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Don McGlashan to be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa

Story Published Thursday 24 August 2023
Don McGlashan will be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame at the 2023 APRA Silver Scroll Awards

Don needs little introduction in Aotearoa, and this honour will celebrate not only his iconic songwriting, and acclaimed work as a composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, but also recognise his pivotal role as an advocate and leader in the music community. His career has wound it’s way through so many avenues and collaborations, his impact is clearly seen in a broad spectrum of genres and musical spheres.

McGlashan started out playing French Horn and percussion in the Auckland Symphonia (now known as the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra). He then joined experimental ensemble From Scratch, and became the singing drummer in art-pop band Blam Blam Blam, before heading overseas where he ended up composing for dance ensembles in New York.

On his return he collaborated with several different people, including joining forces with Frank Stark, Geoff Chapple, Chris Knox, and Rick Bryant for ‘Don’t Go’ – a protest song against the proposed All Blacks tour of South Africa in 1985. Don then formed multi-media theatrical duo The Front Lawn with Harry Sinclair, combining narrative, music, and comedy in a truly memorable fashion. They toured extensively, and made several short films and two albums, and can be credited as an early forerunner to Flight of the Conchords.

Deciding he wanted to concentrate on music, in 1991 McGlashan went on to co-found The Mutton Birds contributing many classic hits as their singer and main songwriter, including Auckland anthem ‘Dominion Road’. The group released 4 NZ top ten albums and achieved multiple awards, including Album of the Year at the NZ Music Awards, and an APRA Silver Scroll Award in 1994 for ‘Anchor Me’.

At the same time Don began doing further work on film composing – namely An Angel At My Table, Dean Spanley, and No.2. They’ve become some of our most recognisable soundtracks, and No.2 spawned the remarkable hit song Bathe in the River – written specifically for the film and the scene, sung by Hollie Smith, and forever cemented as one of Aotearoa’s great gospel-style anthems. It won Don a second Silver Scroll Award in 2006 and has become one of our biggest singles of all time. Fourteen years later, in 2020, the song was translated into te reo Māori as part of the Waiata Anthems TV series.

He has continued to punctuate our cultural landscape with wonderful work. From his solo albums, and collaborations, through his writing residencies (at the University of Auckland, and in Antarctica), his creative approach to touring, and his work on hit children’s animation show Kiri & Lou (written and directed by his old Front Lawn partner, Harry Sinclair). Don has also been a founding trustee and champion of New Zealand music industry charity MusicHelps, since 2011, and with his work as the writer director on the APRA board from 2010 to 2016, he has embodied the phrase ‘renaissance man’ (check out his amazing speeches at the awards in 2012, 2014, and 2015).

Don has released four solo albums - Warm Hand (2006), Marvellous Year (2009), Lucky Stars (2019), and Bright November Morning (2022). The latest record features his band The Others – Shayne P Carter, Chris O’Connor, and James Duncan along with guest appearances from Hollie Smith, Emily Fairlight, Anita Clark and The Beths. The album went straight into the top position on the NZ charts, giving McGlashan his first No. 1 album.

This month, Don will be embarking on a 22-date tour of his homeland across August, September, and October. The Take It To The Bridge Tour will showcase McGlashan's extensive songbook in hand-picked intimate venues throughout the country. Conveniently his wonderful career is also being documented by filmmaker Shirley Horrocks, for a feature documentary due out next year.

APRA AMCOS will be delighted to honour and celebrate Don McGlashan when he is inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa at the 2023 APRA Silver Scroll Awards | Kaitito Kaiaka on Wednesday 4 October at Spark Arena, Auckland.

The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame was created by APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ in 2007, and has paid tribute to many iconic and groundbreaking New Zealand artists and acts, including The Topp Twins, Herbs, Dave Dobbyn, Moana Maniapoto, Toy Love, Bic Runga, Supergroove, The Clean, and 2022 inductees Ngoi Pēwhairangi and Tuini Ngāwai.

The other awards presented on the night are:

  • APRA Silver Scroll Award | Kaitito Kaiaka
  • APRA Maioha Award | Tohu Maioha, celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori
  • SOUNZ Contemporary Award | Te Tohu Auaha, celebrating excellence in contemporary composition
  • APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award | Tohu Pūmanawa
  • APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award | Tohu Paerangi

Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa | New Zealand Music Hall of Fame was created in 2007 by APRA AMCOS NZ | Te Tautāwhinga & Recorded Music NZ | Puoro Rekoata ki Aotearoa, to celebrate the many writers, artists and musicians who have made a significant contribution, through music, to life and culture in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Don McGlashan official website