Following a lengthy recruitment process, The Sheffield Chorale is pleased to have appointed Claire Hughes as our new Musical Director (conductor) who will take up the baton from the end of March 2020. Until then, we have been rehearsing under the capable leadership of our deputy MD, Kevin Haighton. More details regarding Claire will be uploaded in due course.
Neil was our conductor from 2011 until 2019. He is a sought after and renowned choral director, organist, piano accompanist, teacher and coach, based in the North West of England.
After winning a Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, he held appointments at St Albans and Norwich Cathedrals, and was Organist and Director of Music at Sheffield Cathedral from 1997 to 2016. During his time in Sheffield, the cathedral choir toured both at home and abroad (including Germany, Holland, France, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the USA) and broadcast frequently on BBC Radios 2 & 3. His CD Recordings include Music for a Millennium, a Classic FM Magazine CD of the Year Award Winner, and nine CD recordings with the cathedral choir, all to high critical acclaim.
As solo organist, he has played at many of the major venues in the UK, and has worked with the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.
He is Music Director of St George’s Singers, Manchester, The Sheffield Chorale, and Artistic Director of the Keele Bach Choir; he appears frequently with the BBC as Musical Director and Organist on BBC Daily Service and Sunday Worship.
In his spare time he enjoys reading and walking. A keen cook, he is also an enthusiast of real ales and good wines.
When he joined The Sheffield Chorale in 2011 Neil was also Director of Music at Sheffield Cathedral, but in recent years has relocated ‘over the Pennines’ and considerably expanded his reputation in Greater Manchester and surrounding areas. In autumn 2019 he decided that the time was right to step down from the Chorale. During his nearly nine years tenure, the Choir has consistently achieved an excellent standard of singing and musicianship.