Organist/Choirmaster - Mark C. Johnson
Mark is steeped in the tradition of Anglican liturgy and music. He served as the Director of Music for Grace Church, Providence, Rhode Island for 24 years. While there he formed a Cherub Choir, organized a Summer Choir to sing at Sunday services when the regular choir was on vacation, merged the girls’ choir (which he originally had started) with the traditional boys’ choir, and instituted Compline, Evensong and Carol services to broaden the liturgical offerings. During his time at Grace he also organized and ran two annual concert series and numerous individual concerts with ensembles such as the RI Philharmonic, Brown University Singers, and the Moscow State Ballet, among many others.
During his tenure at Grace, Mark also served the Cathedral of St. John in Providence, in a part-time capacity, primarily developing their multicultural musical program in response to the needs and wishes of the Cathedral’s West-African and African-American parishioners. His work included incorporating Taize chant, gospel music and African drumming along with plainsong and hymnody in the context of an Anglican service, and establishing the Cathedral’s first Gospel Choir, as well as its first Children’s Choir.
Mark took a year’s leave from Grace in 2000-2001, in order to pursue his career-long interest and involvement in musical education as the Musical Director for the Bramdean School, in Exeter, Devon, England, a private coeducational day school, where he trained a boys’ and girls’ choir, developed a program for class singing and keyboard and music theory instruction. He had previously served as the singing instructor at St. George’s School, Middletown, RI. Most recently, Mark served as the Music Director of St. Saviour’s Church, Bar Harbour, ME.
Mark grew up in New York City until the age of 13 when he moved to Andover, MA and attended Phillips Academy. Mark is married to Jennifer, a practicing nurse with a specialty in pediatrics. When not on the “bench” or directing a choir, Mark enjoys walking, and he and Jennifer enjoy traveling, especially in England.
Mark, Jennifer and Taz, their Jack Russell- Pug mix, will take up residence in the Cottage on February 23. Mark’s first service at St. John’s - on the “bench” as organist and as director of the Choir -- will be the Ash Wednesday liturgies on March 1.
Church School Director
Jennifer Heath-Robinson ("JJ") is Director of St. John's Church School. Raised in a devout Roman Catholic family, JJ is fully conversant with the Anglican theological and liturgical tradition.
JJ has an MA in Education from Fairfield University and has been teaching Special Education for 16 years. JJ designs and coordinates the special educational program for all students at Wellspring, a psychotherapeutic and educational center in Bethlehem,CT. She specializes in children with attentional and executive functioning deficits, learning differences and emotional disorders.
She also serves as an Educational Consultant and is working toward a Doctorate in Educational Psychology.
Assistant in Finance
Sarah Eyre joined St. John's as the Parish Bookkeeper in March 2011. Sarah graduated cum laude from New York College of Ceramics, School of Art and Design at Alfred University with a BFA in new media (painting, printmaking and video). Sarah divides her time between St. John's and Joyful Noise, Inc, where she is the office manager/graphic designer. Sarah pursues her artwork in her free time. Her art has been exhibited at The Dorsky Museum, Cornell University, The Aldrich Museum, Northwest Connecticut Community College, The Warner Theater, Apex Art, The Invisible Dog Gallery, and Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. She is an active member, and co-founder, of the "Ladies' Auxiliary" artist collective. Sarah lives in Barkhamsted with her husband, Michael, and twin daughters, Cecily and Lynda.