Hon Associate Professor Neil McEwan trained as a chorister and organist at St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral in Auckland, New Zealand. He continued his studies through the Royal Schools of Music; Trinity College of Music, London; the University of Durham; the University of NSW and the University of Sydney, from where he was awarded a PhD in Gregorian chant semiological research.
While resident in France and Germany, he studied Gregorian chant semiology and paleography and choral and orchestral conducting. Neil was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1994 for further overseas study in these areas.
In 2009 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to music research and choral conducting, and in the same year he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music (FRSCM) for services to church music. In 2017 he was awarded an Hon FGCM (Fellow of the Guild of Church Music) for services to church music over fifty years.
Neil transcribed a number of chants from the historic Rimini Antiphonale of 1328 housed in the State Library of New South Wales and prepared and performed these chants in a series of concerts, and for a documentary program on the Foxtel History Channel. He directed a Gregorian chant CD: The Mysteries of Gregorian Chant, with the Singers of St Laurence, which was released by ABC Classics in 2014.
Neil has recently retired from The Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, where, along with lecturing in paleography and conducting, he directed the Conservatorium choirs for nearly thirty years. He was appointed Director of Music Emeritus at Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney after serving thirty-eight years as Director of Music from 1980-2018.
Neil continues to be involved in church music through singing as a chorister at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Burwood. He is the Director of Studies for the Guild of Church Music in Australia and New Zealand and is also a presenter and programmer for Fine Music Sydney.