Laurel Neighbour is an accomplished, versatile, and dynamic Musical Director with a passion for sharing music-making with others.
She is in demand due to her musical leadership, thorough knowledge of the voice, and extensive performance experience. Laurel also brings her sense of fun, creative play, and humour to all groups she works with.
Laurel has been working with choirs in London since 2012, currently leading the London Humanist Choir, Note-orious Community Choir, and Merkle Office Choir, as well as working as an Assistant with London Youth Choir and St John of Jerusalem Festival Chorus. Past posts include with Gareth Malone’s Hornsey Sings, Kings College London Staff Choir, and completed an Apprenticeship with Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus in 2018.
In 2015 she conducted choirs singing the French and Italian national anthems at Twickenham stadium for the Rugby World Cup, and made her conducting debut at the BBC Proms in September 2019, leading one of eight choirs in John Luther Adams' In the Name of the Earth.
Laurel also channels her passion for getting everyone singing through her work as a singing teacher, especially with younger voices. She believes that music should be a core part of every child’s education. She has held posts as Project Director for Dartford Choral Outreach, and currently enjoys working as an education workshop leader for Voces8, as a Choral Practioner with Voices Foundation, and teaching Curriculum Music for Southwark Music Service.
She continues to study conducting with the Association of British Choral Directors, and worked for several years for Music in Offices. She is committed to diversifying choral music programmes and aims to platform music by composers from all backgrounds.
In her spare time, Laurel can be seen pedalling on her purple Peugeot racing bike, Polly, around south London.
Laurel has performed with many professional choirs in London, for example, London Contemporary Orchestra, Echo Vocal Ensemble, London Choral Sinfonia, St Martin-in-the-Field's Voices, National Portrait Gallery Choir, and St Paul’s Cathedral Consort. She currently sings mezzo soprano with vocal quartet Four of a Kind.
She has toured the UK and made several TV and radio appearances with Gareth Malone's Voices, performed in Europe with Apollo5, and was lucky enough to sing with The Rolling Stones in 2012 at the 02 as part of the choir for "You Can't Always Get What You Want".
She has completed internationally renowned chamber choir The Sixteen’s training programme, Genesis Sixteen, and studied Music at the University of Nottingham. Growing up in Kent she benefited from Kent Youth Choirs training, played in Ashford Youth Jazz Orchestra, and learnt to play several instruments (all badly) in her Mum's folk band.
Laurel is known for her versatility in both classical and pop styles, with her upper vocals having a unique and ethereal sound, whilst she maintains presence and expression in her lower range. She can sight-read music fluently or learn by ear, is used to memorising parts quickly for professional performance, and is experienced at home recording.
Laurel has taken the London Humanist Choir to new musical heights while providing a fun and engaging experience for our community choir. Her creative rehearsal techniques allow her to continuously challenge us in a positive atmosphere.
Laurie, Chair of London Humanist Choir
Laurel is an incredibly versatile performer who can easily switch between many different styles. Equally skilled across classical, pop, jazz and folk genres as a singer, educator and director, she is an excellent all-round musician and is a joy to work with.
Greg Link - Singer, Educator & Arranger, & Bass of British Vocal Group, Apollo5
Laurel has a talent for instantly creating a warm atmosphere, where all choir members feel immediately comfortable. She brings a fantastic sense of humour to every rehearsal and performance. Our weekly lunchtime rehearsal with her always brightens up my day.