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Dwts harold wheeler

William Harold Wheeler Jr. (born 14 July 1943) is an American orchestrator, composer, and music director.

He was the musical director on the ABC show Dancing with the Stars for its first seventeen seasons.


Wheeler first worked in the 1960s as the musical director for Burt Bacharach making him the first African-American MD of a major pop act. He also was arranging for Tony Orlando and Nina Simone during that time. He was named Music Conductor for the 76th Academy Awards, becoming only the second African-American conductor in the Academy's history. He also was a music arranger on the 79th Academy Awards. Wheeler was one of two conductors (the others being fellow composers John Williams and Paul Shaffer) during the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics.


He has received numerous Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations for orchestration, and won the 2003 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations for Hairspray. In 2008, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP Theatre Awards In 2019, he received a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater.

Personal Life[]

Harold was born in St Louis, Missouri. He attended Howard University where he met his future wife, television, Broadway, and movie performer Hattie Winston.