Andrew Bjarnson is new here and hasn’t given us his bio yet. You should probably give him grief about that until he does.
Mark Houghton has been a member of the internationally acclaimed, Grammy Award winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2014. Previously, he held principal horn posts in the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Mark is a past prizewinner of national solo horn competitions, and has appeared as a guest artist or soloist with many notable orchestras and music festivals. Mr. Houghton earned a Bachelor’s degree with a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music as a student of W. Peter Kurau. Further training included professional studies with William VerMeulen. A passionate educator, Mark has presented numerous clinics and masterclasses across the nation, and currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Horn at Duquesne University. As an owner of Houghton Horns, Mark is primarily involved in artistic ambassadorship, product research and development, social media, events, and strategic planning.
Dr. Sally Podrebarac serves as Adjunct Music Professor at Tarrant County College Northwest Campus in Fort Worth, Texas. Previously, she served as Instructor at Texas Tech University and Instructor of the Non-Major Horn Studio at Northwestern University. Dr. Podrebarac held the 4th horn position in the San Juan Symphony from 2017-2018 and the 2nd horn position in the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra from 2014-2015. She has enjoyed appearances with the Santa Fe Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Amarillo Symphony, and many others. An accomplished soloist, she won first place in the International Women’s Brass Conference Solo Competition in 2010 and competed as a finalist in the International Horn Society’s Premier Soloist Competition in 2011. Dr. Podrebarac maintains a private studio of students in the DFW area and enjoys teaching students of all ages.
Christopher Reddick is known as “The Valve Whisperer”. A skilled craftsman, Christopher specializes in the maintenance and restoration of rotary valves. He also does bell conversions, refits bearings, removes dents, cleans horns and makes people laugh on a regular basis. Christopher’s years of experience in the shop and his love of the horn make him a valuable member of the Houghton Horns team.
Katie Rios was born and raised in Texas and started music lessons at the age of four. She grew up in a family of musicians; all of her family members play piano, a wind instrument, and sing! After placing 21st and then 11th in the state of Texas on French Horn, Katie won several music scholarships and began attending the University of Texas in 2010 where she met her husband, Carlos. After graduating with a degree in orchestral performance, she toured around the world and performed in eight different countries with the University of Texas Wind Ensemble. Katie then taught for two years in Hays-, Manor-, and Austin-ISD at nine different public schools. In addition to being a repair technician at Houghton Horns, she currently is a free-lance performer and music teacher around the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Derek J. Wright currently plays 4th horn in the Amarillo Symphony. He has also performed with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and multiple other organizations. As a solo musician, Derek has performed at many symposiums and workshops. In 2015 he was a semi-finalist in the professional division at the International Horn Competition of America. Derek has studied with William VerMeulen, John Ericson, Herbert Winslow, and Kazimierz Machala. He holds degrees from Arizona State University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Illinois. Derek is an owner of Houghton Horns and also serves as Director of Operations.
Kacie Wright earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and history from the University of Texas at Arlington. Before coming to work at Houghton Horns as photographer and webmaster, she worked in public schools for over a decade, first teaching English to students in Japan, then teaching Japanese to students in the U.S. Her passions include podcasts, cooking, and the Oxford comma.
Chief is Houghton Horns’ VP of Napping and Executive Manager of Treats. His responsibilities include greeting each customer who comes through the door and finding the most inconvenient location possible to fall asleep.