Our People

Dennis Houghton seeks to combine the best qualities of traditional brass craftsmanship with the advantages of new technology. His technical background in brass instrument customization and restoration includes thousands of repairs over the past 30 years. Dennis’ outstanding service and reputation have yielded clients from across the United States and abroad. Dennis is a co-owner of Houghton Horns and serves as the head craftsman.
Mark Houghton currently plays 3rd horn with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he held posts as principal horn of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell wrote of Houghton: “He had a tone of burnished elegance and amazing expressive range, and he delivered some protracted decrescendos that took the breath away.” Mark is a co-owner of Houghton Horns and is highly involved in artistic ambassadorship and strategic planning.
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 a co-owner and Director of Operations at Houghton Horns.
Karen Houghton has been a private horn instructor for 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 positions around the country. Karen enjoys teaching all levels and loves to see each student excel and reach their potential on the horn. She and her husband, Dennis, both studied with Fred Fox, James Decker, Michael Hoeltzel 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 second horn in the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, in addition to free-lancing in the DFW area. Karen is a co-owner of Houghton Horns.
Victoria Matthews is a horn player and educator from Fort Worth, Texas. After falling in love with the horn in high school, she decided to pursue a career in orchestral music and has since performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, and the Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Victoria is the Sales and Inventory Specialist of Houghton Horns.
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.
Christian Paarup enjoys a varied schedule of performing as a trombonist, composing, arranging, digitally engraving sheet music, and teaching. He has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Waco Symphony, and a number of music festivals including the Round Top Festival Institute, New York String Orchestra Seminar, and Eastern Music Festival. Mr. Paarup holds degrees from Baylor University (BM), where he graduated magna cum laude, and the Manhattan School of Music (MM). Christian is the Trombone Specialist for Houghton Horns.
Benjamin Allen has fourteen years of brass instrument repair experience. Trained and mentored by Dennis Houghton, Benjamin has worked with several instrument repair shops, including the largest musical instrument repair facility in the United States, located in Frederick, Maryland. Benjamin specializes in repairing all brass instruments, and is an expert at magnetic dent removal. On occasion, he also performs minor woodwind adjustments on saxophones, clarinets, and flutes. Mr. Allen lives with his wife in Bedford, Texas and enjoys writing science fiction/fantasy novels in his spare time.
Kyle Sherman is the principal trumpet player of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and serves as the Trumpet Specialist for Houghton Horns.
Kathryn Houghton is an oboist who was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Her parents are musicians and music store owners. Kathryn started on violin, and began studying oboe at age twelve. After attending the Interlochen Arts Academy for her senior year of high school, she completed her bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music as a student of Richard Killmer. She then went on to earn an artist diploma and a master’s degree at Southern Methodist University, where she studied with Erin Hannigan. While at SMU, Kathryn maintained a private oboe studio of 25-30 students in the Dallas area. Kathryn has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony, Spoleto USA, Dallas Wind Symphony (Dallas Winds), the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, and many others. Kathryn has been in charge of accounting, payroll, and finance at Houghton Horns since 2007.