Joe Johnston (Nashville, TN): He is a Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning songwriter, and a veteran of over twenty years in music. He's worked on records with sales of over twelve million copies. His song “Honestly” appeared on LeAnn Rimes' debut album, “Blue.” He's the co-writer of the Number One Hit “Count Your Blessing,” and the Christmas standard, “Go Tell.” He's also written for Mark Chesnutt and a host of Gospel artists, for television and motion pictures. As a producer, he has worked in the studio with such stars as Vince Gill, Charlie Daniels, Marty Stuart, and Riders in the Sky. www.joejohnstonarts.com
Wendee Katell-Hersh (Santa Clarita, CA): So, you thought you would sit and listen to a nice concert? Well, get ready to rock, roll, wiggle, jump and spin while WENDEE takes you on a wild musical trip that's fit for an aerobics class!!! With her colorful outfits, crazy dances, and a few sing-a-longs, WENDEE will definitely get your kids attention and maybe even wear them out for a nap. With an eclectic mix of musical styles you will rock while you Brush Your Teeth and Comb Your Hair 20 Times, you'll boogie to the Thumb-Pinkie Rap and sizzle in the bath as you get Clean Again jazz style. Watch out or the Stray Cat style Allie Alligator puppet might come right up to you and take a bite! Oh, and don't forget the beach sounds of Animal Dance, put on your swim fins. “Interaction in the music as well as the live concerts is one of my main goals in writing” says WENDEE. “How cool is it to see 300 kids wiggling their fingers and stomping their feet or maybe acting like an elephant?” Her fun-loving style and ability to relate to the two to nine year old audience is what keeps families coming back time after time, and venues calling to book shows year after year. Whether at a shopping mall, festival, library, preschool, birthday party or a hospital, WENDEE sings and laughs WITH you, and brings a smile. Her newly released CD Animal Dance and Other Silly Songs contains fourteen original songs guaranteed to keep the kids listening, moving and singing along. This album won third place in the 2001 Just Plain Folks Music Awards in the children's category. Adults may want to listen even without the kids! With degrees in music and elementary education, and years of performing experience playing rock, jazz, show music and even orchestral music, it's easy to see where the musical influences come from. Wendy Katell-Hersh has been teaching piano and preschool music in Castaic, in addition to raising a son and performing her concerts all over Southern California. She was featured on a cable TV show called 1-2-3 Grow. For more information call 661-294-1289. http://www.wendeesmusic.com/
Mary Kendall (North Staffordshire, England): She was born and bred in Yorkshire and now lives in a converted farmhouse on the North Staffordshire moorlands near the highest village in England, called Flash. She has drawn and painted for sixty-five years since being a child of five, and is a self-taught artist. She has used pen and ink, oils, watercolors, and acrylics. She has illustrated several children's stories. She has drawn cartoons, painted portraits, landscapes, created posters, and done one or two abstracts, but they are not her 'thing' being a traditionalist. It gives her great pleasure to be creative, whether drawing, painting, writing, needlework, or even occasionally, woodwork. Painting is her first love. She met author Phyllis Perry through a mutual friend and very much admired her work. When asked if she would be interested in doing some illustrations for her, she readily agreed.
Richard Kennison (St. Charles, MO): He lives with his wife, Renee, and their children, Book, Zoe, Tea, and Nadia. His poems have appeared in Mid Rivers Review: A Literary Journal, Potpourri: A Magazine of the Literary Arts, Raw NerVZ Haiku, Once Upon a Time: A Magazine for Children's Writers and Illustrators, Haiku Headlines, and The Mid-America Poetry Review, among other publications.
Ann Levorson Kieffer (San Francisco, CA): She is a retired teacher and theatre director who is now living and writing in San Francisco. Some of her pieces have appeared in “Plainsongs,” “Alive Now,” “The Poet's Art,” “The New York Times Metropolitan Diary,” and others.
Ken Kilback (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada). He is a full-time Kindergarten teacher in Vancouver, Canada. He loves writing for children, and he has been blessed by all the students he has come to know over the years. One of his picture book manuscripts, Benita Mah and the Biggest, Baddest, Meanest Teacher in the Whole World, received Honorable Mention in the 75th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in 2006. FellowScript magazine has published two of his articles on children’s writing, and a third has been accepted for publication in 2008. Not only has Western Tale Spinner, the e-magazine for SCBWI-Western Canada, published several of his articles, but he also writes a regular column for that magazine. In addition, he writes book reviews for both Resource Links and Canadian Children’s Book News.
