Writer and reporter Neal Learner has had a life-long love for music. A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Neal's work draws on many influences, from classical and Broadway to bluegrass and rock. Outside of his day job as a communications professional, Neal teaches violin and voice at the Del Ray School of Music, and cohosts the monthly Great Del Ray Poetry Reading at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub in Alexandria, Va. Neal's recent musical theater work includes the highly praised sung-through musical "LIFE: A Comic Opera in Three Short Acts," which premiered at the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival; and "Soul Redeemer," book by playwright Paul Handy, music and lyrics by Neal, which premiered at the 2019 Capital Fringe Festival. In 2010 he released Would You Like to Be a Mermaid, a CD of songs for and about children. Neal performs his music and poetry throughout the Washington, D.C., area, and lives with his wife in Alexandria, Virginia.