50th Anniversary: First Season Memories

By: Amelia Manley

As we approach Miller Auditorium’s, we are looking back at the many great shows to visit our stage–including Wicked, The Book of Mormon and The Phantom of the Opera, to name just a few. Right now, though, we want to take a look back at our very first season at Miller Auditorium.

In 1968, we had 18 shows that made up our season. Some of the acts included Marcel Marceau, The Association and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Out of all of the wonderful shows we had during our Grand Opening season, I chose to highlight a few:

1968 Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

We’re proud that the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra often performs at Miller Auditorium in 2017 and that the KSO has been performing at Miller since our very first season.

National Ballet of Washington D.C.

This internationally renowned company performed at Miller only five years after it was  founded in 1962.

Ferrante & Teicher

This piano duo was known for their light piano arrangements that included show tunes. They were also known for their rapid fire piano performances. Both artists graduated from the Julliard School of Music, then went on to experiment with traditional piano playing. The duo would add found objects to the piano strings to produce percussion-like noises which made for inventive and memorable performances.

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

This was the first musical to grace the Miller Auditorium stage. This lighthearted tale was later adapted for the silver screen with Barbra Streisand and was featured on the 100 Greatest Musical films by the American Film Institute.

As we look back on 50 great years of entertainment, we salute all the talented performers who have set foot on the Miller stage.

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