This group of professional string players began as an ensemble in 2015 and continues to provide St. Andrew’s with high quality music in worship once a month at the 9:00am service. They play some of the most beautiful music in the string quartet repertoire spanning everything from Brahms to Barber to entertaining pops music. They also enjoy collaborations with the Saint Andrew’s Chancel Choir, Bel Canto handbell choir, and full orchestra.
Saint Andrew’s Strings are also available for weddings and other events. Contact McKenna Jordan for more information.
McKenna Jordan, violin
McKenna Jordan is fortunate enough to have found two passions in her life, literature and music, both of which she pursues professionally. While she is the owner of Murder By The Book in Houston, TX, the country’s largest crime fiction bookstore, she makes sure to make time for freelancing as a professional violinist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from University of Houston as well as a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, where she studied with Fredell Lack. She frequently performs with Theatre Under the Stars and the Houston Ballet.
Jackson Guillen, violin
Honduran violinist Jackson Guillen is currently the Director and Curriculum Developer of the El Sistema-based Coda Music Program as well as conductor of the Preparatory Orchestra of the Houston Youth Symphony. Dr. Guillen also serves as Professor of Violin and Viola at Lone Star College Tomball campus and holds a position of Principal Second Violin of the Symphony of Southeast Texas. In 2016 Jackson co-funded the Terra Nostra ensemble, a chamber music group that aims to promote the music by composers from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula and helps organize the “Encuentro Anual de Cuerdas,” a string-focused festival in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Find out more about Jackson at www.jacksonguillen.com
Rainey Weber, viola
An active and versatile performer, violist Rainey Weber is based in Houston, Texas, where she is currently the violist of the Carya String Quartet, the Terra Nostra Ensemble, and St. Andrew’s Strings. Highlights from recent seasons include performing five of Beethoven’s String Quartets as part of the 2017-2018 Beethoven For All Series with Da Camera Chamber Music and Jazz, a tour with the Calliope Quartet of Italy and Austria (July of 2017), and recording string tracks for Robert Ellis’ most recent album, Robert Ellis (2016, New West Records). Committed to chamber music and community engagement, Ms. Weber is currently a Da Camera Young Artist Fellow, serves on the board of the Houston Viola Society, and is a sectional coach and teaching artist for the Houston Youth Symphony.
Mayara Velasquez, Cello
Venezuelan cellist Mayara Velasquez completed her Bachelor of Music at Louisiana State University, and earned her Master of Music degree at the University of Houston. In 2014, Ms. Velasquez joined as faculty of the Encuentro Anual de Cuerdas in Tegucigalpa. Ms. Velasquez represented Venezuela in the Youth Orchestra of the America, Central America tour. She currently holds a teaching position at the Kinkaid School where she teaches cello to middle and high school students. She also holds a private studio where she teaches all ages from beginner to pre-collegiate levels and is a freelancer in the Houston area.