Bruce Madole (Brampton, Ontario, Canada): He is a writer of short fiction, poetry, and songs. An active member of the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC), and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), he is co-coordinator of the NSAI Toronto regional workshop. For his daily bread, he has worked in journalism, public relations and technical communications for over twenty years, and has operated his own consulting firm, Bruce Madole and Associates Inc., since 1988.
Alana Merritt Mahaffey (Hot Springs, AR): She teaches writing at Garland County community college, is founder and editor of the Arkansas Collective, and is associate editor of the Arkansas Literary Forum. She has been recognized repeatedly by the Arkansas College Media Association, and received the Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in 1997. The National Society of Arts and Letters, the Arkansas Society of Arts and Letters, and the Poets Roundtable of Arkansas have recognized her. Her work has been described by poet and writer Josip Novakovich as “beautiful.” Recent publications (1999-2001) include Fugue,Lucid Stone,New England Writers' Network,New Authors Journal,Agnieszka's Dowry,Poetry Motel, Midsouth Poetry Collection,Eureka Literary Magazine,Long Line Writer,Abbey,Grasslands Review,Spadra,New Works Review,Arkansas Literary Forum, and Aura Literary/Arts Review.
Mark Mansfield (Arlington, VA): He is a document analyst and musician. He has been the Assistant to the Publications Officer at the U.S. Supreme Court, a guard on sound stages in Hollywood, a proofreader for a Christmas card printer, a theatre usher, a janitor at an art school, a night watchman for a concrete company, a telemarketer, and a gas station attendant. He received his M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. His work has recently appeared (or is forthcoming) in Aethelon, The Antietam Review, California Quarterly, Candelabrum Poetry Magazine, City Works, Concho River Review, Confluence, Creosote, The Evansville Review, First Offense, Frank, Front Range, Good Foot, The Ledge, Lilliput Review, Limestone, Literary Lantern, The New Writer, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Poetry Motel, Poetry Nottingham International, Potomac Review, Scrivener, Ship of Fools, Tulane River, Windhover, and Words of Wisdom. He was Feature Poet in the Spring 2003 issue of Poetry Nottingham International. The Ledge Press previously published “Für Elise.” The Bay Area Poet's Coalition previously published “The Surf Aces” and “Wonderful World” in the Summer 2002 and Autumn 2002 issues, respectively.
Tracey James Marino (San Diego, CA): She is a pianist and singer, as well as a songwriter and producer. Although classically trained, she plays all styles of music and can learn just about any song “by ear” after listening to it once or twice. Her songwriting career started at the age of five, when she wrote her first composition on the piano. At ten, her professional career started when she was asked to sing and play the organ at a small church in Poway, CA. Tracey's CD recording of original piano music, “DreamSongs,” was inspired by the classical pieces she learned as a child. It includes the song “Dusk To Dawn,” a composition she wrote when she was eight. “Although I play and sing just about any kind of music, I really enjoy the complexity of classical music and the tranquility of New Age music. This CD is a blend of these two styles.” Along with being a recording artist, composer, keyboardist, and vocalist, she is an editor, copywriter, and a producer. She and her husband Vance own SongMaker Productions www.songmakerpro.coma commercial music house in San Diego, CA. They specialize in creating customized radio jingles and original background music.
Vance Marino (San Diego, CA): He is a composer, guitarist, bassist, drummer, producer, engineer, vocalist, and guitar teacher at Ozzie's Music in Poway, CA. Vance and his wife Tracey own SongMaker Productions www.songmakerpro.com a commercial music house in San Diego, CA. They specialize in creating customized radio jingles and original background music. At SongMaker Productions, their staff will research a company, write the advertising copy, do voice-overs, sing and record all the instruments, and customize music to meet a client's specific needs. Using the latest digital ProTools technology, they can have an ad or jingle ready in 1-3 days. They also create and produce music for shows and productions. Their expert musicians can play, compose, and record all styles of music for auditions, recitals, school projects, and professional and community theater.
Ann Mark (USA): She is the songwriter of "Angel on Top of the Tree" in My Christmas Fun Book Level One.
