the Strings is an exciting collaboration between fingerstyle guitarist Mark
McCain and classical cellist Erika Johnson, infusing jazz, gospel, folk, classical,
and Celtic styles, to create a musical masterpiece."
~ A native Houstonian, Erika graduated from the High School for the Performing
and Visual Arts and received her bachelor of music degree from the Moores
School of Music at the University of Houston. As a member of the Houston Grand
Opera Orchestra, Erika maintains a busy schedule throughout the Houston area
and enjoys great success as a chamber musician and session player. She has
performed with numerous ensembles, including the Houston Ballet orchestra,
Mercury Baroque Ensemble, and extensively with the Fine Arts String Quartet.
Having earned the prestigious Schadd award at Chamber Music Monterey Bay in
April of 2000, Erika is regarded as one of the most versatile cellists in
McCain ~ Born in Oklahoma and transplanted in Houston by
age seven, Mark’s musical journey had already begun. A student of many
diverse disciplines of guitar, Mark was performing rock and pop stylings in
his first band by age 8 and classical stylings in local TV appearances by age
12. Mark’s jazz training began at the High School for the Performing and
Visual Arts in Houston and continued with artists such as the international
legend Paul Jackson, Jr. Mark’s infusion of fingerstyle, classical, Celtic
and jazz have created a truly unique sound that has helped shape this duo as
a truly unique, “not what you expected” pairing of guitar and cello.