Neil Nongkynrih of Shillong Chamber Choir passes away in Mumbai

Shillong, Jan 5: Neil Nongkynrih, founder and music director of Shillong Chamber Choir passed away in a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday. He was 51.

PBO Warjri, brother-in-law of Nongkynrih, said, “Neil was unwell for quite some time. He had gone to Mumbai to record an album.”

The family is making arrangements to bring his mortal remains to Shillong.

Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma also condoled the death of Nongkynrih.

Sangma tweeted, “I am saddened beyond words by the sudden demise of Padma Shri Neil Nongkynrih, founder of the famous Shillong Chamber Choir. He was a mentor to the country’s finest choir that serenaded crowds wherever they performed. We have lost a gem today.”

According to, Shillong Chamber Choir, “Uncle Neil”, as he was fondly known to all, said that he was the life force of their world.

“A towering personality whose music, through the choir he so fondly nurtured, reached the ears of Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ambassadors and some of the biggest names in the worlds of sports, culture, business, music and film,” a statement from the Shillong Chamber Choir said.

Drawing from the music of his land and his own vast experience in the Western classical tradition, he gave classic Indian film music a new touch, with his deft arrangements bringing delight to millions of listeners in India.

In 2010, he led his choir to win India’s Got Talent, catapulting the little Shillong unit to national and international stardom.

In 2015, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award.

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