Betty Lea Martocchio (San Diego, CA): She earned her Bachelor's degree in music at the University of Redlands, Redlands, CA, where she studied piano and theory with Dr. Alexandra Pierce. She attended Hartt College of Music in Hartford, CT and completed further post-graduate musical studies in theory, composition, and ethnomusicology at the University of California, San Diego, where she studied with Dr. Will Ogdon and Dr. Marci Dilling. Residing in San Diego, CA with her husband Don, Betty Lea has an independent piano studio for students of all ages. She has been composing and teaching piano and theory for over twenty years. She won the Music Teachers' Association of California (MTAC) State Composition Contests for her pieces Serendipity Rag (1998), Sanderling (2002), and Tropi-Cabana Suite (2005) and received state recognition at the MTAC Conventions where she performed her compositions. She also has piano pieces published by Alfred Publishing, including Bermuda White Caps, Serendipity Rag, Caliente del Sol, A Springtime to Remember, Lickety-Split Rag, and The Connecticut River. A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) in Piano and Theory with the Music Teachers' National Association (MTNA), Betty Lea is an adjudicator for The National Guild of Piano Teachers and the MTAC Certificate of Merit Program where she has evaluated student performances at local and regional competitions. Presently, she is the Chair for the Independent Music Teachers' Forum of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT). Her published articles address the specific concerns of the Independent Music Teacher and can be found in the CAPMT Communiqué newsletter.
Steve Maudsley (Liverpool, England): At an early age, he developed a keen interest in music, painting, and theatre, which was to continue to the present day. Steve relocated to Los Angeles, CA in 1984, working as a lead scenic artist for people like Micheal Jackson, David Bowie, Brad Pitt, and movies like Alien. Steve is currently working on some musical projects with co-writer Kenny O'connell.
Tom McCauley (Sherman Oaks, CA): He is the co-writer with Donna Rawlins of "This Year" in My Christmas Fun Book Level Four. He is an accomplished Los Angeles-based musician, engineer, mixer, and songwriter. More info at http://www.mixworks.com/
Tom McGuinness(York, UK):When you start your career playing guitar in a band alongside another 18 year old guitarist called Eric Clapton, you could say you were going places. He may have left young Eric and that band, The Roosters, behind, but he joined Manfred Mann as a bass player at a crucial moment in 1964 - just as 5-4-3-2-1 began its meteoric dash up the charts. He was with Manfred Mann on bass and then guitar right up until the disbanding in 1969, but success bred success - within a few months, he teamed up with ex John Mayall drummer, Hughie Flint, to form the highly successful McGuinness Flint, a talent-studded group which included the great songwriting team of Gallagher & Lyle. When I'm Dead & Gone shot to number two in November 1970, with Malt & Barley Blues hot on its heels the following year.As a songwriter, author, and record & TV producer, he has retained and steadily enhanced his profile over the years. In 1979, the same man who introduced him to the Manfreds, Paul Jones, called Tom with another proposition - The Blues Band. It was an enjoyable and surprisingly durable return to their roots, which continues apace, but the reformation of the Manfreds for Tom's 50th birthday at London's The Town & Country Club in 1991 completed the circle - those Manfreds' songs were just too good to be left on a shelf marked “nostalgia.” On his first solo album released October 2001: "I'm always writing songs and over the years I've built up quite a stock-pile of un-recorded material. For some time I'd had the feeling that I'd like to record my own album and a couple of things came together to push me finally into doing it. Firstly, we were touring Australia a couple of years back with The Manfreds and a man came up to me after one of our gigs. After saying a couple of nice things about the show he then said, in that direct way they have down-under, 'You're a good guitarist. It's about time you did a solo album.' He made me feel really lazy. After all, I have spent nearly 40 years as a working musician without doing my own album. So that got me thinking. The second factor that got me enthused was working with Marcus Cliffe. He'd recently joined The Manfreds on bass and although there is a generation between us, we really hit it off musically. We went into his studio and just the two of us laid down the album. It took about 3 weeks from beginning to end and was a lot of fun. It was great to find that so many ideas I had on paper or in my head worked so well in the studio. I suspect I might never have got down to doing it if it hadn't been for Marcus. The only problem is that he is already nagging me to start the follow-up!"
