|2023||Best Science Song||Poisoned Apples|
|2022||Best Filk Song||Poisoned Apples|
Don Neill, is a Kalamazoo, Michigan native and has been playing the guitar since 1973. He loves all musical genres and has been in bands that play folk, jazz, latin, progressive rock, and even punk. His first exposure to filk took place in college in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he attended a music gathering sponsored by the Stilyagi Air Corps to which he was invited by his fellow science geeks. Thus began a torrid affair with filk which lead him to join a local group of notorious filkers (you know who you are: Pat, Mark, Mary Ellen, Clif, and Steve) and start attending cons: first: Ad-Astra in Toronto, and second: World Con (1982) in Chicago. After hearing legendary filkers at Chicon and learning just how much sleep he could avoid, he began composing his own filk songs and started regularly attending OVFF and FKO and many other cons all over the US.
This lasted until about the turn of the millennium just after his son was born. He offers no excuses for his extended gafiation, but once his son started to become more independent, he noticed something deep was missing in his life. He was welcomed back with open arms to FKO in 2018, reuniting with long-lost friends and picking up as if no time had passed. He was also introduced to a wonderful group of German filkers who were guests at FKO. He was stunned a month later when he got a phone call inviting him to be the Guest of Honor at Intermezzo 2019, in Germany!
Intermezzo 2019 was his first GoH experience and his first international con and a peak musical experience. The German fen were so warm and welcoming and also great songwriters and performers. He resolved to get back to Germany as soon as he could and keep attending cons! However, the pandemic hit and in-person cons were shut down. It was hard times for an avowed extrovert. Zoom conventions provided a bridge, but he was still missing being in the same room with people and sharing music all night.
Don's first EP of original music, Moon in the Branches, was released in 2020. His second album, Don Neill, Live in Germany, was released in August, 2022; and is his complete first solo set from Intermezzo in 2019.
Don now balances his career as an astrophysicist with his passion for music and very much looks forward to resuming in-person cons. He loves sharing music and being sleep deprived!