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Music Team

Neil Ferris – Music Director

Neil Ferris has been Music Director of Wimbledon Choral since 2009 and is Artistic Director and Conductor of the professional chamber choir Sonoro.  He was appointed Chorus Director of the BBC Symphony Chorus in 2017 and made his BBC Proms conducting debut in 2019.
With Sonoro Neil has appeared at the St Magnus International Festival, the Wimbledon International Music Festival and at King's Place in London.  In demand as guest conductor with some of the finest choirs in the UK, Neil has worked with London Symphony Chorus, Choir of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC Singers, London Voices, the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and the National Youth Choir of Wales.
Orchestras that Neil has conducted include London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia and Orchestra of the Swan.
Formerly Director of Choral Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Neil is recognised as one of the country’s leading teachers of choral conducting and has led masterclasses in the UK, USA, Ireland, Denmark, China, Malaysia and Singapore.
Recordings include an album of the choral music of Jonathan Dove (Naxos), Fauré Requiem (Convivium), and a regular programme of recordings with Sonoro.   Their album Christmas with Sonoro was Christmas album of choice in the BBC Music Magazine and followed on from their critically acclaimed debut album Passion and Polyphony featuring works of James MacMillan and Frank Martin.   In April 2023, Signum released the world premiere recording of Cecilia McDowall's Da Vinci Requiem and Seventy Degrees below Zero, with Wimbledon Choral and the City of London Sinfonia.
Neil is standing down as Music Director for Wimbledon Choral in June 2024 after 15 highly successful years.   The choir will miss him enormously but wish him every success in the next stage of his illustrious career.

Michael Higgins - Accompanist 

Michael Higgins (photo: Nick Rutter)

Michael Higgins is a pianist, composer and arranger, and co-Artistic Director of Sonoro.
Michael has written for Chivenor Military Ladies Choir, Farnham Youth Choir, Royal Scottish National Orchestra Youth Chorus, the Stay at Home Choir, the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, Wimbledon Choral, as well as music for corporate films and television commercials, the Classic BRIT awards, BBC Children in Need and the Royal Variety Performance.  Many of his works are published by the Royal School of Church Music, Novello and Oxford University Press.
With a special interest in choral accompaniment, Michael is in demand with some of the leading choirs in the UK and regularly works with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and the BBC Singers.  In 2012 he spent six months travelling across the USA filming a series for American television with popular choir master Gareth Malone and appeared on HM the Queen’s Christmas Message accompanying the Military Wives Choir at Buckingham Palace.
Michael studied piano with Margaret Newman at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with Iain Ledingham and Julius Drake. He was awarded the Joseph Weingarten Memorial Trust Scholarship and continued his studies with Kálmán Dráfi at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest.
He has recently been honoured as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
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