Mekeel, Joyce, American harpsichordist and composer; b. New Haven, Conn., July 6, 1931. She studied at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass. (1952–55); received instruction in keyboard playing from Boulanger at the Paris Cons. (1955–57), from Leonhardt (1957), and from Kirkpatrick (1957–59); took courses in theory and composition at Yale Univ. (B.M., 1959; M.M., 1960) and studied privately with Earl Kim (1960–62). She completed her education at Boston Univ. (Ph.D., 1983, with the diss. Social Influences on Changing Audience Behavior in the Mid-Victorian London Theatre). She made appearances as a harpsichordist, and was a composer for several dance and theater companies (1961–75). She taught at the New England Cons, of Music in Boston (1964–70) and at Boston Univ. (1970–92).
dramatic:Jaywalk for Viola and Dancer (1969); Moveable Feast (1973–75; in collaboration with P. Earls and L. Davidson); Kisses and Kazoos (1977); Alarums and Excursions for Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Percussion, and Actress/Mezzo- soprano (1978); Museum (1980); Sigil for String Quintet, Clarinet, English Horn, 2 Horns, 2 Tubas, Harp, Actor, and Actress/Mezzo-soprano (1981); Journeys of Remembrance (1986). orch.: String Figures Disentangled by a Flute for Flute and Strings (Boston, April 2, 1969); Vigil (Boston, Oct. 19, 1978). chamber: Spindrift for String Quartet (1970); Hommages for Brass Quintet (1973); Rune for Flute and Percussion (1976); Tessera for String Quintet, Saxophone, English Horn, Contrabassoon, Trumpet, Horn, and Harps (1981); Fertile Vicissitudes for Harp and Oboe (1981); Voices for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano (1983); An Insomnia of Owls for Woodwind Quintet (1985); numerous solo works. vocal:White Silence for Chorus (1965); Waterwalk for Speaking Chorus (1970); Corridors of Dream for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Harp, Viola, and Cello (1972); Toward the Source for Chorus and Orch. (1974); Serena for Mezzo-soprano, Speaker, and Prepared Piano (1975); songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire