Who are we?

Who are we?

The mission of Houghton Horns is to spread the joy of music through providing the highest level of products, services, and resources to the brass playing community.

Founded in 1985 by Dennis and Karen Houghton in Texas, Dennis' Horn Shop started as a humble venture, specializing in horn repair and instruction. It swiftly built a reputation for delivering exceptional service, primarily catering to local students and schools with their cleaning and repair needs.

In 2006, the business evolved into Houghton Horns LLC, embarking on a new chapter with a shift towards retail. This pivotal moment included welcoming Dennis and Karen’s son, Mark Houghton, as a founding owner, significantly enriching the family business. The company expanded its offerings to include a wide array of high-quality horns, thanks to partnerships with esteemed manufacturers. In 2016, the addition of Derek J. Wright and his wife, Kacie Wright, to the ownership team injected fresh expertise in technology and marketing, greatly enhancing the company's operations.

The year 2016 was a landmark for Houghton Horns as they moved into a 2000 square foot facility at 121 Lorine Street, Keller, Texas. This expansion allowed for a larger retail space, enabling the display of an extensive selection of horns and accessories. This development not only maintained their foundation in repair and instruction but also extended their retail capabilities, offering a richer sales experience for their patrons.

Continuing to advance, in 2023 Houghton Horns took a significant step by acquiring a 6000 square foot building at 137 E Hill Street, Keller, Texas. Set to open in the summer of 2024, this new establishment is poised to further elevate their service and operational efficiency. This expansion reflects the company’s steadfast dedication to excellence and its strategy to deepen its impact in the music industry, responding adeptly to the expanding needs of their varied customer base.

Meet the Retail Team

Josh Davis

Katie Evans

Katie Evans is a freelance musician and instructor from Mansfield, TX. She attended University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor's in Music from Texas Christian University. She has performed with the Disneyland All-American College Band, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Texas Baroque Ensemble, Dynamic Rhythm and many other ensembles throughout the metroplex. When not teaching or playing, Katie spends her free time hosting trivia, making earrings, and cuddling with her dogs Daisy and Sam.

Karen Houghton

Karen Houghton has over forty years of experience as a horn instructor in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, coaching over a hundred students to placements in Texas All-State Bands/Orchestras. She holds a bachelor's in music performance from California State University, Long Beach, and has played in notable orchestras such as the Long Beach Symphony and Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra. Karen is an owner of Houghton Horns.

Kathryn Houghton

Kathryn Houghton, an oboist from Memphis, Tennessee, began her musical journey on violin before switching to oboe at age twelve. After studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy and earning her bachelor's from the Eastman School of Music under Richard Killmer, she completed further studies at Southern Methodist University with Erin Hannigan. Kathryn has played with several orchestras including the Fort Worth Symphony and Charleston Symphony. She also managed a private oboe studio in Dallas and has overseen payroll and school bids at Houghton Horns since 2007.

Mark Houghton

Mark Houghton, a hornist with the Grammy Award-winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2014, has previously held principal positions with the Harrisburg, Phoenix, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. A winner of national solo competitions, he has performed with various esteemed orchestras and festivals. Houghton earned his Bachelor's degree and Performer's Certificate at the Eastman School of Music, studying under W. Peter Kurau and William VerMeulen. An active educator, he teaches at Duquesne University and runs masterclasses nationwide. Additionally, as an owner of Houghton Horns, he focuses on artistic ambassadorship, product development, and strategic planning.

Emily Houston

Emily Houston is a freelance musician in the DFW area, often performing with the Dallas and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras as a substitute and extra musician. Emily graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Christian University in 2018 with a degree in Horn Performance. She married her high-school sweetheart, Rhett, right after graduation. Emily earned a Master of Music Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music in 2021, where she was also awarded a prestigious Performer’s Certificate. Emily plays on a Lewis and Dürk "Rhenish" Anniversary model LDx5, purchased from the Houghton’s in 2018.

Janet B. Nye

Janet B. Nye is the co-author of “Recipe For Success: A balanced curriculum for young horn players”. She has been a private instructor in the DFW area for over twenty years. Janet is passionate about horn pedagogy and has presented many clinics at band conferences, universities, and horn events around the United States. In addition to freelancing in the DFW area, Janet has played in the Waco Symphony and Irving Symphony for over twenty years. She has toured for seven summers throughout Germany with Eurobrass. Originally from the Appalachian mountains in Abingdon, Virginia, Janet made her way to Texas to study at Baylor University, where she received M.M. in Horn Performance. She received her B.M.E from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Kyle Roberts

Kyle Roberts obtained his Master’s degree from the University of North Texas in Trombone Performance and holds a Bachelor’s in Music education from the University of Central Arkansas. He has performed at the International Trombone Festival with the UNT and UCA trombone choirs and placed in competitions at the American Trombone Workshop and International Women's Brass Conference. Kyle currently teaches and performs in the DFW area and lives in Denton with his wife Ashley.

Dr. Derek J. Wright

Dr. Derek J. Wright, a hornist in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, plays 3rd horn with the award-winning Dallas Winds and in the West Texas Symphony. He has performed with several major orchestras including the Fort Worth Symphony and the Dallas Symphony. Trained by noted musicians like William VerMeulen, John Ericson, Herbert Winslow, and Kazimierz Machala, Dr. Wright is also a co-owner of Houghton Horns. He has contributed to the design of horns and mouthpieces for the Verus brand and frequently speaks on instrument design and acoustics at various educational institutions.

Kacie Wright

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 the business manager, 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 linguistics.

Meet the Repair Team

Benjamin Allen

Benjamin Allen is a writer, podcaster, and French horn restoration artist from North Texas with over fifteen years of 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. 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 Fort Worth and hosts the Apocalypse Theater Podcast.

Dennis Houghton

Dennis Houghton

Dennis Houghton, trained in horn performance at California State University and HFM Detmold, Germany, has played as Co-Principal horn with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Valle and is currently 4th horn in the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra. Renowned for blending traditional brass craftsmanship with modern technology, Dennis has extensive experience in instrument repair and customization. His work and consultations have served musicians and major music brands globally for over thirty years. He co-owns Houghton Horns, where he is the Head Craftsman.

Natalie Miller

Christopher Reddick

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.


Rex is Houghton Horns' Customer Service Manager and CCO (Chief Cuddles Officer)

Christopher Wright