Love Big Band Music?

The Olney Big Band is a traditional big band located in Olney, Maryland who is dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of classic big band music. The band’s primary objective is to encourage new generations to listen and dance to music played by the big bands of past and present. Incorporated in the state of Maryland in 2004, the Olney Big Band is a 503 [c] 3 tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization of big band music lovers, including artists, teachers, arrangers and fans.

Large dance orchestras known as “big bands” dominated popular music from the 1930s through the early 1950s, an era that included the Great Depression, World War II, and the Korean conflict. During much of that time, numerous local and regional big bands performed in nightclubs, dancehalls, ballrooms, and on the radio, boosting morale in the U.S. and on military bases across the globe. Big bands founded by such giants as Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, and Woodie Herman continue to perform and record today but active big bands of that era are rare and getting rarer as audiences that listened and danced to this type of music ages. Although the big band scene faded significantly after 1955, big bands continued to play and record. All of the service organizations have big bands and perform concerts all over the world thus keeping this important part of American music history alive. Also, most high schools, colleges and some communities support big bands and several new bands, such as Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, continue to whet and satisfy the appetites of jazz lovers.

Directed by Dr. Robert Tennyson, the Band provides the opportunity for accomplished musicians many of whom are professionals, to participate in a well-organized music ensemble, supported by an ever growing library. Although many of the Band’s performances are free to the public, revenues supporting the organization are provided by donations, honoraria, and fees from guests, sponsors, and friends. Please check our schedule for upcoming events that are open to the general public. Contact our business manager if you are interested in engaging the band for your special event.