top of page

Karen Crinion


Karen has been playing the cello for over 50 years and has taught both cello and piano in the Chicagoland area, Iowa, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. She received her degree in applied performance from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and was a Graduate Assistant in Chamber Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL where she did her Master’s work and became certified in the Suzuki Method of String Pedagogy. Karen also spent her summers studying at The American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and at Ivan Galamian’s Meadowmount School of Music in upstate New York, where she was a summer-classmate of Yo Yo Ma! Karen has recorded back-up cello for Emmylou Harris, and has performed onstage with many artists, including B.J. Thomas, Christopher Cross, Jamie Farr, Ray Price and KANSAS.

Sina Thompson


Sina is a native Houstonian and the first violinist for HeartStrings. As a public and private school educator for 37 years, Sina is a Texas Master Teacher in mathematics and technology. She recently retired from The Awty International School in Houston as the Director of Institutional Technology and as the Orchestra Director.

A member of TPSMEA and TMEA, she was also the Concertmaster and President of the Board of Directors of the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra for 18 years.  

Sina has also been a member of the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra in Indiana and taught violin and viola privately in Indiana and Oklahoma before moving back to Texas.

Since returning to Texas she has been honored to perform onstage with Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys, B.J. Thomas, Christopher Cross, and KANSAS. 

Grace Granata
Ms. Granata received her high school diploma from Interlochen Arts Academy and a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Indiana University.   In Cleveland, Ohio she performed the Mozart Concertant with the Cleveland Institute Chamber Orchestra.  Her freelance career includes performances with Rod Stewart, Steve and Eydie Gorme, Manheim Steamroller, Ray Charles, Barry White, Moody Blues and Barry Manilow.  Ms. Granata completed Suzuki Teacher Training at Evansville University.   Ms. Granata has held teaching positions at the University of South Dakota and Wintergreen Music Festival.  There she coached chamber music and taught violin and viola. She was a Suzuki teacher for 10 years. Ms. Granata has had a private violin and viola studio for over 30 years.

Page Title

Gwent Markley


Gwent, violinist with HeartStrings, originally from Chicago, received her degree with a double major in both Fine Arts and Applied Performance at St. Ambrose University in Iowa.

She played with Kansas City Civic Orchestra and the Hallmark Crown Singers, and moonlighted with  KC jazz trio.

Gwent has taught violin and piano privately in Iowa and Kansas City.

Since moving to Texas she has played with the Brazosport Symphony, and enjoys playing chamber music.

Gwent’s second love is art, as she is an accomplished Creative/Product Development Director within the gifts & decorative home goods industry.

Becky Walker


Becky is not technically a native Texan, but considers herself one. Raised in Houston, she has played the violin since junior high school. She had a brief break from playing while attending the University of Houston achieving her BFA in Art. After college, she rekindled her love of the violin and joined the Fort Bend Symphony orchestra in 1992. She has been a member ever since. With FBSO, she has performed onstage with Ray Price, BJ Thomas, Christopher Cross and Kansas. In addition to Heart Strings, she also plays in a String Ensemble group called String Theory. After retiring from Fort Bend ISD as their Graphics Communication Coordinator, she works as a freelance Graphic Artist. She lives in Sugar Land with her husband Kevin and has 2 grown children Amanda and Grant. All native Texans.

bottom of page