Don McHan (Deceased): He co-wrote "Mrs. Santa Claus" in My Christmas Fun Book Level Two.
Kim McLean (Nashville, TN): She is an international recording and performing artist who has scored number one songs in the U.S. and Europe. She is a Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning songwriter, the co-writer of the Number One Hits “Angels And Eagles,” and ”Count Your Blessing,” and the Christmas standard, “Go Tell.” She's also written for a host of Gospel artists, as well as Tim McGraw, Trisha Yearwood, Lisa Brokop, Pam Tillis, and many others. Her songs have been featured in major motion pictures and on television. Kim is an evangelist minister of the Church of the Nazarene, and appears regularly in churches, as well as being a star attraction at festivals, clubs, and listening rooms. www.kimmclean.com
Arthur McMaster (Valrico, FL): He has served until recently as the faculty adviser to his college's poetry club, and has published widely in the U.S. and Ireland. His latest acceptances are from Blueline and Beggars Press. He was honored to win the “Best of the Festival” award for poetry from the College of William and Mary. As an undergraduate at Indiana University, he lived in a house full of music majors. He studied under the poet Philip Appleman. The previously published poem included here is Visage (Flipside Magazine, Fall 1999).
Felix Mendelssohn (Deceased): To learn more about the composer of the Christmas classic "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and much more, visithttp://www.felixmendelssohn.com/
Chip Mergott (Stockton, NJ): “Chip Mergott is one of my favorite songwriters”--Bonnie Raitt. He recorded his first album for London Records in 1979. He is currently recording for Notebook Records that has a roster of 3 artists. His releases include the instrumental CDs “Hymns for Acoustic Guitar” and “Silent Night, Christmas Carols for Acoustic Guitar;” and the new Contemporary Christian “In a Quiet Moment.” He lives and performs in the Philadelphia area, where he also teaches guitar and songwriting.
Earl Meyers (Louisville, KY): He wrote and sang the songs on the albums “Kidding Around” & “Christmas Sing-a-long Songs” by Earl & The Girls. He has written songs recorded by Rachel Coogle, Larry Hale, and Kelly-Kool, among others. He performs regularly on local Louisville Cable, Ron's Variety Show, has road-managed artists, and on occasion has worked in several films. He enjoys running (7 marathons), golf, and basketball.
Lou Anne Michel (Mansfield, OH): She has her own kid song CD, “For All The Kid In Me.” It can be found at http://cdbaby.com/louanne and has gotten good reviews. She completed a four-song master with producer Scott Mathews. He has worked with the Beach Boys, Eric Clapton, and many others. It was a real thrill to work with him. The songs are “The Potion”(pop/rock), “Walk In”(love song/ballad), “For Me”(pop/love song), and “I Need The Light”(gospel/rock/blues). DaisyRock, Inc. Guitars for Girls www.DaisyRock.com endorse her (guys play 'em too). She is excited about this as they do many fundraisers to support women's health issues and young girl's music education. Katie Curic is a promoter of DaisyRock as well as Lisa Lobe. She is working on two books. One will be done for this Christmas season about baby Jesus, and the other about a family of worms. She has three new children's songs completed, “Neatobossiosome,” “The Submarine Sandwich,” and “Turtle with a Girdle.” She is busy in a new job as a Recreation Coordinator of a large MRDD county agency. “Be good to each other.”
