Oct 26 , 2021

Entertainment Is Alive In Van Wert: Denver And The Mile High Orchestra is America's Favorite Christmas Big Band

by Tafi Stober

Less than a month away, on Sunday, November 21 at 7:00 PM, Indiana native Denver Bierman and his heralded big band will command the stage at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. It will be an electrifying performance that combines big band jazz favorites with Christmas classics and gospel. Denver And The Mile High Orchestra produces the kind of music that delights fans and audiences around the world – crafting their own work with an eye towards always stretching the envelope and taking a new exciting look at old classics and hymns.

Blending a red hot horn section, along with jazz and big band roots, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra have created a power funk sound that defies description and is unlike any other. With Denver Bierman, writing and arranging the band’s music, the diverse sounds of legends such as Stevie Wonder, Chicago, and Earth Wind and Fire combine for a fresh look at contemporary pop.
In Denver's words, “We’ve never really been a mainstream, pop radio band we’ve just tried to be a band that everybody could enjoy – a band for the American family. What could be better than being a band for the American family?”

It all began with a boy from Indiana playing trumpet in the sixth-grade band. Denver reflects, "Growing up, I was your classic band geek. I was drum major of the band in high school and absolutely loved playing in my middle school and high school jazz bands. When I got to college, I met a whole bunch of other band geeks that had so much in common with me and we became good friends. I was taking a class my senior year of college to learn how to write and arrange music for Big Band. This coincided with an invitation to host and perform at a coffee show. I invited all of my buddies from college to come and experiment playing the arrangements I was writing for my class assignments at college. So every couple of weeks I would have a couple more new songs to try out. They were usually only 20 or 30 people at our shows, and there were probably 14 or 15 of us on stage. But the more we kept playing I realized how much people enjoyed the energy and the style of music. We decided to continue playing together and that is how our journey began 21 years ago."

Playing Christmas classics, which will be part of the playlist on November 21 at the Niswonger, is a treasure to this diversely talented artist of faith.

Denver shares, "Away In A Manger has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs because it is such a simple song and so very tender. So often I think about Jesus and I think about his sacrifice on the cross. I think about how He is the Holy Son of Almighty God…..part of the Blessed Trinity.  But also one of the beautiful facets of Christ is in the midst of righteousness and glory, he is also human. And this song reminds me of this tender sweet baby….the most precious gift ever given to mankind came to us in a barn with animals. That he was not born in a palace amongst royalty, but that he was born in a manger, as a human can relate to my life, to my humanity. This tender little song reminds me of how God himself knows me understands me…that Christ for me. Jesus Christ came as a man for all of mankind. What a simple and yet powerful reminder of the real meaning of Christmas…this tiny sweet baby away in a manger, is literally God with us."

Tickets for this special featured event presented by Van Wert Live at the Niswonger are on sale now beginning at just $15 (TIX: vanwertlive.com / 419-238-6722). All ages will be energized by the music, the message, and the musicians whose talent will have the audience begging for an encore!

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