Director of the Marching Illini & Associate Director of Bands

Professor Barry L. Houser is the Chair of the Conducting Area, Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, and Clinical Associate Professor of Music where his responsibilities include conducting a number of concert ensembles in the Illinois Bands program, the Athletic Bands, and the 400 member Marching Illini in addition to teaching conducting courses. Professor Houser’s teaching experience encompasses both extensive public school and university experiences.

A native of Indiana, Professor Houser served as Director of Bands and Performing Arts Director at NorthWood High School in Nappanee, Indiana, where his bands developed a reputation for great musicianship which in turn earned the program state and national recognition. Prior to his position at NorthWood, Houser served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida. Bands under Houser have performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 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, Chicago Bears Halftime shows, and performances with Maynard Ferguson, the Dallas Brass, Canadian Brass, Boston Brass, Gregg Potter, Douglas Yeo and many other talented artists.

Houser holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, 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, as well as being listed in various “Who’s Who” publications throughout his career.

Professor Houser is active nationally as a guest conductor and clinician in both the marching and concert mediums.  He has served on the staff of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band and the National Events Mass Band, which performs annually at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a contributing author to the popular marching band textbook The System by Gary Smith as well as 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 and currently serves as chapter advisor for the Nu Xi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi on our campus as well as Chapter Advisor for the Phi Mu Alpha Chapter. He has served as the North Central Division Chair for the National Band Association and is currently serving on the Athletic Band Board for the College Band Directors National Association as well as the Chair of the Athletic Bands for the Big Ten Band Directors Association. During the summer, Professor Houser is the Director and President of the renowned Smith Walbridge Clinics, one of the largest marching band | leadership camps in the country with locations in Illinois and Florida, attracting over 1000 students each year.

Professor Houser is an educational consultant for Ultimate Drill Book and is recognized as a Yamaha Master Educator.