Fern Michonski (Simsbury, CT): She is a lively, lighthearted mother of three who has dedicated her life to children as an entertainer, songwriter, musician and teacher. She has created Fern Forest Enterprises, which is devoted to wholesome and inspiring entertainment for children. Fern has a BS in Early Childhood Education and is also certified in Elementary and Music Education. She has always had an inner desire to perform. At age 5 she started with dance classes and at 9 years old she began taking organ lessons. By the age of 12 she was playing the organ for public functions. Fern decided to go to college to become a teacher because she loved children, and upon graduating from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, she became the Head Teacher at a preschool. Fern immediately began implementing music into all of her lesson plans using instruments such as guitar, recorder, flute, clarinet, piano and banjo, and soon realized that she had created enough materials to record her own album of children's music. Thus Fern Forest Enterprises was born in 1989! Fern used her experiences in dance, music and teaching to develop a package that would reach the “whole” child. Since it's creation 15 years ago, Fern has written 12 albums and to date has produced and published 6 of them on her own and distributed them locally. She does live concerts throughout New England with her 6-foot tall costume character “Charlie the Chipmunk,” who dances along side of her during her shows. Fern's philosophy is to offer today's child a multidimensional, holistic approach to learning through the arts. Original songs, stories and interactive exercises teach, entertain and stimulate children's imaginations. Currently, Fern's daughter has graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City where she now works and resides, and her son is in his junior year at the University of Connecticut. Her youngest son is a senior in High School. Each of her children helps out with her business, either by maintaining her website, assisting with performances, or writing press releases. Fern was once advised that she would find fame long before fortune and she has found this to be true. Recommended by USA TODAY, one of the most requested artists on “The Playground,” a well-known children's radio program at WERS in Boston, featured from coast to coast in Wireless Flash News, and known as the ad campaign face for Virgin Mobile during 2004, Fern, nonetheless, continues to struggle with maintaining her small business and trying to finance the projects dearest to her heart. Fern's future vision includes a public television show for children, starring herself and Charlie the Chipmunk, as well as publishing all of the books that have been written to accompany each of her CD's, including her angel project Angels Are Out With You Today. Like her angel project, Fern would like to see all of her books published in the “universal approach to education” format, a format which allows children of all abilities to appreciate the story book experience by using the written word, Braille, sign language, music and art with raised, embossed images. Fern also has toys to accompany each of her CD's/ books and would like to see them marketed as well. Ultimately, Fern hopes to travel the world, bringing smiles to children everywhere through her music, books, and live performances. www.fernforest.com
Carlon Miller (Tate, GA): He grew up listening to the Grand Ol' Opry on Saturday nights. He worked as a disc jockey for WYYZ Radio in Jasper, GA where he began to hone his skills as a country and gospel songwriter. Through the years, his biggest influence was Gene Autry, but he also took inspiration from Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams, and Wanda Jackson. As a BMI affiliated writer for nearly thirty years, he has enjoyed having some forty of his songs commercially recorded. In 2000, three of his songs were included on the Halloween Bash compact disc album, recorded by Victor R. Vampire and Friends and released on the Allegheny Music Works label.
S. Minanel (Marina Del Rey, CA): She is a poet and artist. Her work has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, including Becoming the Woman I Wanted, When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple, New Millennium, Light Quarterly, and The Advocate. Internationally, her work has appeared in The Gentle Reader and Krax in England, and in The Dawn in Australia.
C. J. Minster (Encinitas, CA): Over the years, she has become increasingly concerned with the prevalence of racism and intolerance of individual differences. In an effort to actively address these issues, she has gathered together a group of talented individuals to form the Protecting Our Diversity (POD) partnership. She is presently serving as POD's Executive Director. Early in her professional career, she was a psychological counselor. She has a master's degree in Psychology and a state license in Marriage and Family Therapy. Since then, she has spent a number of years participating in and managing the design and development of training products ranging from paper-based instructional manuals to computer-based lessons. She has always had an interest in creative writing, and is currently working on two children's books that focus on respect for diversity.
Jenny Mischel (Arlington, VA): She founded Perfect4Preschool in 2005. She is a former elementary and kindergarten teacher with four children of her own. She holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Psychology, a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies, a Language Development Specialist Credential, and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Her company focus is to produce quality educational kits for preschool-aged children in preparation for kindergarten. She follows the Orton-Gillingham approach, a language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, and cognitive approach to developing language skills.
Lori Mula (Hazlet, NJ): She writes about nature and family.
