Pianist who led Shillong choir to glory dies at 51

Neil Nongkynrih, pianist who turned a bunch of musicians from Shillong right into a world-class, multi-genre choir, died in Mumbai on Wednesday night. He was 51.

Nongkynrih, founder, conductor, and mentor of Shillong Chamber Orchestra, was admitted to Reliance Hospital in Mumbai after a sudden ulcer rupture. This led to an emergency surgical procedure there.

According to William Basaiawmoit, the band’s lead vocalist, the harm was an excessive amount of and Nongkynrih couldn’t be saved.

Fondly addressed as “Uncle Neil”, Nongkynrih, together with the choir, was in Mumbai to document their upcoming “spiritual album”. “This album was Uncle Neil’s dream…at least he could complete it,” stated Basaiawmoit.

Nongkynrih grew up in Shillong and was launched to symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven by one among his grandaunts moreover the understanding of fundamentals of music that he acquired from his sister and jazz musician Pauline Nongkynrih. He then moved to London to check on the Trinity College and Guildhall School of Music.

He labored for a few years as a live performance pianist in Europe earlier than returning to India in 2001 and began a small college at his home to show music. He based the Shillong Chamber Choir the identical yr.

The choir got here underneath the highlight after profitable ‘India’s Got Talent’ in 2010, after which it received the World Choir Games. The choir was additionally chosen to carry out at Rashtrapati Bhavan throughout then US President Barack Obama’s go to.

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