Beverly Glenn-Copeland

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Beverly Glenn-Copeland
Born1944 (age 76–77)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresJazz, new age, folk
Occupation(s)Songwriter, musician, actor
InstrumentsGuitar, piano, synthesizer
Years active1970–present
LabelsGRT, Atlast
Associated acts and

Beverly Glenn-Copeland (born 1944) is an American singer and songwriter. He has spent most of his life and career in Canada.[1] Glenn-Copeland began publicly identifying as a trans man in 2002.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Glenn-Copeland was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a musical family.[5] As a child, Glenn-Copeland listened to his father play the music of Bach, Chopin, and Mozart on the piano, and heard his mother occasionally sing spirituals.[6]

In 1961, Glenn-Copeland was one of the first black students to study at McGill University in Montreal.[7]

In 1973, while in Los Angeles, Glenn fell in love with the chanting at a local Soka Gakkai International meeting and has been a practicing Buddhist since the mid-1970s.[8]

Musical career[edit]

Glenn-Copeland started his career as a folk singer incorporating jazz, classical, and blues elements.[9] He also performed on albums by Ken Friesen, Bruce Cockburn, Gene Murtynec, Bob Disalle, and Kathryn Moses,[9] and was a writer on Sesame Street.[10] He spent twenty-five years entertaining children as a regular actor on Canadian children's television show Mr. Dressup.[11]

Glenn-Copeland's 1986 electronic album, Keyboard Fantasies, recorded using equipment including a Yamaha DX7 and a Roland TR-707,[12] and other recordings were rediscovered and promoted by a Japanese collector [13] in 2015.[14] Before Glenn-Copeland's gender transition was made public, "Keyboard Fantasies" was selected as one of the 70 greatest recordings by women by The Stranger.[15]

Other albums by Glenn-Copeland include Beverly Glenn Copeland (1970), Beverly Copeland (early 1970s), At Last! (1980), Primal Prayer (released under the pseudonym Phynix in 2004), and Transmissions (released in September 2020).[16][17]

Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story, a documentary directed by Posy Dixon, was released in 2019.[18][19][20]

Planned 2020 international tours to Australia, the United Kingdom, and other European destinations were re-scheduled to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A fundraising campaign was initiated to help Glenn-Copeland and his wife after the loss of their house that resulted from these changes; the campaign raised over $90,000.[21] In the same year, Glenn-Copeland created a prerecorded video performance of his song "Courage" for Buddies in Bad Times and CBC Gem's online Queer Pride Inside show.[22]

The Keyboard Fantasies album was named as the public vote winner of the Polaris Heritage Prize at the 2020 Polaris Music Prize.[23]


  1. ^ "Exclusive: Watch Beverly-Glenn Copeland's Incredible Lecture at the Red Bull Music Academy Weekender in Montreal". Complex. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "Voice soars above gender, says transgender man performing in Toronto this week". Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "The singer formerly seen as she". Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "Beverly Glenn-Copeland's Music for a Future That Never Came". Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  5. ^ "About". Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  6. ^ Hsu, Hua. "Beverly Glenn-Copeland's Music for a Future That Never Came". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  7. ^ Díaz, Devan (January 7, 2020). "Going Exploring With Beverly Glenn-Copeland". Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  8. ^ Negru, John Harvey. "We're All Different: Musician Glenn Copeland on his journey as a Black, Buddhist, transgender artist - Lion's Roar". Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Beverley Glenn-Copeland - Biography & History - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  10. ^ Advisor, Resident. "Review: Beverly Glenn-Copeland - Copeland Keyboard Fantasies". Resident Advisor. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "Beverly Glenn-Copeland". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Ediriwira, Amar (October 20, 2016). "Invisible City Editions preps Beverly Glenn-Copeland reissue". The Vinyl Factory. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "Play It Forward: Glenn Copeland On Patience, Positivity And The Band Bernice". Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  14. ^ Hsu, Hua. "Beverly Glenn-Copeland's Music for a Future That Never Came". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  15. ^ "The Problem with NPR's '150 Greatest Albums Made by Women' List". Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  16. ^ Currin, Grayson Haver (September 14, 2020). "Listeners Found Beverly Glenn-Copeland. It Was Time". Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  17. ^ "Beverly Glenn-Copeland: Transmissions: The Music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland". Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  18. ^ "British Council Film: Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story".
  19. ^ Reynolds, Daniel (August 28, 2020). "The World Is Finally Ready for Trans Musical Genius Glenn Copeland". The Advocate. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  20. ^ "Kickstarter launched for documentary Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story - The Wire". Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  21. ^ Sanders, Wren (June 3, 2020). "GoFundMe Launched for Composer and Black Trans Elder Beverly Glenn-Copeland". Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  22. ^ Peter Knegt, "This Pride, come inside for a digital queer cabaret unlike anything else". CBC Arts, June 22, 2020.
  23. ^ "2020 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize Winners Named". FYI Music News, November 16, 2020.