Sherri Mullen (Middletown, PA): Compelling lyrics, powerful vocals, and passionate performance make this award winning singer/songwriter shine. After the release of her third solo CD Fearless she made music a “family affair” as she teamed up with her prodigy guitarist/son Shane, re-inventing her sound and creating a unique show with cross genre appeal, intricate harmonies, and musical versatility. The one/two punch of Mullen & Mullen made this one of the strongest and most unique musical offerings around, appealing to all age groups, and embraced by fans of Adult Alternative, Americana, Blues, and Rock genres alike. Sherri & Shane began writing together in mid 2009, for her fourth CD SM² – Strange Symmetry, which was released in May 2010. http://www.sherrimullen.com/
Becky Muncy (Bedford, IN): She is an elementary music teacher, grades 1-5. She wrote and composed Blueprints for Life, including eighteen fun, character-building songs to use in her classroom to reinforce good character skills. The songs are short and catchy, and help children remember the meaning of each skill, such as “problem solving” or “cooperation.” Her school corporation is involved in a program called CLASS (Connected Learning Assures Successful Students). Part of the CLASS curriculum is to help create a better atmosphere in all classrooms and teach children to be respectful and use skills that will help them all through their lives. She lives with her husband and two daughters.
Gordon Murray (United States): He is the songwriter of "Big Bad Snowman" in My Christmas Fun Book Level Three.
John David Muth (North Brunswick, NJ): By trade, he is an academic counselor working for Rutgers University, his alma mater. Music is his great passion, particularly from the Late Romantic (Tchaikovsky and Brahms) and the Post-Romantic (Mahler) periods. Having never learned to play an instrument, he uses poetry as an outlet for the way the music makes him feel. He tries to create the sounds of an orchestra through words. Parnassus Literary Journal published his poem “Cello Sonata in G Minor” in Spring 2000.
David Napolin (Port Washington, NY): He is a retired English teacher, having taught in the New York City schools. Since retiring, he has been published in over 150 magazines including Hollins Critic, The Amherst Review, Parnassus, Sonora Review, The Connecticut River Review, and other poetry journals. One of his poems was nominated for the 1999 Pushcart Poetry Prize.
Pat Norman (East Bend, NC): She is a songwriter and a self-employed cosmetologist. She loves poetry and music. She is a member of NSAI and has had the pleasure of attending Song Camps and Workshops including songwriters Ralph Murphy, Angela Cassett, Rick Beresford, James Dean Hicks, Jon Ims, Jai Josefs, Steve Seskin, Kelly Lovelace, Jason Blume, Pat and Pete Luboff, and Byron Hill. She attends Linne Black's monthly NSAI workshops in Winston Salem, NC. She has four songs published, including three with Fumpty Fump Music (BMI) and “Giddy Up Reindeer,” a co-write with Jeff Canter, arranged by Liz Axford for Piano Press and used in My Christmas Fun Book Level Two.
Dennis Norville (Lattimore, NC): He is the owner of a poetry business in North Carolina called Poetic Potpourri Concepts. He has written some 800 poems and songs. He has been published 200 times and has won 150 contest awards, including many first, second, and third-place winnings. He is author of ten books and his poetry is circulated in all 50 states of the USA and in five foreign countries as well. He spends his spare time playing the piano and guitar, singing, hiking, and mountain biking.
Caroline Nye (Rockville, MD): She was born in Wisconsin and is eighty-three years old. She served in the Marine Corps. She was married and has eight children, and her husband passed away three years ago. She is a lyricist and has been writing for eight years. She met her collaborator Jack Reid at a writer's conference. Her great niece performed “The Wip Wop Song” in a piano recital. This song along with “Teddy Bear Bedtime Song” and “The Merry-Go-Round Song” appear in The Music Box and Other Delights.
