Mekeel studied at the Paris Conservatory and Yale, her teachers including Nadia Boulanger and Earl Kim. Later she studied anthropology and began sculpting. She taught at the New England Conservatory and Boston University. Many of her works are for theater or dance, and many of her works treat the voice or traditional instruments unusually.
- Dyer, Richard (January 9, 1998). "Composer Joyce Mekeel: Sculptor of Talent", The Boston Globe.
- Christine Ammer (2001). Unsung: A History of Women in American Music, p.216. ISBN 1-57467-061-1.
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