Bob King (Pense, Saskatchewan, Canada) Originally from Manitoba, he has been a Saskatchewan resident for three years and teaches music in the Regina School System. He has recorded seven albums, including five for children and two for adults. He has been performing for thirty years at different venues across Canada and the United States. He now performs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba with his family, including his wife Leanne and daughters Sandra and Amy. He is mostly known for writing the songs Sandwiches Are Beautiful, recorded by various artists including Nancy Cassidy, Fred Penner, and Peter Alsop, and Brother For Sale, recorded by Mary Kate and Ashley Olson (The Olson Twins) for their album by the same name. Both of these songs have sold a million copies. His children's book, Sitting on the Farm, is published by Kid's Can Press in both book and CD-ROM format, and is available in French and Spanish. He has written television scripts for Fred Penner's Place and commissioned songs for Sharon, Lois and Bram, He has written humorous articles for newspapers and magazines, radio comedy, plays, and poetry. His latest CD, The Giant Hot Dog That Ate Regina, was the winner of the 2001 Just Plain Folks Music Awards for Best Children's Album, and two of his songs placed second and fifth in the children's song category. He is the host of the children's cable TV show House of Songs. http://www.thenewpaths.com/
Dave Kinnoin (South Pasadena, CA): He is one of the hardest working artists in the children's music business. As a recording artist on Song Wizard Records, he tours nationally to rave reviews and holds the coveted Parents' Choice Gold Award. He consistently creates new and innovative material for a long list of family entertainment and educational companies. He's written over 200 songs in the past few years alone, most notably for Jim Henson TV, Video, and Interactive; Disney Audio, Video, and TV; Davidson & Associates; Simon and Shuster Interactive; Sesame Street and Sony Wonder Home Video; and Children's Television Workshop. He brings a sparkle to every project by varying the grooves, using stellar players, and being true to the spirit of the song. He attributes his success to an adamant refusal to settle for anything less than his absolute best in lyrics, melody, arrangement, performance, and every other aspect of the task at hand. http://songwizard.com/
Lynn Koch (Marathon, NY): He is a multi-facetted musician located in central New York State. His current activities include elementary and high school vocal music teacher in Cincinnatus, NY; organist/choir director at McGrawville Baptist Church, McGraw, NY; owner of KinderFolk Music Productions, Marathon, NY, through which he performs regularly as a folk musician, especially (though not exclusively) for children, focusing on traditional American and British songs and tunes; and composer/arranger of music for school and for church, frequently incorporating traditional and public domain tunes in his work. He lives on a small farm with his wife. They have five children, seven cats, two ill-mannered geese, and a bunch of chickens and guineafowl. He'd love to spend all his time there, writing and arranging music for various purposes.
Joe Harold Koger (Lake City, FL): He is a songwriter and the writer of "Wings of an Angel" in My Mother's Day and Father's Day Fun Book.
Doug Konecky (San Francisco, CA): He is the owner of Cat's Whiskers Music and is the co-writer with Justin Wilde of the contemporary holiday classics "It Must Have Been the Mistletoe" and "Happy Hanukkah, My Friend!"
Barry Laing (Hockley, Essex, England): He is a British songwriter and the co-writer with John Simons of "Skateboard Santa" in My Christmas Fun Book Level Two.
Pat Lakatta (Timonium, MD): She is a singer, songwriter, and educator. Her Parent's Choice Award-winning CD, “Everybody's Got a Place,” is a favorite among children aged three to eight and their families. Each of the thirteen tracks provides wholesome, educational, upbeat, original music with a sing-along, lively beat. Featured songs are in a variety of musical styles: pop, reggae, waltz, Broadway, lullaby, calypso, and more. She teaches music to pre-school and school age children. She has performed for children and families in many settings. She also gives musical workshops for teachers and educational professionals. As a mom, she believes that fostering an early love of music helps children artfully express their thoughts and feelings in a fun loving way. “ Musical activities often help a child focus and organize thought more clearly in later years,” she says. “Everybody's Got a Place,” her second album, is available on cassette as is her first release, “Sunny Side Up.”
Susan Landgraf (Seattle, WA): A writer and photographer, her poems have most recently appeared in Nimrod, Kalliope, The Green Hills Literary Lantern, and Riverwind. She also has been published in The Laurel Review, Third Coast Review, Pikeville Review, Interim, A Room Of One's Own, Ploughshares, Cincinnati Poetry Review, Calyx, Spoon River Quarterly, Sun Dog Review, and Paintbrush, among others. Honors include a Fulbright-Hays Grant in 1999 to South Africa and Namibia; Pablo Neruda, Society of Humanistic Anthropology, and Academy of American Poets awards; a Willard R. Espy Writing Residency in 2003 and a Theodore Morrison scholarship at Bread Loaf. In 2002, she taught PhD students for one semester at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China. A former journalist, she teaches writing and media classes at Highline Community College.
