Michael Neale (’94): Award-winning songwriter and author
May 11, 2013
Most young musicians dream of being able to record their own songs, even if they are only enjoyed by family and friends. But being a national-award-winning recording artist takes life to a whole new level.
“When your art has impacted a lot of people, it’s a very uplifting experience,” says Dove Award winner Michael Neale, a 1994 graduate of Evangel University.
In 2012 Neale and co-writer Krissy Nordhoff won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for Worship Song of the Year for their song “Your Great Name.”
Neale started writing songs at Evangel, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in music, with an emphasis in vocal performance and composition.
“Evangel is a fantastic environment to spread your wings,” Neale says. “I am grateful they allowed me to learn and solidify my calling.”
As a student, Neale joined Evangel’s highly acclaimed music ensemble, Frontline. The group toured the country performing in youth conferences, churches and other venues.
Upon graduation, he moved to Nashville with fellow Frontline member Devin Webb. They soon signed a recording contract with Liquid Disc Records, and one year later they debuted as Neale & Webb with their first CD, At the Cross. The pair traveled together for five years.
“Songwriters are storytellers,” says Neale. “I’m really excited to teach the next generation about creating art and culture.”
In September 2012, Thomas-Nelson published his first novel, The River, a CBA best-selling book about a man struggling with memories from the past and a future that will force him to face those same memories.
Neale divides his time among leading worship in churches, writing, recording and being a featured teacher at conferences around the country.
In between his travels, he serves on the team of worship leaders at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where he lives with his wife and their three children.