top of page

Barry L. Houser

Smith Walbridge Clinics CEO & Director

All Clinics

Barry L. Houser is Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, and Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Music at the University of Illinois.

His responsibilities include conducting a variety of concert ensembles, the overall administration of the Athletic Bands consisting of the Volleyball Band, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Bands, and serving as the director of 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.

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, NorthWood Middle School and three elementary schools in Nappanee, Indiana, where his bands developed a reputation of fine musicianship with state and national recognition. 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 world including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on eight occasions, the NBC Today Show, a variety of NFL halftime shows, Music for All 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. Other performances include the ISSMA State Marching Finals, the Indiana Music Educators Association State Convention, the Indianapolis 500 Parade, Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, Outback Bowl, Hollywood Christmas Parade, and the Washington DC National Memorial Day Parade.

Houser is in frequent demand as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and has presented clinics throughout the United States in both the marching and concert band mediums. He has served on the staff of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Mass Band, and currently serves as the Artistic Director for the Bob Rogers Travel Thanksgiving Parade of Bands as part of Walt Disney World. Houser is a contributing author for the marching band textbook The System as well as several editions of the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series. Professor Houser served on the Board of Directors for the National Band Association serving as state chair, North Central Division chair, and College/University representative. He currently serves as chair of the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Band Committee, as well as President and Head Clinician of the Smith Walbridge Clinics, one of the pioneer marching band & leadership camps in the country established in 1949.

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 is an elected member of Phi Beta Mu, the international bandmasters fraternity. Professor Houser has been recognized by the Indiana General Assembly and the US House of Representatives, is the recipient of the Indianapolis Star Academic All Star Award, the WNDU Channel 16 Excellence in Education Award, Urbana Rotary Vocational Achievement Award, Outstanding Philanthropy Award from the East Central Illinois Association of Fundraising Professionals, and was recently honored as one of Chicagoland’s Outstanding Music Educator Awards by Quinlan and Fabish.

Barry L. Houser is a Yamaha Master Educator and an educational consultant for Ultimate Drill Book!

bottom of page