Filipino-Australians living in Canberra are very excited about one of their own, musician Neil Monreal.
By day a government web administrator, Monreal is a former professional singer from the Philippines who, like so many immigrants to this country – Canberra’s Salar Ayoubi comes to mind – set aside his musical career when he came to Australia to earn a living.
But you can’t keep a good musician down and the word spread among friends and acquaintances about the boy with the baritone voice, and they often invited him to sing on special occasions, and at national event celebrations. Recently, for instance, he was guest performer in Sydney at the Miss Philippines-Australia Beauty Pageant.
Gradually Monreal moves back into serious singing, debut solo concert, “Neil Monreal Live” at the Burns Club in Canberra, in which he sang 18 songs from different genres and held the audience spellbound.
At one concert, he attracted the attention of composer Luz Cabrera De Mesa, who had just completed 12 original compositions and invited him to collaborate with her on a gospel CD album, “My Every Reason”. She praises his musicality and his ability to learn the compositions in record time.
Now he’s launching a Christmas CD, “Miracle of Joy” with the title song written by Cabrera De Mesa. Monreal hopes he can “touch one’s heart and soul… adding colour and meaning to life.”
A shopping trolley facility will go up this week at his website www.neilmonreal.com