Neil’s interest in music composition grew out of the influence of musical scores by such composers as Jerry Goldsmith, Dave Grusin, John Williams, and others, had on motion pictures and storytelling. Having developed a passion for this art form of composition, Neil began studying music early in school, in band and private composition lessons and later while serving four years in the Air Force.
Neil was assigned to the NORAD Band (North American Air Defense Command Band) in Colorado, which had some of the best musicians in the world at that time. He studied with some of the Band members, gaining insight into the music business, furthering his desire for writing for film.
Neil attended North Texas State University (UNT) where he studied Composition and a graduate degree, immediately thereafter, at the University of Northern Colorado in Composition and Theory.
While finishing his Graduate course work, Neil learned from his academic advisor, that a former co-producer (in Aspen) of John
Denver Specials for ABC, was starting to put together a new TV series for PBS, “Wild America”. Neil called the producer, Marty Stouffer weekly, hoping to set up a meeting in order to be attached to the new series as composer.
Eight months later, Marty hired Neil to compose the theme and first 35 episodes for the series. The series, launched in October 1982, was a hit on PBS nationally, producing 120 episodes over twelve years. Later it aired on NBC and CBS. After completing five years on the series, he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue more opportunities in TV and film composition.
Arriving in Los Angeles 1985, calling the offices of television production studios for months, the Vice President Music for Aaron Spelling Productions, Rocky Morianna, led to orchestration assignments on the television series’ “Dynasty”, “Hotel” and "The Colby’s." Neil also orchestrated for Paramount’s “MacGyver” during this time.
After three years of orchestrating for other composers, John Davis, asked Neil if he’d like to be a co-composer on the return (classic) series “The New Mission: Impossible” for Paramount. The series aired on ABC from 1988 thru 1990 and was cancelled in spring of 1990. John went on to write the theme for “Beverly Hills 90210”. Neil worked with John on “B.H. 90210”, “Melrose Place”, “Hearts Are Wild” and other new series’ for the Spelling Company. This is when scores were being composed and produced in the composer’s home workstations.
In 1993, Neil composed the score for the CBS TV Special “My Indian Summer” and the National Geographic Special “The Survivors of the Skeleton Coast” and also a score for an episode of National Geographic Explorer series “Animal Minds.” In 1994, he composed the theme and underscores for the new five-part (spin-off) mini series “Skeleton Coast Safari” collaborating once again with the same producers of the NGTV Special, Des and Jen Bartlett. While writing for television, Neil was also composing scores for independent producer/director teams on American Film Institute, UCLA graduate, USC and NYFA films and various other films to establish relationships and perfect film scoring skills.
Neil also scored Andy Tennant’s short film, “The Cat Story” at this time, (Andy later directed “Ever After” starring Drew Barrymore)
Neil is now scoring theatrical motion pictures, including “PJ”, with John Heard, Vincent Pastore, Hallie Kate Eisenberg among other cast, “Legends of Nethiah” with Robert Picardo and Theresa Russell, additional scoring and orchestration for “Chasing the Green” with William Devane, “Warriors in Their Own Words” with Kelsey Grammer, “Chavez Cage of Glory” with Danny Trejo, Steven Bauer, John Russo.
“Neil is a great composer, has the resume to prove it, and every time we work together it is a joy.”
“To put it simply, he knows his stuff, from the creative to the technical. A pleasure to work with, a maestro of his field, someone I hope to work with again. “
“....Neil is a talented composer and producer who has proven himself time and time again in Hollywood creating some of the most beautiful and effective music I have ever heard. “
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