Johnny Knorr Orchestra to film New Year’s Eve showWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Johnny Knorr Orchestra will ring in 2014 a little early.
“Thanks for the Memory,” its June 2 program, will be filmed and broadcasted as a New Year’s Eve telecast. The event marks the orchestra’s 53rd consecutive season.
Filmmaker Michael Drew Shaw will tackle editing the program during the months following the event.
“[I try] and keep the band active and out there in the public eye,” Shaw said.
Shaw met the late Johnny Knorr and worked with the band off and on through the years. For the orchestra’s 50th anniversary, Shaw produced its CD “Just the Way You Like It” on his label, US20 Records. Since Knorr’s death in 2011, Shaw has been working with new Music Director Jerry Knorr, Johnny’s son and one of the original members from 1961.
Shaw said he uses his “expertise and connections to promote the band” but also loves the music.
“Because of my parents’ love of big-band music, I sort of inherited that love for the big-band styles of the ’30s, ’40s and early ’50s,” Shaw said.
The Johnny Knorr Orchestra used to have an annual New Year’s Eve celebration at the Stranahan Theater. For this year, Shaw proposed they film the concert for a telecast, something he said has “never been done before.” A 90-minute special will be seen locally on Buckeye Cable, channel 58, on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Shaw said there was hardly any video footage of the orchestra from over the years, and this is a way to fix that. He said the event will be a “look back at the band’s history,” complete with a giant screen behind the orchestra displaying photos from over the years.
“It’s sort of a nostalgic look back at the band and given that it’s going to be televised on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, it’s kind of an appropriate thing,” Shaw said.
Shaw also said the event will be a tribute to Johnny Knorr.
“Johnny was instrumental and he was a driving force behind the orchestra for all those years,” Shaw said. “I think that in part it’s Jerry’s way of paying tribute to his father.”
The orchestra includes members from the area like Kevin Heidbreder, Dave Tippett
and Ben Wolkins, in addition to members from Michigan.
Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller will emcee the event. He will introduce the band during the opening and be the television host throughout the show.
The free event will be at Christ Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. June 2.