Merryl Neille was born in Vancouver, Canada and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is currently assistant to Professor Amy Porter at the University of Michigan. She began her doctoral studies at the U of M in September 2015 and is an active performer in ensembles in Ann Arbor. Principal flutist since 2011 of the former full-time, now reviving Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Merryl occasionally returns home to play in symphony concerts. She took part in the JPO relaunch concert featuring Olga Kern (piano) in August 2017. Merryl obtained her Master of Music under John Hinch at the University of Pretoria. Additionally, she has a Master of Music degree from the Conservatory of Amsterdam where she studied with Abbie de Quant and Marten Root. A versatile musician, Merryl has performed as soloist with South African orchestras, been a freelance member of musical theatre bands for productions such as The Lion King and performed on the baroque flute in several chamber and orchestral concerts.
Merryl is a recipient of the 2017 Judson Award, to fund an innovative project for flute and electronics.
A sought after teacher, Merryl is on the faculty of Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan and the Jackson College Maher Campus and works as a Graduate Student Instructor at the U of M. She is passionate about sharing her experience as an orchestral musician, chamber player and professional performer. An enthusiastic advocate of new music, Merryl is a member of Emblems Quintet, plays in Aepex Contemporary Performance and the Contemporary Directions Ensemble. She performed at the Midwest Composer's Symposium in Bloomington, Indiana and has performed several premiers and had several compositions dedicated to her. Among these is December Fragments (2003) by esteemed South African composer Stefans Grove.