Candie Gibson Lemaire (Newport News, VA): She is a former third grade Virginia schoolteacher, having taught at Plaza Elementary in Virginia Beach, VA as well as Stony Mill Elementary in Pittsylvania County, VA. She enjoys writing songs and has written commercial releases, ad jingles, and also penned a melody for a community event, The Miss Springfield Pageant, an event held annually at Springfield Mall, Springfield, VA during “Springfield Days.” She especially enjoys writing stirring patriotic melodies, including a tribute to veterans, “Remember The Ones.” Her song “Here's To Virginia” was a finalist in the Virginia State Song Competition. She also has written songs for weddings and special events. Having worked two days a week at News Channel 8 in Springfield, VA, she was able to give studio tours to school children. Her work experience has included working for Delta Air Lines, Inc. Marketing and Reservations Sales, as well as 8+ years on Capitol Hill, working on both the House and Senate sides for two high profile Members. She has a Master of Education degree, and lives with her husband Rick in Newport News, VA, along with their beagle, “T-Bone.” She has written numerous children's poems and stories, with her most recent publication in Hopscotch Magazine, a children's poem, “Rain-Ger Beagle.”
Allen Lenicheck (St. George, UT): He received his BA and MM degrees from The Julliard School. He is a piano instructor, as well as a composer, and writer of short stories and poetry. His teaching piece for piano Cornhuskin' Time was published by Montgomery Music in Buffalo, NY, and has been used in national piano festivals and competitions. His poem Music has appeared in print five times previously, including The National Library of Poetry and The Poetry Society of Pennsylvania.
Marla Lewis (Wantagh, NY): She has delighted hundreds of young audiences in the New York City area at outdoor concerts, schools, libraries, day camps, and more. Her songs have been played on radio shows from JoJoRadio in Germany to K-Too in Alaska, and performed by children from around the world, from France to Australia. Marla's music graces many styles, from pop, rock, and blues to jazz, classical, and world. Her subject matter is diverse as well: from "We All Laugh in the Same Language," a tune that celebrates diversity; to "My Room's a Mess!" to "Mighty Jackie, The Strikeout Queen" (co-written with Les Julian), which tells the true story of 17 year old Jackie Mitchell, who struck out Babe Ruth AND Lou Gehrig in the same game! You will find songs about almost everything you can imagine. Marla has a song on a Grammy-Winning CD! Her tune, "Leap of Faith," appears on the album, ALL ABOUT BULLIES...BIG AND SMALL, which won Best Children's Recording at the 54th Annual Grammies. Recently, Marla's Song, "Celebrating Kwanzaa," appeared in an independent film, Father vs. Son, co-starring Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family. She has just finished writing and recording "Funny Little Bunny and Friends," the theme song for a brand new animated television series. Both of Marla's CD's have won prominent national and international awards. Her first, "We All Laugh in the Same Language," was awarded NAPPA (National Association of Parenting Publications) Gold and Parents' Choice Approved. Her second CD, "I Love to Talk to Plants," won NAPPA Honors and Parents' Choice Gold. Many of her songs have received individual awards as well. For 23 years, Marla worked as an elementary school teacher of English as a Second Language. In this capacity, she created songs and literacy programs to teach English to her ESL students in a fun way. One of these programs, entitled "We Love to Read," co-written with ESL teacher Bernadette Falletta, is a musical/phonics program geared especially to learners of English. In addition, she has presented countless workshops promoting Music and Literacy at educational conferences throughout the East Coast of the U.S. Presently, Marla is writing songs for children who are seriously ill through Songs of Love. http://www.marlalewis.com
Carol Limburg (Sumner, IA): She was born in 1950 in Appleton, Wisconsin. Her father was a violinist and orchestra director in the Appleton schools and later taught in Waterloo, Iowa where she spent most of her growing up years. In those years, she learned to play the violin, instructed by her dad and encouraged by her mother, a pianist. Carol and her siblings spent much time gathered around the piano, singing and playing musical instruments. Music was a family affair. Carol also enjoys writing poetry and children's books on various subjects in hopes of publication. She has been published in Reminisce and Good Old Days magazines and writes occasional features for the local paper, The Sumner Gazette. She now lives in Sumner, Iowa, where she continues the tradition of giving violin lessons. Carol lives with her husband, Jeremy, and two teenage children, Jake and Katie.
