Glenn Tollett

Following a scholarship at the Royal College of Music, Glenn became a founder member of the rock band The Enid (signed to EMI records). He worked extensively on the London session scene, collaborating with lyricist Martin Kennedy on a collection of songs commissioned by the Virgin Record label. Orchestral compositions include many works for television and film.

(Herewith a selection of six recently released tracks.)

Inspired by the TV performances of Sir John Ogden, Russ Conway and, er, Les Dawson, Glenn announced to his parents at the age of four that he wanted a piano. As luck would have it the recently retired first violinist of the Royal Philarmonic orchestra lived just down the lane in their Bedfordshire village and a preliminary lesson was arranged. After a couple of hours she marched him back home pronouncing ‘You must buy this boy a piano!’ The elderly teacher was both keen and ambitious and it wasn’t long before Glenn was performing and competing almost weekly at county Piano recitals and competitions. Aged 13, aside from his classical training, he began gigging in local pop, rock and jazz bands playing keyboards or bass but having to be picked up and taken to gigs by other band members or driven to and fro by his father. He also became a regular dep in the house orchestra at the then hugely popular Caesar’s Palace nightclub near Luton, accompanying many top artistes and often playing with The Londonaires, Danny la rue’s band. A spell with the National Youth Jazz orchestra and courses at Johnny Dankworth and a Cleo Laine’s studios at Wavendon preceded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied Piano, Double Bass and composition under the guidance of Sir Phillip Cannon. Regular session work followed until during a holiday in Devon, Glenn teamed up with Robert John Godfrey, leading to the formation of the cult progressive rock band The Enid.

The Enid. Glenn bottom left.

The Enid were a cultish yet popular Art Rock band who took the development of rock music into the realms of the romantic/classical further than any before. Voted Marquee Club band of the year two years running.

Their potential rise to global fame was halted by an internal faction, distrustful of the music business moguls who had arrived on the scene and who voted to retain complete control of the band’s destiny. The emergence of punk as a major force at that time also heralded a move away from the progressive rock genre in general. It was at this point that Glenn took the decision to leave the band.

Glenn took up a place at UCL to study medicine, but switching to dentistry after a careers officer advised that this would offer greater flexibility in regard pursuing any musical ambitions. During his time at UCL Glenn continued to work as a session musician in London’s West End, and even toured extensively with the Herb Miller big band and Robin Jones’s King Salsa.

The Herb Miller orchestra auditions were held in the Floral street dance studios and a huge number of young players turned up together with many seasoned pros. The outfit was a great success as the Glenn Miller part of the programme guaranteed packed concert halls up and down the country. However, it was the opportunity of being paid to play the Sammy Nestico Count  Basie orchestra charts which appealed most to the musicians. Several of those young band members went on to have illustrious musical careers as the cream of London session players, performing in the brilliant ‘Strictly’ orchestra and penning Grammy award winning arrangements of west end musicals.

Eventually, the limitations placed upon precious composing time by touring and travelling caused Glenn to close that chapter.

After submitting some demos Glenn was commissioned by publishers DeWolfe music to compose a reflective orchestral album which has subsequently enjoyed extensive use around the world in many TV programmes, films and documentaries.

In recent years Glenn has given up the practice of dentistry in order to focus solely on his first love, composing and he teamed up with lyricist and playwright Steve Darlow. Between them they have written, and are in the process of developing, two stage theatre musicals. Spitfire The Musical, based upon a Second World War theme, and The Cormorant Tree, a tale of love, loss, deception and smuggling, set in the mid 19th century. In recent years Glenn has also composed a catalogue of standalone instrumental and orchestral pieces.

Glenn is married to Barbara, a doctor and has two sons and currently works from his studio in Hampshire.