Music staff!

Neil Shepherd - Director of Music

Kirsty Bailey (Accompanist)

1215-0542 PR4Photos - Cornwall Community Choir Kirsty

Neil was born at an early age. His one ambition in life was to be a ballet dancer, but Neil was to ballet dancing what King Herod was to child welfare, so after trying his next career choice (a driver for Tonka Toys!) he eventually became a musician.

 

Seriously though, Neil was born in the North of England. He took an interest in music making at an early age. On leaving college, Neil held teaching appointments in Lytham St Annes, Clitheroe, Bristol, Chew Magna and Cirencester. He also undertook a great deal of broadcasting work for the BBC, including having musically directed programmes for BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio Three, BBC Radio Four and BBC local radio. He has also directed several editions of BBC 1's "Songs of Praise".

 

In 2008, Neil relocated to Cornwall and started pursuing a freelance career. He lives in Portreath with his wife, Kate and their two daughters, Emily and Lucy. Neil teaches music privately and conducts no less than 10 choirs each week including Local Vocalz (2 choirs), Cornwall Community Choir (7 local choirs), Laudate Chamber Choir and Schola Cantorum of Bristol, an occasional choir which deputizes for Cathedral choirs from time to time).

 

Neil has a passion for all things organistic and he has spent much of his life as a church organist and music director, including appointments in Lancashire (at St Wilfrid's Church Standish), Cirencester Parish Church, Keynsham Parish Church and St Ives Parish Church in Cornwall. He has played and conducted in several cathedrals and abbey's in both the UK and abroad, including conducting a world premiere in Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in July 2002.

 

To let down what little hair he has, Neil enjoys travel, spending time in France, reading and socialising. He is passionate about theatre organs - he has performed in concert and broadcasted on BBC Radio Two and Radio Lancashire from the world famous Mighty Wurlitzer in the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool where he conducted an annual "Christmas at the Tower" show for several years.

Kirsty started the piano at the age of six, singing at seven and the French horn at eight. At the age of fourteen She auditioned for Wells Cathedral School where she was offered a full scholarship for the French horn.

 

Whilst at Wells, Kirsty played in the orchestra, large brass and wind quintets as well as singing in the chapel choir.

 

Kirsty passed her grade 8 French horn and singing with distinction and passed her DipAbrsm on the piano.

 

After Wells she attended the Guildhall school of Music and Drama in London with her first study as classical singing and second study of French horn. She graduated in 2008 and since then has moved back to Cornwall where she now has a successful teaching practice, a husband, two children and a dog!

 

 

Ruth Best (Accompanist)

 

Ruth graduated in music at Southampton University where she gained a BA and Masters Degree in Music Performance. She is an accomplished performer of piano, organ and violin, and was a member of the Cornwall Youth Orchestra, the Southampton University Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta.

 

Ruth is a well known accompanist in West Cornwall, playing with Treverva Male Voice Choir, 8 in a Bar, the Tresillian Singers, Helston Chamber Choir, as well as soloists. Ruth also performs in a piano trio; The Bechstein Trio, and plays the violin in the St Mewan Sinfonia.

 

ruth