The lead singer of the Shillong Chamber Choir pens an obituary: The Last Song – Thank you Uncle Neil
HT Brunch cover star William Richmond Basaiawmoit pays a tribute to the musician and founder of the Shillong Chamber Choir
I first met Uncle Neil in 2008 when I was performing with his sister’s choir in Shillong during my summer break from Delhi University. I had heard about him for years as a genius who came from the UK to Shillong and started the choir in a room, teaching kids to sing. Uncle Neil had been sitting in the audience and after the show, he got on stage and asked me to sing You Raise Me Up as he accompanied me on the piano.
He taught us to be punctual, dress correctly, walk and talk well. He also taught us to practice in a particular way. We practice songs at half the original tempo, if not less, so that every note is sat on, digested and becomes a part of you. It may be boring but it ensures a different level of quality. This applies to everything in life too.
The tree of life