Neil is a 30-year I.T. veteran, the last 23 years of which have been spent at Microsoft where today he is the WW General Manager for Retail & Health Innovation. Born in Bristol he now lives in Kirkland, WA with his wife Ciara and their three young children Oliver, Archie and Ophelia, and their cat Boris.
Despite a love of technology, that started at a young age, Neil’s story at its core is a musical one and he describes himself as having a lifelong ‘addiction’ to music, whether that be listening, playing, or singing. During our chat he describes the impact of music on himself in numerous ways including ‘soothing, stimulating, solace, a release, healing and of course magic’.
Some of his performance highlights include:
· As a teenager being in a 6 piece Acapella group, ‘Ok Chorale’ who performed at the BBC, made records, & won an award at the Edinburgh Fringe
· Getting a Choral Scholarship at Trinity College Cambridge and travelling all over the world performing at the highest level
· Being a Tenor Lay Clark at St. George’s Windsor Castle and singing in the chapel each day
· Singing the Tenor Solo at the Queen’s 70th Birthday celebration and having a ‘nice chat’ with her afterwards
· Getting a chance side-gig with the Seattle Opera that he thought was for one show (Tosca) which lasted for nine years.
He also talks very honestly about having to leave the role in Windsor Castle due to the breakdown in his singing voice and facing the challenge of vocal nodules in recent years.
Neil is a real student of music and I guarantee you will learn something from our chat. I am also pretty sure it will be the only time you will hear the phrase ‘crazy enharmonic chord progression’ on Music Talks.
Neil’s song selections were
60’s Good Vibrations The Beach Boys
70’s More Than A Feeling Boston
80’s He Knows You Know Marillion
90’s Something To Save George Michael
00’s Just Listen Ocean Lab
10’s Ophelia The Lumineers
20’s Happiness Is Easy Talk Talk
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