Barry L. Houser is the Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His responsibilities include conducting the Hindsley Symphonic Band, the Athletic Bands consisting of the Volleyball Band, Men’s and Women’s Basketball Bands, and the 375-member Marching Illini. He teaches undergraduate courses in instrumental conducting, marching band procedures and other courses within the School of Music. Professor Houser’s teaching experience encompasses both extensive public school and university experiences.
Previously, Houser served as Acting Director of Bands, Associate Director of Bands, and Director of Athletic Bands at Eastern Illinois University. A native of Indiana, he was Director of Bands and Performing Arts Director at NorthWood High School in Nappanee, Indiana, where his bands developed a reputation of fine musicianship with state and national recognition. His bands earned the ISSMA “All-Music Award” multiple years for distinguished performance in marching, jazz, solo & ensemble, and concert band. His bands earned consistent Gold Ratings including With Distinction designations. Prior to NorthWood, Houser served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida.
Bands under Houser’s direction have performed throughout the country at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on eight occasions, the NBC Today Show, the ISSMA State Marching Finals, and the IMEA State Conference. Other notable performances include the Indianapolis 500, Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, Outback Bowl, Hollywood Christmas Parade, Washington DC National Memorial Day Parade, a variety of NFL halftime shows for the Chicago Bears, Music for All Regional and Super Regional events, two tours of Ireland and the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and performances with Maynard Ferguson, the Dallas Brass, Gregg Potter of the Buddy Rich Band, the Canadian Brass, and Douglas Yeo of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Houser is in frequent demand as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and has presented clinics throughout the United States and Canada in both the marching and concert band mediums. He has directed the Macy’s Great American Marching Band as well as the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Mass Band. Houser is a contributing author for the marching band textbook The System as well as severaln editions of the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series. Professor Houser serves on the Board of Directors for the National Band Association, the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Band Committee, as well as President and Director of the Smith Walbridge Clinics, the first and largest marching band, leadership camp in the country.
Houser holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, National Band Association, NAfME, Golden Key National Honor Society, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi International Band Fraternity, Honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and has been honored by the Indiana General Assembly and the US House of Representatives. He is the recipient of the Indianapolis Star Academic All Star Award, the WNDU Channel 16 Excellence in Education Award and is a member of Phi Beta Mu, the international bandmasters fraternity.