Dr. Shari O'Brien (Toledo, OH): She is a lifelong Ohioan. She earned master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University, respectively, and a law degree from the University of Toledo. She is a lecturer in English at the University of Toledo and a practicing attorney, representing neglected/abused children in juvenile court. She also serves as a volunteer for the Children's Rights Council and sits on the Citizens' Review Board of the Lucas County Juvenile Court. A pianist and dancer, Shari lives with her husband Gary and enjoys spending time with her family. Dozens of her poems and essays have appeared in such journals as Icon, Sweet Annie & Sweet Pea Press, Poetry Motel, Palo Alto Review, and Piano Guild Notes.
Kenny O'Connell (Liverpool, England): He signed to State Records/Odyssey Music in 1987. He has done publishing deals with Peter Robinson (Dome Records). He also has a song published with Independent Music and two songs on single song assignments with publishers Atlanta Music and Boa Records/Publishing, U.S.A. He played in the local band Pool of Life, performing on radio & TV and main venues the Marquee Club and the Cavern Club, etc. They were also featured on the benefit album Never Again along with Sham 69, Nutty Boys, Pop Will Eat Itself, and many others. He signed a management deal with Chris Gilbert of Rockmasters. His song “Give It Up” won the pop category and came in third in the 1996 South Pacific Song Contest. The song went on to get cut by Geena Lisa (EMI Belguim). His song “Tell Him” won a BASCA award for the best UK entry in the 1998 South Pacific Song Contest. His song “I'll Be Waiting” was featured in the movie Murder Story starring Christopher Lee and Bruce Boa in 1987. In 1998 he signed to Hug who manage the Liverpool band Space. He has co-written with Winston Sela, Tom Nicholls, John Peppard, and Barry Mason. For more information, visit http://www.oconnellmusic.co.uk/film_tv.shtml
Leslie Olson (San Diego, CA): Leslie Olson, a national certified teacher of music, is a graduate of San Diego State University in music education and a piano major. She has been teaching piano and instrumental lessons since 1981 in her home studio as well as private lessons at Christ Lutheran School in La Mesa. She was the founder and Director of the Christian Youth Band from 1988-2000, organist and choir director at Atonement Lutheran Church in Spring Valley, and played clarinet and bass clarinet in the San Diego Concert Band. Mrs. Olson now serves as a clinician for bands and is a substitute organist in the San Diego area, playing for Sunday services, weddings, and funerals. Mrs. Olson is also an accompanist and coach for instrumental solos, ensembles, and vocal solos. Mrs. Olson is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association, California Association of Professional Music Teachers, California School Band and Orchestra Association, and Woman Band Directors International. She regularly attends conferences to further her education and for the enhancement of her students. She is also an adjudicator for music festivals and auditions, and a mentor for college pedagogy students. Many students have become professional musicians, music teachers, and professional actors in musical theater. Mrs. Olson’s compositions have won many awards and include: Piano Solos: "Invention 101," "Lament," "Moonlight on a Graceful Sea," "Serenity" for Piano or Organ Solo, "Two Hearts, One Love," and an arrangement of "The First Noel." Piano and Voice: "Never Be Lonely," "Teddy Bears," and "Thank You, Lord." Ensemble: "The Christmas Joy" for Congregation and Flute. http://www.leslieolson.com/
Hans Ostrom (Lakewood, WA): His work has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Ploughsares, Wisconsin Review, and the literary section of the Washington Post. He is also the author of A Langston Hughes Encyclopedia. He teaches at the University of Puget Sound.
Patricia Otto (Idaho): She received her degree in music education from Occidental College in 1961 and began a thirty-five year teaching career, primarily in grades K-3. Her musical expertise has made it especially fun to do many musical plays and programs over the years. Her career was exemplary, and she received an Outstanding Teacher Award in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District and became a Master Teacher. For five years, Patricia was the director of a women's choral group in Mission Viejo, California. A highlight was producing Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado with a cast of all women. Patricia also sang with Dr. Howard Swan's Fullerton Chorale for five years and with the Saddleback Concert Chorale for twenty years. Patricia now resides in Northern Idaho where she continues to foster her loves of music and children by volunteering at nearby elementary schools, teaching art, language arts and occasionally directing a musical play with primary children. She also sings with the local Sweet Adelines Chorus.
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