Neil F. Gilfillan
Born in Puerto Rico but raised in Arlington, Neil Fong Gilfillan is a Suzuki Cello Teacher in Frisco, Texas. While still in high school, Neil began lessons with Elizabeth Morrow at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he continued to study Music Performance and performed with the University orchestra as a Concerto Competition winner. He completed his Master’s Degree in Music Performance and minor in Music Education at the University of North Texas, studying cello under Nikola Ruzević. Neil’s master class experience includes lessons with Eleanor Schoenfeld, Dobrila Berković-Magdalenić, David Grigorian, and Michael Flaksman.
Neil continues learning by training in the Suzuki Method (with Tanya Carey and Andrea Yun), and creative string playing with jazz violinist Christian Howes.
His experience attending music festivals includes the Hot Springs Music Festival (Hot Springs, Arkansas), Tennesee Cello Workshop (Knoxville, Tennesee), and Upbeat Music Festival (Korčula, Croatia).
Neil is an active performer and has an extensive range of experience with various orchestras and ensembles, including the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra and Lansing Symphony Orchestra.
While staying involved with the classical music community, Neil branched out to collaborate with other musicians on rock, jazz, R&B, and hip hop projects. These experiences lead him towards pursue his goal of proving that the cello can fit into any style of music, and to help students push their creativity as far as it can go. Some of his recent projects are posted on his YouTube channel.
Neil is also a founding member of the cello rock group The 440 Alliance, where he plays both cello and turntables. The 440 Alliance has performed at schools, clubs, music conventions (Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Orchestra Directors Association), music festivals (UTA Summer Strings, Texas Cello Academy, Texas State Strings Camp, TCU Cellofest), and made their national TV debut on Fox TV’s “Next Great American Band.”