Faculty and Staff

Mandy Kung (Director, Piano Instructor, Group Piano Class) Read Bio
Vicki Gorman (Voice Instructor, Registrar) Read Bio
Andrew Fortson (Electric and Acoustic Jazz Guitar Instructor, Music Theory) Read Bio
Joanna Reeder (Piano and Violin Instructor) Read Bio
Caroline Krause (Piano Instructor) Read Bio
Hope Cowan (Harp Instructor) Read Bio
Doris Sing (Music Readiness Instructor) Read Bio
Lori Whitfield (Music Readiness Instructor) Read Bio
Rachel Ong (Administrative Manager and Music Readiness Instructor) Read Bio

PRIVATE INSTRUCTION FACULTY
   
Mandy Kung (Director, Piano Instructor, Group Piano Class)
While completing her studies as a Masters student at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, Mandy discovered the St. Andrew's community and has come to call this family of believers her own. Mandy has served as organist, formed relationships with children and youth since 2003 and founded the St. Andrew's School of Fine Arts (SOFA) in 2006. With the help of a passionate group of advocates and supporters with a similar vision for a fine arts ministry in West University, ten years have flown by. Mandy has been impacting the lives of St. Andrew's children since 2003, but not nearly as much as she has been changed herself through her work with them. Over the past ten years, she has most enjoyed watching the kids grow into young adults and become role models themselves for younger generations. As the children’s choir director, she loves to share her passion for worship with the children weekly, and also help them discover additional artistic endeavors through all facets of SOFA. Mandy enjoys staying active as a church musician, chamber pianist and pedagogue in the greater Houston area in addition to serving as staff accompanist in the vocal department of her alma mater HSPVA.
She received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Masters of Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Houston under the instruction of Nancy Weems and Betty Shaw. Prior to starting the program at St. Andrew’s, she taught for many years at West University Methodist and the Preparatory and Continuing Studies Program at the University of Houston. Professional affiliations include membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society, the Forum Music Teachers Association, and the local chapter of the Music Teacher's National Association. When she is not working, Mandy enjoys spending time with her nieces and exploring different cultures whether it be at a coffee shop atop a mountain in Taiwan or at a bakery in Paris.
Mandy Kung
   
Vicki Gorman (Voice Instructor, Registrar)
Originally from Mansfield, Pennsylvania, Vicki received a Bachelor of Music in Voice from Ohio University and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where she studied with Helen Hodam. As a post-graduate student at the Boston Conservatory of Music, she studied opera under the direction of John Moriarty. Before joining the faculty of SOFA in 2011, Vicki was on the voice faculty of Brigham Young University - Hawaii and the Punahou Music School in Honolulu during the twenty years she lived in Hawaii. Vicki enjoys teaching students of all ages, from beginners to advanced adults. Her students are active as performers in school ensembles, musical theatre companies, choirs, professional opera companies, contemporary/pop venues, and as classical soloists. Their affiliations include the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Episcopal High School, the Houston Grand Opera Children's Chorus, Main Street Theatre, HITS!, Texas Repertory Theatre, Houston Children's Chorus, Houston Cecilia Chamber Choir, and Hawaii Opera Theatre. She is also a staff singer and director of the Choristers for Christ the King Lutheran Church, and has performed with the Bach Society Houston. Her engagements as soprano soloist include performances with the Honolulu Symphony, the California Symphony, the Hawaii Opera Theatre, Chamber Music Hawaii, and the Hawaii International Choral Festival. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors' Association, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Honor Society of Pi Kappa Lambda.
 
   
Andrew Fortson (Electric and Acoustic Jazz Guitar Instructor, Music Theory)
Originally a self-taught pianist and singer, Andrew began formal music training in trumpet and percussion performance. Although he was admitted to the UH music program as a trumpet player, the self-taught guitarist switched his focus solely to the study of guitar in 2001. He was fortunate to be accepted into the UH Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra program, and studied privately with Mike Wheeler. He has since graduated with a Bachelors of Music from the University of Houston and received guidance from numerous professional guitar players from Georgia Bluegrass Guitarist Brian Stephens, to former Louisiana based performing artist Chris Cortez, and Norwegian Guitarist Asle Roe. Through his friendship with Mike Wheeler, he forged a relationship with The Patriarch of Houston Jazz Guitarist’s, Texas great Mike Nase. His continual pursuit and application of knowledge pertaining to both the technical aspects of playing and the application of music theory to guitar have allowed Mr. Fortson to provide instruction for people at various levels of playing. He can instruct beginners in the foundations of music and playing the guitar, help those who have already taken guitar lessons improve technically and develop a better understanding of music theory and of the instrument, as well as provide more advanced players with an increased knowledge of jazz theory, chords and further the application and development of their abilities.
josh
   
