He is a pianist, producer, conductor, orchestrator,
composer and music director born William Harold Wheeler Jr. in St. Louis,
Missouri. From the late 1960s he has worked on numerous Broadway
productions such as Lennon, The Wiz, Dreamgirls, A Chorus Line and Dirty
Rotten Scoundrels, as a conductor, orchestrator, arranger and music
director and after having been nominated for many Tony and Drama Desk
Awards, he was successful in winning a Drama Desk Outstanding Orchestration
Award in 2003 for Hairspray.
Becoming involved in the jazz-funk and disco world he released his
own album with the Harold Wheeler Consort in 1975 and in 1976/7 became part
of the disco production company formed by the chart-topping producer, Meco,
where he wrote and arranged many of the works that appeared on his albums. Throughout these years he would also
work as a pianist and can be heard on many albums accompanying artists such
as Bruce Springsteen and Nine Simone. In 2004 he led the orchestra at the Academy Awards
ceremony using his previous experience of conducting the VH1 Honors, The
American Film Institute, The People's Choice Awards, The Grammy and Emmy
Award ceremonies. In the movie
world he has worked on the music for films that include Love! Valour!
Compassion!, Straight Out Of Brooklyn, Hercules, Blood Brothers, The Kid,
and City Slickers II among many others. His work has been regularly heard since 2005 in the show
Dancing With the Stars where he is musical director. He and his wife, the actress Hattie
Winston, currently live in Los Angeles with their two daughters.
Theme from Close Encounters (John Williams)
Roman Nights (Harold Wheeler)