Mark and Helen Johnson are not only the founders of Out of the Ark but also its principal songwriters. Their vision and gifted writing have ‘helped put the singing back into assemblies’ and have taken the company from very humble beginnings to it’s current position as one of primary education’s favourite creators of musical resources. Mark and Helen’s ability to write songs with catchy melodies and memorable choruses that both children and adults adore, continues to be the cornerstone of their appeal. Mark and Helen live in West Sussex and have three children.
Niki Davies is one of Britain’s top music writers for young children. She is an early years education specialist and therefore understands how to appeal to the young through her music. Whilst having numerous works published, Niki is also in great demand for her teacher workshops and has written for many BBC radio and television programmes.
Niki has two children and lives in Yorkshire.
Margaret Carpenter, a teacher for over 20 years, has a joint passion for music and teaching. Writer of many popular musicals for primary schools, she continues to work with her children's choir, writing and recording new music. An extremely gifted composer, Margaret has developed a strong following for her musicals and nativity plays.
Married to Richard, she lives in Wiltshire.
Ann Bryant has over 25 years’ teaching experience specializing in music for 3 – 9 year olds. Her lessons captivate the children with an atmosphere of high energy contrasted with intense calm, creating moments of magic that are truly inspirational. Ann has written for BBC schools radio and TV programmes, and has published over 100 books comprising children's novels and picture books as well as primary music resources.
Ann has two children and lives with her husband in Kent.
Sha has worked in numerous nurseries for the last twelve years as a singing teacher and entertainer. Previously she was part of a band playing both here and abroad.
Sha is now Head of Music and Community Director for the Performing Arts at a School in Middlesex and lives in Twickenham with her two children.
Ann has a wealth of experience in teaching music to all ages and stages. In particular, she has worked with pre-school children and their parents for over twenty years, making music a mutually fun experience and developing physical, emotional and interactive skills.
Ann lives in Herefordshire with her husband and two children.
Mary and Julie have a successful writing partnership with several published works for Early Years, KS1 and KS2. Their productions have been widely performed as well as being broadcast on TV. Mary began writing when her children were small and was a regular outline writer for TV’s Play School with many of her poems and stories also being broadcast. Julie graduated from Trinity College of Music, initially working as a dance accompanist before starting her teaching and composing career at Francis House School in Tring, Hertfordshire.
Nikki Lewis is the winning songwriter from our Search for a Songwriter competition (2006), with her entry Colours of The World. Nikki is an advanced-skills teacher specialising in primary music and drama. She leads music and drama initiatives throughout Somerset supporting the work of teachers in primary schools. Nikki is also passionate about raising the profile of singing in schools and leading singing workshops for children across the primary age range.
Matthew Crossey has worked in music publishing for nearly twenty years. Initially signed as a pop writer for a major publishing house, Matt later found himself working on the other side of the track, running marketing and creative departments for music book publishers. Matt is currently Director of Sales and Marketing at Out of the Ark.
Paul Field has been working as a professional composer and musician for over 30 years, receiving many awards for his songwriting, including an Ivor Novello from the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. His songs have been recorded by many artists, one of the most well known being the single The Millennium Prayer by Cliff Richard. Paul also writes for TV, film, theatre and advertising and has written and produced a number of albums of children's songs. Paul lives in London with his wife Ruth, and has two sons.
Rob Studied at the Purcell School and Royal College of Music. Having spent several years working as a freelance french horn player with UK orchestras and in the West End, he now works as a composer, arranger and orchestrator, and produces his own instrumental cds. His music has been performed by many of Europe's leading orchestras and has featured in numerous films and productions. He lives in Harrow with his wife and two-year-old daughter - who is a big fan of Out of the Ark songs!
Jeff Hammer trained as a classical pianist and went on to work in music journalism and record company press offices before moving into the world of professional music, where he has since worked and toured extensively with many top artists. He has been involved in a wide range of recording, writing and TV projects and is also the author of a number of books on keyboard playing.
Maree was runner-up in our Search for a Songwriter competition (2006) with her song Colourful Hair. The standard was so high that we just had to include it! Maree gained a B Ed Music degree in 1999 and later completed a Diploma in Jazz.
Currently, she teaches music at two primary schools in the Shetland Isles.
Ali has many years’ experience teaching, writing and performing music. She runs workshops empowering teachers and early years practitioners to have fun and be successful in their music experiences with children. Ali also works with trainee teachers, lecturing for Kingston University. She believes that music is the key to so many areas of the curriculum and life and should be practical and accessible to everyone. Ali has recently written a book called Making It Better For Boys.
Ali is married with three young sons who show her new ways to make music every day.
Alison Hedger has spent her career making, writing and publishing children’s music and has become a highly respected figure in the field of music education. A happy understanding of children and an insight into their humour, means that her songs really appeal to young performers, whilst delighting teachers, families and friends alike.
Natalie is a Music and Performing Arts co-ordinator for primary schools. Working with infant children on a daily basis gives her clear insight into their musical capabilities and what makes them tick in general. A keen singer herself, she leads an adult ‘a capella’ choir and also works with the Out of the Ark Choir on their various recording projects.
Antony studied at The Royal Academy of Music, and is a freelance musician and composer. As a horn player he has performed and recorded with most UK orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic. He was a head of music for many years and is passionate about the importance of music in schools; he currently teaches children of all age groups. Antony has two children and a border collie named Scoot!
Rebecca studied at Sussex University and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is a freelance musician and editor. Before having children she spent several years at BBC Worldwide as a books editor and has been teaching the piano and flute for 15 years. Alongside her teaching, she runs successful music groups for toddlers and loves to write songs for young children that capture their imagination and are fun to sing. Rebecca lives in Surrey with her husband and two children.
Kelly produces original visual and musical material and has contributed her ideas to many popular television productions for over a decade. She has a passion for positively influencing the lives of children through her work.
Jane Carr has a wealth of experience in the field of music education, having worked with several leading children’s book publishers creating audio content for a number of their main titles. An honours graduate in music from the University of Wales and a post graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, Jane is currently Education Director of ‘FUNtastic!’ a multi-platform music-led brand for young children.
With numerous publications under his own name, and many works within collections, Ned Bennett is well known as a writer of educational music. As a music teacher he has over twenty years of experience behind him, and he is also a busy freelance jazz saxophonist in London. Having a young son has enabled Ned to see at first hand the joy and importance of introducing music to children at a very early stage.
Hannah Rhodes graduated from Birmingham University in 2008 having specialised in piano performance. She now works as a freelance singer, pianist and composer for theatre and directs choirs for Oxford Youth Choirs and St John Fisher School, Oxford. Hannah is the founder of Macamu, a collective of musicians and arts professionals performing and recording original songs for young children.