Justin Langham – Brass

Justin has a Masters degree in trumpet performance from the University of Houston where he has also served as staff arranger for the Spirit of Houston Marching Band.  He has a double degree in Trumpet performance and Composition from the University of Alabama.  Justin arranges for college and high school bands across the country including Lamar University, the University of Alabama, Marshall University and high schools in Texas and Alabama.

As a composer, Justin has written and conducted various works for numerous instruments, from full orchestras to small ensembles. As a performer, Justin is a member of the Houston Civic Symphony and often performs with Houston Ballet Orchestra.

Justin teaches all brass instruments at our Music and Arts Center.


Lauri Cragg – Art

Lauri Cragg is a Houston-based artist specializing in water-based media. She has her B.A. in Studio Art and Psychology from Southwestern University and holds a Masters in Occupational Therapy.  Lauri currently attends the Glassell School of Art through the MFAH. She teaches art classes for all ages in her studio in West Houston.


Cindy Friedman – Flute

Flutist Cindy Friedman, a native of Wisconsin, moved to Houston, Texas in the Fall of 2010 where she was able to combine her two passions, teaching and performing.  Ms. Friedman currently teaches in many Houston area schools including The Kinkaid School, Memorial High School, and Klein Oak High School, as well as runs her own private flute studio. In addition to teaching young aspiring flutists, Ms. Friedman has given many solo and chamber music recitals as well as performed with groups such as the American Festival for the Arts, Divisi Strings, Texas Music Festival, Houston Symphonic Band, and serves as Secretary of the Houston Flute Club.  Her most recent accomplishments include joining the Cypress Symphony as Principal Flutist and serving as Adjunct Professor of Flute at Lone Star College-Tomball.

Before settling in Houston, Ms. Friedman received her Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Minnesota studying with Immanuel Davis and then went on to complete her Master’s Degree in Flute Performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, City University of New York where she was a student of Keith Underwood.  During her residency in New York City, Ms. Friedman gave two world premieres of chamber pieces, one of which was written for her own chamber group, won the 2009 Aaron Copland School of Music Concerto Competition, gave her debut performance with the New York Composer’s Circle, and began her own private flute studio.  Other influential teachers include Aralee Dorough, Judy Mendenhall, Linda Nielsen-Korducki, as well as Renee Krimsier and Marianne Gedigian whom Ms. Friedman studied with at the Brevard Music Center Summer Festival in 2009.


Drew Essen – Guitar

Drew has been teaching guitar for the past 4 years to all ages and skill levels and is passionate about showing others how learning music can enrich their lives extensively. Drew is a student at the University of Houston studying Organizational Leadership and Supervision with a focus on organizational growth. He has played with numerous bands over the past couple years and loves creating music with others.

Drew also serves on Memorial Drive United Methodist Church’s staff as the Director of Worship and Community Life for the Journey Contemporary Worship. You can catch him leading worship every Sunday at the Well at 9:30 and 11 AM.


Kim Nash – Voice

Mrs. Nash begins lessons with an assessment of each student’s vocal range and musical abilities.  She works with students to improve sign reading abilities, further understanding of music theory, and learn more about music repertoire. Kim works to inspire her students to sing many genres of music. As a fan of Musical Theater Kim has performed roles in Tosca, The Fantastics, Gallantry, Man of La Mancha, My Fair Lady. She has studied voice at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, and the University of Texas in Austin.  Her Ensemble work includes Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, the University of  Texas Chamber Singers, Houston Chamber Singers, MDUMC Chancel Choir, and MDUMC Praise and Worship Band.  Mrs. Nash has been teaching students and adults since 2005.


Rick Valentine – Piano

Rick is a professional piano instructor with over 30 years of experience teaching all ages (4-90) private and group lessons.  Mr. Valentine is very detail oriented and organized creating lesson plans in advanced and set goals for his students.  He also works to create performance opportunities for students through local music teacher association events, National Federation Festivals,  and state events through the Texas Music Association.  Mr. Valentine is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the U.S.  Rick serves as the President of the Texas Music Teachers Association.


John Sauri – Guitar

John has been playing guitar since the 1970s and is well versed in acoustic guitar styles used in American Folk, Rock & Roll, Country Blues, and Roots music. John performs regularly at local coffee houses and restaurants and has played from time to time in local rock bands, folk ensembles and roots music bands.

John teaches basic and intermediate guitar skills and helps students develop repertoire and skill sets specific to the styles of music that interest them. He enjoys teaching students of all ages, musical interest and skill level. In addition to guitar, John also plays banjo and bouzouki and has sung in several church choirs. He is currently an active member of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church.

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