Welcome to the Wanda Wannabee and Little Brown Bear series’ stories. These innovative and interactive stories were written by poet, author, teacher, language arts consultant, Susan A. Katz. The original music was created by composer, musician, teacher, performer, Sharon Ruchman.

Susan A. Katz – poet, teacher, author

Susan A. Katz - poet, teacher, author of the Wanda Wannabee Series and Little Bear SeriesSusan A. Katz is an internationally known poet, author, lecturer, and educator. She is the author of three poetry collections, The Separate Sides of Need, Song Press, 1984; Two Halves of the Same Silence, Confluence Press, 1985, An Eye for Resemblances, University Editions, Aegina Press, 1991; and two textbooks, Teaching Creatively by Working the Word: Language, Music and Movement, Prentice Hall, 1992, 2nd edition 1996, and The Word In Play: Language, Music & Movement in the Classroom, 2nd edition, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc. 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies including The American Scholar, Kansas Quarterly, When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple (Papier-Mache Press), Anthology of Magazine Verse and Yearbook of American Poetry, and numerous others. Most recently her work has appeared online in Innisfree and Enskyment. She has the title poem of her Poetry-Music collaboration with composer, Sharon Ruchman, Born Twice, appearing in the 2013 international poetry anthology, Aesthetica. Susan served as Book Review Editor for the international literary magazine, Bitterroot, and was a contributing author to the Silver Burdett Ginn/Scott Foresman K-8 music series, The Music Connection, and Many Seeds, Different Flowers, the Music Education Legacy of Carl Orff, edited by Andre de Quadros, CIRCME, University of Western Australia, 2000.

Susan has received broad and critical acclaim from poets and educators for her work as a poet, author, lecturer, and teacher. She has won a number of awards for her poetry and has presented readings at universities, colleges, and libraries, including the Donnell Library Center, New York Public Library. She was a poet in residence for the New York State Poets in Public Service from 1976 through 1996 and continues to teach in tandem with music specialist, Judith A. Thomas, in Artist-in-Residence programs nationally and internationally.

Sharon Ruchman – original classical music composer

Sharon Ruchman, original classical music composerSharon Ruchman, Washington resident, is a singer, composer and pianist. She began piano studies at the age of 8 with Rosetta Goodkind, a teacher at the Julliard School of Music. Sharon graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music where she was a voice major graduating in 1971. While there, she accompanied the Conservatory chorus under the direction of Lorna Cooke DeVaron and guest conductor Seiji Ozawa. During the summers, Sharon attended the Ambler Music Festival and the Blossom Music Festival, where she was chosen to sing in Robert Shaw’s chamber choir. At Yale School of Music (1971-1973), Sharon was an alto soloist with the Yale Glee Club and New Haven chorale. She was invited to participate in the opera program at the Norfolk Music Festival in Norfolk, CT. She also studied theory with Allen Forte (harmony, counterpoint, analysis of classical and atonal music) and Willie Ruff (Jazz).

After graduate school, Sharon taught music in the New Haven public schools (1973 and 1974). Seven years ago she went back to Yale to continue her composition studies with Orianna Webb. In 2009 she released her first original classic music CD featuring “Sea Glass,” which was followed by the CDs Arrival of Spring in 2010, Remembrance in 2011, and Textures in 2012. Sharon released two CDs in 2013: Love and Ceremony – Wedding Music, and A Bit of Tango and More. Sharon’s “Piece for Cello and Piano” was chosen to be played in San Francisco by NACUSA, a composer’s organization. Her piece, “Day at Play and Day’s End” was performed at the Women Composers’ Festival in Hartford. Her compositions have also aired on WMNR and WSHU, classical stations in CT, and several radio stations throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Sharon is a member of NACUSA, American Composers Forum, American Music Center and IAWM (Alliance for Women Composers). Recently, she was interviewed on CT Style, Channel 8 in New Haven. She was also featured in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Fanfare Magazine with an interview and a review of her first two CDs. Sharon’s music and bio can be found at www.sharonruchman.com.