Neil Shepherd is a native of Hindley, Lancashire. Since 1984, he has held a number of school and church appointments in Lancashire and the South-West, including Cornwall, Keynsham (Bristol) and 5 years at Cirencester Parish Church in Gloucestershire (“The Cathedral of the Cotswolds”), the 3rd largest parish Church in the country with three choirs and a wide range of musical performances. Neil enjoys a wide range of music and worship styles - "from plainsong to jazz" is his favourite phrase! As a former Diocesan Director of Music, he is available to visit parishes from time to time to help them plan a way forward musically and make the most of the musical resources available to them.
Neil has played and directed in several Cathedrals both in the UK and abroad, including two visits to the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, where he conducted the world premiere of a new work for two organs and choir by the celebrated English composer and organist, David Briggs, with the composer himself at the Grande Orgue. That work was recorded in July 2009 on the Hyperion label by David Briggs and the choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, directed by Stephen Layton, in Gloucester Cathedral. In 2001, Neil directed the first performance of “Jubilate Deo” by Phillip Moore, then Master of the Music at York Minster.
Neil particularly enjoys working with children and young people and for several years, he produced and directed “Christmas at the Tower” – a sell out Christmas show featuring massed children’s choirs with Neil himself playing the Tower Ballroom’s famous “Mighty” Wurlitzer, broadcast several times by BBC Radio Two and BBC Radio Lancashire. Neil enjoys motivating and enthusing young singers and musicians - several of his former students have taken up Oxford and Cambridge music scholarships.
During the course of his career, Neil has undertaken a large amount of work for the BBC, including musically directing many programmes for BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4, and has made contributions to BBC 1’s “Songs of Praise”. He has worked and arranged workshops with several high profile conductors and composers, including Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Bob Chilcott, Stephen Cleobury, Graham Kendrick, Geraldine Latty, Andrew Maries, David Ogden, Adrian Partington and Paul Spicer amongst others. Neil is a validated examiner for the Royal School of Church Music.
In addition to his musical experience, Neil is a qualified travel agent and tour operator - he organises tours and travel arrangements for high profile choirs and orchestras.
In his teenage years, Neil was a member of the choir at St Peter’s Church in Hindley, as well as being a member of the Oriana Choir, Wigan Youth Choir and the Blackburn Cathedral based “Renaissance Singers”. In the little spare time that he has, Neil’s interests are Travel (particularly Eastern Europe), Theatre Organs, English Cathedral Music, Photography and anything French, particularly the wine! Neil is married to Kate and live in Portreath.
Scott Watters - info shortly