact line-up devised by Glenn, including five saxophones, four trumpets and four trombones and three rhythm, plus a male and female vocalist.

Through an arrangement with Glenn Miller Productions in New York, veteran band-leader Ray McVay put together the orchestra.

The band’s library comprises more than 200 scores, including the great arrangements from both the civilian and Army and Air Force orchestras.

The talented performers take their inspiration from the big band era of the 1940s, when any dance band worth its salt had a distinctive signature tune.

This orchestra’s theme was, and remains to this day, Moonlight Serenade.

Glenn Miller originally composed the music of this song as an exercise for a music arranging course, but it is now considered a standard in the field of popular music.

Miller, who died in 1944, was a big-band trombonist, arranger, composer and bandleader in the swing era.

He was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 until 1943, remarkably scoring 23 number one hits in just four years - more than Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

The orchestra spokesman added: “We have instituted some subtle 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 his repertoire.”

The performance begins at 7.30pm on Monday, at Clacton’s Princes Theatre.