conductor and composer GLYN HALE was born the son
of a coal miner, and brought up in the Welsh mining village of OAKDALE, in
county of Monmouthshire.
His musical talent was recognised at a very early age and while still at Lewis School, Pengam he was already a semi professional musician, working as a choir accompanist and as a pianist in a dance band at weekends. As a timpanist and percussionist he was a member of several orchestras, including the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.
In the early 1960s after winning a scholarship to the GUILDHALL SCHOOL OF MUSIC, LONDON (where he studied with CIMBRO MARTIN and was awarded the Orchestral Playing Prize) he became a freelance musician, working in small theatres, hotels and concert halls. The mid 60s found him crossing the Atlantic and cruising down to the Bahamas while employed as a musician on the great Cunard liners "QUEEN MARY" and "QUEEN ELIZABETH" - part of "Geraldo's navy". A round-the-world cruise on the P & O ship "ORSOVA" furthered his growing love of travel.
Three years in television followed during which he recorded over 500 programmes both for the BBC and ITV. Many of these were for children, although he also wrote the music for such notable series as "DETECTIVE", "THE JAZZ AGE", "NO HIDING PLACE." and the classic serial "NICHOLAS NICKELBY".
Throughout this period he worked in the theatre and cabaret with many famous British names in the world of show business, (although they won't mean much to overseas readers or anyone under the age of thirty ) - JOE BROWN and the BRUVVERS, HUGHIE GREEN, HARRY CORBETT & SOOTY, NORMAN WISDOM, DICK EMERY, NORMAN VAUGHAN, LESLIE CROWTHER, TOMMY TRINDER, HARRY WORTH, the BEVERLEY SISTERS, JULIE ROGERS, FREDDIE and the DREAMERS, HERMAN'S HERMITS, DANA, FAITH BROWN, ROGER DE COURCEY the great SPIKE MILLIGAN etc., and he made the first of many conducting appearances at the famous LONDON PALLADIUM as Musical Director to MIKE & BERNIE WINTERS.
Other West End theatre shows as MD include"The BOY FRIEND" at the Comedy Theatre, "The CHANGELING" at the Aldwych for the ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, "A PATRIOT FOR ME" with ALAN BATES at the Haymarket, and "ALADDIN" at the Shaftesbury.
Tours to Israel, Hawaii, the USA, Australia and New
as MD to American singer SOLOMON KING and English
singer TONY CHRISTIE.
While touring the USA as Musical Director to the BEE GEES Glyn played 35 states in 38 days! During this tour he appeared on coast to coast TV shows "GOOD MORNING AMERICA", "MIDNIGHT SPECIAL," and the JOHNNY CARSON "TONIGHT" show, when he had the privilege of conducting the wonderful DOC SEVERINSON BIG BAND - a nice contast to the rest of the tour where big, lush orchestral backings were the order of the day. ("Backing bands" on the tour included the CHICAGO and MONTREAL Symphony Orchestras, so a late booking on the Carson show necessitated him completely re-scoring the band parts for the brass and saxes of the Severinson band during the flight to LA.)
The Bee Gees in the early seventies
A complete change of direction then found him as Chorus Master and Conductor/Assistant Musical Director of the D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY with which he toured from 1974 to 1976. During this time he conducted at SADLER'S WELLS THEATRE and the ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL in London, as well as most of the large theatres elsewhere in the UK, and also on a short tour to Rome. It was at this time that he met his wife, GILL, a singer in the company. Gill and Glyn's honeymoon consisted of a very gruelling, (but pleasurable!) four month tour of Canada and USA where they played amongst many other places the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Uris Theater on Broadway, the Airie Crown in Chicago, Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and the National Arts Center in Ottowa.
Back in the UK he resumed his peripatetic career in theatre and cabaret until the birth of his two daughters, Gemma and Lucy. It was then that he decided that he should try to stay in one place for longer than a few months at a time!
So he became resident musical supervisor for the largest producer of pantomimes in the UK, a job which usually entailed writing the music for fifteen shows, starting in April or May and culminating in 15 simultaneous productions in December, from Bournemouth to Aberdeen. During this three year period Glyn must have worked with almost every major star in the British theatre.
But the travel bug is hard to beat and the touring soon resumed, this time with a self imposed maximum time limit of three weeks away from home.
This allowed him to do short UK tours with TOMMY STEELE, FRANKIE HOWERD, many tours with MIKE YARWOOD and, (one for our American readers -) GLADYS KNIGHT and the PIPS. A three week stint in Durban, South Africa was shortly followed by a production of JOSEPH AND HIS AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAMCOAT in Hong Kong.
As musical director for Combined Services Entertainment, (the live entertainment arm of British Forces Broadcasting [BFBS]) he frequently found himself in some of the world's trouble spots, including the Falkland Islands and over 50 tours to Northern Ireland, as well as less troublesome places like Belize, Germany, Cyprus, Sardinia and the Outer Hebrides.
There are not many artists who earn the epithets "Great" or "Living legend" but one such artiste must be SAMMY DAVIS JR with whom Glyn was privileged to share the stage of the Victoria Palace in London in the 1980s.
The American connection continued when he joined the company of the multi- million dollar Broadway musical 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Part of his job as assistant Musical Director was training the chorus, which at that time included a very young, but already very beautiful and talented CATHERINE ZETA JONES.
He eventually took over as Musical Director of the show.
A great believer in the maxim "Quit while you're ahead"
he realised that there was now only one way he could go,
so decided to fulfil what had been an ever growing desire - to retire
from show biz and move out of London and into the country.
During his thirty year career Glyn was, on three separate occasions, presented to H M The Queen, Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh, and H M Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Despite this he remains a committed republican. (Note for US readers - that's republican with a VERY small "r".)
Glyn is the published composer of a cantata - 'Arthur,
King of the Celts', and a large number of choral and instrumental works
A devotee of crosswords, quizzes, rugby and real ale, when he is not "
messing around with computers "
as Gill puts it, (he's actually designing websites,)
or delving into his or someone else's family history he is often to be
found propping up the bar of his local,
Head, where even his closest friends know only that he was
once " something to do with the music business".