BiographyJoel McNeely was born in Madison, Wisconsin.
Both of his parents were involved in music and theater, and as a child he played the piano, saxophone, bass, and flute.
He attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, studied jazz at the University of Miami, and earned a masters degree as a composition major at the Eastman School of Music.Lucasfilm chose McNeely to compose the soundtrack to the 1996 Star Wars novel Shadows of the Empire.
This was an experimental project where he conveyed general moods and themes instead of writing music to flow for specific scenes.He is also notable for conducting a series of re-recordings of Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman, John Barry and other's scores under the label of Varèse Sarabande, notably Vertigo, Psycho and Citizen Kane, and selected scores from the Twilight Zone television series, among others.
He also composed the score for The Avengers and the theme and music for FOX's Dark Angel also scored the movies Terminal Velocity, Iron Will (Which was used in the teaser trailers of Toy Story), Flipper, Gold Diggers, Samantha, Virus, and I Know Who Killed Me (2007).
He also scored a multitude of Disney animated films (Mulan II, Peter Pan: Return to Neverland (2002), Tinker Bell and many others).Currently McNeely scores occasional episodes of the FOX animated TV series American Dad!, since the fourth season replacing Ron Jones who left to focus more on composing for Family Guy, including the episode with the Back to the Future parody, and the season five premiere (among others).
McNeely is currently producing Seth MacFarlane's first solo album, which includes a song he wrote for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles entitled "She's Wonderful Too", to which MacFarlane and McNeely personally received permission from George Lucas himself to write additional music and lyrics.