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Neil Nongkynrih, founder of Shillong Chamber Choir no more

Founder of Shillong Chamber Choir and music director Neil Nongkynrih is no more. Nongkynrih breathed his last at a Mumbai hospital on January 5th. He was 51. Nongkynrih who was

Founder of Shillong Chamber Choir and music director Neil Nongkynrih is no more. Nongkynrih breathed his last at a Mumbai hospital on January 5th. He was 51.

Nongkynrih who was admitted to the Reliance Hospital in Mumbai had undergone emergency surgery for an ulcer on Tuesday, the manager of Shillong Chamber Choir informed. Later, on Wednesday evening his health condition deteriorated. Padma Shri winner Nongkynrih was in Mumbai with the Choir members since September.

According to relatives, Nongkynrih’s mortal remains will arrive in Shillong on Friday and the funeral will be held the next day.

The sudden demise of Nongkynrih shocked Shillongites and people from across the region. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma while condoling the death of Nongkynrih said the state and the country had lost a gem of a person who was a mentor to the country’s finest choir that serenaded the crowd wherever they performed.

Meanwhile, the Shillong Chamber Choir also released a statement informing about the passing away of Uncle Neil as the Choir members fondly called the legend. The SCC statement said, “It is with deep sorrow that we, the members and management of the Shillong Chamber Choir, announce the death of our beloved founder and music director, Mr. Neil Nongkynrih.

Uncle Neil passed away suddenly on Wednesday evening in Mumbai. Uncle Neil was the life force of our 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.

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.

The choir joins fans, friends and well-wishers around the world in mourning this tremendous loss.”

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First Published: 5th January, 2022 22:12 IST

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