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Barry L. Houser
Barry L. Houser




Barry L. Houser (Champaign, Illinois) is the Director of the Marching Illini, Associate Director of Bands, Conductor of the Wind Orchestra, Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, Clinical Associate Professor, and Chair of the Conducting Area in the School of Music at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Houser’s responsibilities have included conducting each concert ensemble in the Illinois Bands program, the Athletic Bands, and the 400-member Marching Illini. Houser also teaches undergraduate conducting and marching band procedures and other courses in the School of Music. Houser’s teaching experience encompasses both extensive public school and university experiences.  

Before Illinois, Houser served as the Associate Director of Bands, Director of Athletic Bands, and Director of Bands at Eastern Illinois University. A native of Indiana, Houser served as Director of Bands and Performing Arts Director at Northwood High School in Nappanee, Indiana, where his bands developed a reputation for excellent musicianship, earning the program state and national recognition. Before Houser’s position at NorthWood, Houser was the Assistant Director of Bands at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida.  

Bands under Houser’s leadership have performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade multiple times, the NBC Today Show, the ISSMA State Marching Finals, and the Indiana Music Educators State Convention. Other performances include the Indianapolis 500 Parade, the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Outback Bowl Parade and Halftime Show, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Washington DC National Memorial Parade, multiple Chicago Bears Halftime shows, exhibition performances at Music for All – Bands of America events (MFA) (BOA), and performances with Maynard Ferguson, the Dallas Brass, Canadian Brass, Boston Brass, Gregg Potter, Douglas Yeo and many other talented performing artists.  

Houser is active nationally as a guest conductor and clinician in both the marching and concert band mediums. Houser has served as a guest conductor and clinician for numerous All-State, District, and other honor bands and events with the MFA National Concert Band Festival. Houser is the Artistic Director for the BRT Thanksgiving Parade of Bands at Walt Disney World. Houser has served on the staff of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band and the National Events Mass Band, which performs annually at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. Houser is a contributing author to the popular marching band textbook The System by Gary Smith and has numerous submissions to the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series.  

Houser has served as Governor of the North Central District of Kappa Kappa Psi (KKP) and is currently chapter advisor for the Nu Xi Chapter of KKP and Chapter Advisor for Phi Mu Alpha (PMA). Houser has served as the North Central Division Chair for the National Band Association (NBA) and Chair of the Athletic Band Committee for the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). Houser serves on the national board of the CBDNA and is the Chair of the Athletic Bands for the Big Ten Band Directors Association. Houser is a MFA Educational Advisory Team member providing input to MFA leadership on philosophy, vision, planning, and guidance related to the organization’s educational programming. During the summer, Houser is the Director and President of the renowned Smith Walbridge Clinics, one of the largest marching band–leadership camps in the country, impacting 1000+ students each year. 

Houser holds professional memberships in the CBDNA, NBA, NAfME, Golden Key National Honor Society, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, KKP International Band Fraternity, Honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, PMA Sinfonia, and has been honored by the Indiana General Assembly and the US House of Representatives. He receives the Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star Award, the WNDU Channel 16 Excellence in Education Award, Quinlan & Fabash Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator, Illinois Leadership Center Jeffrey Moss Leadership Coach of the Year, and other recognitions.  

Professor Houser is a Yamaha Master Educator.