Joanna Reeder (Piano and Violin Instructor)
Pianist Joanna Reeder is a graduate of Furman University where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance. Joanna currently studies at the University of Houston with Mrs. Nancy Weems, pursuing a degree a Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. A native of North Carolina, Joanna began her musical studies at the age of five. She was the recipient of numerous local and regional music awards and performed as a piano soloist with the Charlotte Symphony Junior Youth Orchestra and the Union Symphony Orchestra of Wingate, North Carolina. As an undergraduate, she enjoyed serving her community as a resident advisor, serving and leading in her local chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, working with children in summer camps, and teaching music lessons to children and young adults. Also an avid violinist, she was an active member of orchestras for over 10 years. Joanna enjoys using her musical gifts to serve in her local church and community as well as collaborating with other musicians and regularly performs with her sisters in a flute, harp, and violin ensemble. Her other hobbies include baking, cooking, reading, and enjoying local coffee shops. She could not be more thrilled to join the SOFA family in their pursuit to use music to connect with students and help them discover the joy of music.
trenton
   
Caroline Krause (Piano Instructor)
Caroline Krause, originally from Minnesota, is excited to contribute to the musical community at SOFA. She seeks to inspire students to play the piano for the glory of God, enjoy music, and bless others with their skills. Ms. Krause takes a holistic approach to teaching, caring about the general well-being of students in addition to their musical abilities. She believes that one can express emotions, order, and creativity through music, making it the ideal activity for children and adults. She promotes a healthy physical approach to playing the piano and strives to create a unique learning experience for each student. She also emphasizes solid rhythmic and note-reading skills, memorization, thoughtful fingering, historical knowledge, and finding the characters and emotions of each piece. Ms. Krause received her B.M. in piano performance from the University of Iowa and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Houston with Nancy Weems. Previously she taught piano at Willowwind School, a Montessori school in Iowa City. And active performer as well as teacher, she shared second prize in the 2015 Liszt-Garrison Festival and International Piano Competition, as well as receiving the Best Interpretation Award for a piece by an American composer. Ms. Krause won the 2015 Fort Dodge Young Artists Competition and The University of Iowa Concerto and Aria Competition, performing with their respective symphonies. When not teaching or participating in musical events, Ms. Krause loves spending time outdoors, being involved in her church, and baking.
   
Hope Cowan (Harp Instructor)
A native of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Hope Cowan is a harpist living and working in Houston, Texas. She recently earned a Master of Music degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where she studied with Houston Symphony Principal Harpist Paula Page. She also received her Bachelor of Music, Summa cum Laude, from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. Ms. Cowan has served as principal harpist for the Moores School Symphony, Chamber, Ballet, and Opera Orchestras, the AURA contemporary ensemble, the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra, and the El Paso Symphony. Additionally, she has performed with the Baton Rouge Symphony in Louisiana, Chautauqua Symphony in New York, and Victoria Symphony in Texas. She has participated in a number of prestigious music festivals including the Chautauqua Festival Institute, the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, Roundtop Festival Institute, and the Texas Music Festival. As a teacher, Ms. Cowan has been on the faculty for the Houston Summer Harp Festival. An active and versatile freelance performer, Ms. Cowan plays for weddings, events, church services, and chamber music concerts and teaches harp lessons in the greater Houston area. She enjoys working with SOFA to create a friendly environment to learn music.
   
MUSIC READINESS FACULTY
   
Doris Sing, Music Readiness Instructor
Doris is a native Houstonian who has been a member of St Andrew’s for 38 years. She is a member of the choir, a frequent soloist, and you might recognize her as one of the Sunday School teachers, teaching Godly Play. She has 2 grown daughters and 6 grandchildren, who have all taken her music classes. Besides teaching music, she enjoys gardening, walking, running, and being with her grandchildren. Doris has bachelor degrees in both Special Education and Music, and a Masters of Music in Music Literature. She also has extensive training in Early Childhood Music and has taught Kindermusik, Music Together, and the MusikGarten® curriculum for the past 23 years. She co-founded Arts a la Carte with Judy Meier Farley in 1993 to 2003, and taught music from prenatal to age 8, and supervised art and drama classes for young children. Doris is a licensed MusikGarten® teacher and a certified Level 2 teacher with the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association. She loves teaching at SOFA because it gives her a chance to combine her love of music and children with her love of serving God through St Andrew’s ministries.

