David Baird is a singer.
He also is an accomplished conductor which he loves to do but it is singing that really delights him and he is quite pleased that he is able to make a more than decent living at it. As he recalls early on, "in the previous year I had done rather well – some recording work, a little conducting, a few commercials, a fair amount of arranging, and what was most surprising, a lot of singing in clubs and on the BBC. I had two records out, and now I was on the brink of the leading role in a major West End musical."
Baird was born and raised in Canada. Even though he knew he had a interest in music, he chose to join the Canadian army becoming a part of the Regulars and serving there for nearly a decade. After leaving normal service, he remained in the Reserves for another four. It was while in the military that his love of music got a jump with a chance to attend marching band schooling in England and that would lead to other contacts and some lasting friendships.
And it would be one of those friendships which nudge him into a new sideline occupation of giving a spot or two of help to British Intelligence, hence the reason for his inclusion here. It would be one of Baird's closest friends and mentors who would be asked to set up a meeting between Colonel Hammond of British Intelligence whose dossier on Baird read that he was "31 years old, had attended McGill and Mount Allison Universities, and held graduate diplomas from three British colleges of music. [He was] an athlete in swimming and track, running the hundred-yard-dash in 10 seconds flat. Before becoming a Director of Music [he] held a regular commission in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. [He is] a small arms expert, holding the bronze, silver and gold medallions of the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association. For two years [he] held the Canadian Forces championship trophy for small arms, using a whole variety of weapons at various distances. [His] aggregate score has never been equaled. [He] qualified in all types of service vehicles, both wheeled and tracked. [He] excelled in hand-to-hand combat, and completed a special flying course, qualifying as a pilot."
As impressive as all that it, and it is some, the reason for the interest in Baird dealt more with his musical career. Singers, musicians, and conductors are invited to the most interesting soirees and gatherings. Some of those take place in embassies or foreign capitals where security is tight and getting admittance next to impossible. Unless you are one of the guests of honor.
"You don't even recognize danger until it's pointing a gun at you."