James Lipsky (DePere, WI): He is a retired university professor who also taught in elementary schools. He earned his Ph.D. in Elementary School Counseling, and for thirty years taught teachers and other professionals to be school and community counselors. While teaching, he loved to write poems and published many, especially in professional counseling journals. Some of his poetry hangs in the USS Arizona Museum in Pearl Harbor and a National Shrine in MA. His song “Addicted to the Dictionary” is included on the Kidtunes CD by Piano Press. This song received honorable mention in the 2002 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the children's category. He also received 4 th and 6 th places in the Just Plain Folks 2002 Songwriting Contest. Jim is from a large family and has been around young people for years. From these experiences, he learned to enjoy writing songs and poems.
Donna Lisa (Westfield, NJ): She has had considerable experience with writing and performing for children. She has published stories and songs with Chappell Music, CAM-USA, and Taylor Associates. She wrote a musical fantasy for children titled Marvin and The Beasts, which was produced in California. She has performed in clubs and coffee houses throughout the New York area. She has also performed in schools, libraries, and community centers, in shows designed for children, and worked for a toy manufacturer to promote a product. Her performances include accompanying musicians, young singers/performers, and adorable animal puppets. She was featured on The All Ages Show, Princeton, NJ and Magazine, Brighton, England. She is a contributing singer/songwriter and A&R Coordinator for Playful Journeys to Grow On, a compilation children's CD that will benefit The United Way. The album features some well-known children's artists such as Raffi, Laurie Berkner, and Tom Paxton, and the CD is scheduled for an upcoming release. Some of her songs for children and adults are currently under contract with music licensing/publishing company Noteborn Music. She was featured as the Member of the Year in the Entertainment Field in the 2009 edition of Madison Who's Who. Donna's Song, “Toucan You Can!” was included on Celebrate Earth, a compilation CD that was released on PARMA Recordings in April of 2010. Donna grew up in Sleepy Hollow, California, and began singing, harmonizing, and writing stories as a child. When she was a teenager, she took up the guitar. She took specialized courses in songwriting and story writing for children at The Songwriters Workshop, The Songwriters Guild, The Writer's Voice, The New School, and New York University. She also took a number of courses in screenwriting including studying with Robert McKee and D.B. Gilles. Donna received a Bachelor's Degree from The University of California, Davis and a Master's Degree from Yeshiva University. http://www.donnalisa.com/
Lisa Stokking Lutwyche (Landenberg, PA): A writer for over thirty years, Lisa's poetry has appeared in dotdotdot, Mad Poets Review, The Tamafyr Review, Sea Change, Image and Word (a collaboration of poets and artists, in 1994), and other literary magazines and anthologies. In 1999, she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has taught creative writing to adults and teens at a community arts center since 1992, and is now working on two anthologies and a novel. She is also a watercolorist and watercolor teacher, and has been showing and selling her work for many years. Lisa lives with her English poet husband, two teens, and six pets. Her father, William Stokking, is principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, affording Lisa a lifetime backstage. Like Elizabeth Axford, Lisa is a breast cancer survivor.
Mark Alan Lyle (Carrollton, GA): He was born March 8, 1958 in Guam. He has a lovely wife Deborah, and two beautiful children, Tyler and Cassie. He is one of three boys to James and Janice Lyle. He attended elementary school in Sunnymead CA and High School at Central High in Carrollton, GA. He attended N.Y. American Academy of Dramatic Arts and is presently working on a Degree in Music Education from West Georgia College. He has worked as a salesman in the family mobile home business at “Lyle Enterprises” since 1985 and has been a Workshop Coordinator for NSAI for many years. He is also a part owner of “Southside Tracks” recording studio and plays in the country variety band “Renita and The Jate Gang.” In addition, he leads the choir at his church and runs his son to Little League, which leaves a limited amount of time for writing songs, but he can always find time for his love of writing. He played the Liads as General Bolregard Winslow on “The Chronicles of 1812,” which was a mini-series for Canadian television in 1984. He worked for four years as a singer/dancer at Six Flags at the Crystal Pistol in Atlanta, GA and Magic Mountain in Los Angeles, CA.
Brenda Lyons (Waxahachie, TX): She is married and a mother of three children, a fifteen-year-old daughter and twin eight-year-old boys. Now that her children are in school, she has gone back to The University of Texas at Arlington and is working on an English degree. She enjoys music and poetry and was inspired to write while listening to a cellist play during a poetry class.
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