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Zach Collins is Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 2019, he released his first solo album, Chronicle. His interpretation of William Kraft’s Encounters II for Solo Tuba was released on Cambria Master Recordings. Zach is a member of Eastern Standard, a horn, tuba, piano trio that focuses on commissioning and recording new works for this unique ensemble. Zach is principal tuba with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and has performed with ensembles such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Festival Orchestra of the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Riverside County Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Texas Chamber Orchestra, and the Texas Wind Symphony and has performed on several motion pictures, including Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, X-Men 3, Bobby, Next, Rocky Balboa, and Live Free or Die Hard. He has also performed with the band Korn on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Zach holds degrees from Texas Christian University and the University of Southern California. Zach is a Miraphone performing artist and performs on the Miraphone Elektra F Tuba.
Brian Hecht, a native of Dallas, Texas, was recently awarded the newly-created position of Utility Trombone with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He will be coming to Dallas from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where he served as Bass Trombone since September 2013. Prior to joining the Atlanta Symphony, Mr. Hecht held the bass trombone position with the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC. He has performed with other major ensembles throughout his career including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra (under the baton of Simon Rattle), San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Baltimore, and the Kennedy Center Ballet. Brian received his Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with Michael Mulcahy, Charles Vernon, and Peter Ellefson. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Dr. Nathaniel Brickens. Other influential teachers include Randall Hawes, Jon Bohls, Charles Villarrubia.
Karen Houghton has been a private horn instructor for over forty years and has taught in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the past thirty years. During this time, she has had over one hundred high school students place in the prestigious Texas Music Educators Association All-State Bands/Orchestras. Several of her former students now hold professional teaching and playing positions across the country. Karen enjoys teaching all levels and loves to see each student excel and reach their potential on the horn. She studied horn with Fred Fox at California State University, Long Beach, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in music performance. Other notable teachers were James Decker, Michael Hoeltzel (HFM Detmold) and William Scharnberg. Karen has held the positions of second horn in the Long Beach Symphony, Co-Principal horn in the Orquesta Sinfonica del Valle (Cali, Colombia) and is currently 2nd horn in the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, in addition to freelancing in the DFW area. Karen is an owner of Houghton Horns.
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.
Christian Paarup is a trombonist, teacher, composer, arranger, digital sheet music engraver, and trombone sales specialist. He has performed with many ensembles in Texas, including the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera, San Antonio Symphony, and Dallas Winds, and is a founding member of the Fort Worth Brass. Mr. Paarup is Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at Dallas College, a private instructor for Aledo and Burleson school districts, Founder and Director of the Trombone Choir of North Texas, and a frequent adjudicator at UIL auditions and competitions. His works have been performed at the International Trombone Festival and American Trombone Workshop, among others. Through Paarup Music Editions, Christian has helped create method books, arrangements, and instructional materials for esteemed artists and educators such as Dr. Per Brevig, Joseph Alessi, Dennis Bubert, Anthony Barfield, and Karen Houghton. Mr. Paarup holds degrees from Baylor University (BM – magna cum laude), and the Manhattan School of Music (MM). His teachers include David Finlayson, Brent Phillips, and Dennis Bubert. As the Trombone Specialist for Houghton Horns, Mr. Paarup helps guide customers, creates social media content, and represents the business at workshops and trade shows.
John Romero is Principal Trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and an S.E. Shires Performing Artist. He previously held the same position in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra from 2016 to 2018. He grew up in the famous Texas band system, winning competitions at the State level, including 1st chair in the Texas UIL All-State band and Outstanding Performer at UIL Solo and Ensemble Competition. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from Baylor University, and his Master’s degree from Rice University. In addition to his performing duties, Mr. Romero is in high demand as a private lesson instructor and master class clinician, teaching at Rutgers University, Bard Conservatory, and the Mannes School of Music, and has given master classes at places such as the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, and many others.
Kyle Sherman joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as Principal Trumpet in 2016. Originally from La Grange, Texas, Mr. Sherman is an alumnus of the Yale School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Round Top Festival. Kyle has appeared with the Dallas Symphony, and as a soloist with the Garland, Arlington, and Las Colinas symphony orchestras. An active and dedicated educator, he regularly appears as a clinician and recitalist at universities throughout Texas and the United States. His current and former students can be found in the Dallas and Fort Worth Youth Symphonies, as well as college music schools throughout the country. Kyle Sherman is a Yamaha performing artist.
Dr. Derek J. Wright is a French hornist, recording artist, web designer, and recording engineer. He is a member of the Amarillo Symphony and he has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the New World Symphony, and countless other critically acclaimed ensembles. As an avid solo artist, Derek has performed as a guest artist at multiple symposiums and education institutions. He has also released multiple solo recordings on the Houghton Horns YouTube channel. His music studies include work with William VerMeulen, John Ericson, Herbert Winslow, and Kazimierz Machala. As an audio engineer with over 15 years of experience, Derek offers on-site recording, editing, and mixing services. He is also a web designer with specialties in WordPress and eCommerce. He runs Wright Family Web Design with his wife Kacie. In addition, Derek is a co-owner of Houghton Horns, one of the largest brass-specialty music shops in the country. He has helped to design and market multiple horns and mouthpieces for the company under the Houghton and Verus brands. He has also spoken as a guest at multiple colleges and universities on the subjects of instrument design and acoustics.