Doris Sing
   
Lori Whitfield, Music Readiness Instructor
Lori Whitfield loves teaching children, and is the mother of two wonderful little girls. She is a certified MusikGarten® teacher, specializing in teaching young children the art of music! Starting this fall, Lori will teach Music at St. Andrew's Day School along with SOFA. You may also recognize Lori as the worship leader at St. Andrew's 11:15 service. As a studied professional vocalist, she has taken stage at many Houston and NYC theaters, including NYC’s Lincoln Center. Opera, Musical Theater, Bluegrass, Pop, Country, Contemporary Christian, you name it - she can do it. To Lori the best part of being a musician, is teaching the next generation, and worshiping God with her instrument.

Lori Whitfield
   
Rachel Ong, Administrative Manager and Music Readiness Instructor
Rachel Ong is thrilled to join St. Andrew’s SOFA as the Administrative Manager and Music Readiness Instructor. As a trained elementary school teacher and organist from Singapore, she has not only taught the elementary curriculum, but also music, drama and art. Her other artistic achievements include worship leading, demonstrating a drama lesson for the Prime Minister of Singapore, president of her college choir, taking her college choir overseas for competitions, and performing for the President of Singapore. Rachel also has a Masters in Education in Curriculum Instruction from the University of Houston, and is a licenced and certified MusikGarten® instructor. Her diverse students range from Pre-K to trainee teachers and adult learners. She loves children and enjoys facilitating the learning process between students and teachers. So it brings her great joy to be a part of the team that helps students in SOFA develop their musical talents with the help of their teachers.

Rachel Ong
SUMMER STAFF

Vasti Cantú Adkins is the Music Teacher and Choir Director at Harvard Elementary School in HISD. She is a graduate of the prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in Houston, and received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Houston Baptist University. Vasti has taught piano, group piano, general music, and voice at music schools in Houston including St. Andrew’s SOFA and Wunder Academy. At church, Vasti enjoys leading worship through song and playing keyboard in the praise band. She loves introducing the keyboard to young kids and adults alike.

Diane Arrington studied art at Louisiana Tech University where she was recruited to major in art education.  Her love of working in all mediums with children defines her life’s passion. The early experience of teaching K-12 in a rural farming community proved to be the best training ground.  Working with all schematic levels and mediums provided Diane with a myriad of experiences that honed the skill of recognizing a child’s inner artistic voice and identifying the medium (instrument) in which they could “sing” their best, building self-esteem with each masterpiece. Diane’s 40 year career has included teaching art in public and private schools as well as volunteer teaching at the “Children’s Art Project” of M.D.Anderson, Houston. Currently she teaches 6-12 and AP Studio Art at St. Thomas’ Episcopal School.

Judy Farley has been teaching early childhood music for almost 40 years – eleven of those years with Doris Sing. She has been trained and licensed by three nationally recognized early childhood music programs—Kindermusik International®, MusikGarten®, and Music Together®. Currently, she is the music specialist at the Methodist Day School (First United Methodist Church, Missouri City) and a private vocal coach for Ft. Bend ISD. Judy is married and has one grown son who was her very first music student! Children are great teachers, just watch them! They remind us how important it is to allow ourselves to learn through play.

Lucy Riggs wholeheartedly agrees with artist Pablo Picasso’s pronouncement “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”. After a career in architectural illustration that spanned almost 30 years, Lucy is enjoying a new career as an art teacher. She teaches art to pre-schoolers at Esperanza School as well as children of all ages at Art Studio on the Boulevard, and also teaches occasional adult art classes at Art Supply on main. In all of her classes, Lucy views herself as an enthusiastic guide into the wonderful, sometimes messy world of visual creativity. She has been a member of St. Andrew’s since 2005.

School of Fine Arts Board of Directors
Lynette McGlamery
Larry Gelbaugh
Sara Brinkmann
Doris Sing
Karen Taylor

School of Fine Arts Advisory Board
Martha Bergin
Paul Elgin
Carole Nelson
Richard Robbins
Betty Shaw
Jim Smith
Nancy Weems

 

 

(c) 2007, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
5308 Buffalo Speedway
Houston, TX 77005

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