Neil was born and raised within the Salvation Army and, for the majority of his life, attends the corps in Malton, North Yorkshire. Neil started in the corps band on the drums, but (in his own words!) "soon realised I had a musical ability that was set for higher things and so moved on to brass."
Neil's father was the corps bandmaster at Malton for around 40 years and it was his high aspirations for the band which saw Malton SA band enjoy many highlights, including a number of foreign tours. Neil says: "This view of aiming high and aspiration has certainly been at the forefront of my banding as I've got older (I wouldn't dare say grown up!)".
In recent years Neil has performed with many of the UK's leading brass bands, including Black Dyke and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. But, in 2020, Neil was invited to join the tuba section of the ISB. Neil says: "as a lifelong Salvationist this was something I just couldn't turn down. I was so excited to see what opportunities and experiences I would have the privilege to enjoy with this unique musical group. My first weekend with the band was in Poole, and shortly after we went into lockdown. This didn't quite give me the musical experiences I was thinking of for the first 14 months in the band, but did however give very unique opportunity to share time with the other members of the band, albeit on Zoom. Since the world has been getting back into its new normal and we have been meeting in person again, its great to have experienced what I have so far and I am excited to see what the band has to offer in the future and what the band can bring to others both within and outside of the Salvation Army world."
In his professional life, Neil runs a busy community pharmacy and enjoys spending as much time as he can with his family - wife Amanda and daughter Molly.