Neil Shepherd is a freelance classical and theatre organist, music teacher and choral conductor who divides his time between Lancashire and Cornwall. Neil is Director of the 300 strong Cornwall Community Choir, 100 strong Local Vocalz and Laudate! Chamber Choir. He is currently also acting Organist and Director of Music at St Peter's Church, Hindley in Lancashire.
Neil was born in Hindley, near Wigan in Lancashire. After college in Manchester, he took up his first teaching appointment at Lawrence House Preparatory School, Lytham St Annes followed by a position at a school in Clitheroe. In 1996 Neil moved to the South West spending time in Cornwall, Bristol and the Cotswolds. Neil currently lives in the picturesque fishing port of St Ives. He has been involved in the music world for the last 35 years and has had a wide range of experience including teaching, church music, broadcasting (including contributing on many occasions to the BBC's "Songs of Praise" and "Sunday Half Hour"), theatre organ playing and choral workshop management.
Over the last 36 years, Neil has held church appointments as Organist and Director of Music at Standish Parish Church (near Wigan), St James the Great, Daisy Hill, St Thomas' St Annes on Sea, Cirencester Parish Church ("the Cathedral of the Cotswolds"), Keynsham Parish Church and St Ives Parish Church (Cornwall).
Neil organises and promotes regular choral workshops and has organised events with several top names over the years, including Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Bob Chilcott and Stephen Cleobury amongst others.
As an organist and choir-trainer, Neil has performed in many cathedrals, churches and abbeys both in the UK and abroad, including conducting a world premiere in Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris by the celebrated British organist and composer, David Briggs - "Messe pour Notre-Dame" - described by critics as the "finest double organ mass since Poulenc". As an organist, Neil has broadcast several times on BBC network and local radio including several broadcasts from the world famous Mighty Wurlitzer in the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool.