The Houston Band is an award-winning high school band led by an award-winning group of directors and instructors under the direction of Mr. Matthew Taylor.
Matthew Taylor, Band Director
Matt Taylor is the new band director at Houston High School. This is his third year at Houston. Prior to his arrival at Houston he served as director of bands at Cordova High School. While at Cordova, the band won many class and division championships. The wind ensemble received superior ratings at concert festival. He has also been a member of the instructional staff at Arlington High School, serving as arranger, visual technician, and music instructor. In addition he has experience teaching middle school band and choir at Woodstock Middle School and Millington Middle School. Mr. Taylor graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in Music Education.
Mr. Taylor studied wind conducting under Dr. Nicholas Holland, Dr. Kraig Williams, and Dr. Sidney McKay. While in college, Mr. Taylor also studied trumpet pedagogy with Dr. David Spencer. He has performed internationally in Marktoberdorf, Germany and Salzburg, Austria. He also served as trumpet section leader for the Mighty Sound of the South. He is an active consultant, clinician, and arranger in the Mid-South Region. He is a member of WTSBOA and NAfME.
He and his beautiful wife, Rachel, are the proud doggy parents of Henry the Boston Terrier and Walt the Beagle.
Della Coleman, Assistant Band Director
Della Coleman is the new assistant band director at Houston High School. This is her first year at Houston. Prior to her arrival at Houston she studied at the University of Tennessee at Martin. During her time at UTM she studied percussion with Dr. Julie Hill and Dan Piccolo. She travelled to Recife Brazil with the UTM Percussion Studio and debuted Ivan Trevino’s 2+1 marimba duet internationally at the Universidade de Pernambuco. She also attended the Collegiate Hill Day Summit in Washington D.C., hosted by the National Association for Music Education, to help advocate for the Every Student Succeeds Act, which has now listed music as an important part of a well rounded education for students! She has performed several times with the UTM Percussion studio in Roots of Rhythm. In 2013 she marched Music City Mystique, a renowned indoor percussion ensemble that competes internationally at WGI world’s competition in Dayton, Ohio. She served on the Percussive Arts Society University Committee during her junior and senior years of college, and gave a joint presentation at the Tennessee Music Educator Association convention in April 2016. She has had the pleasure to teach students from Goodpasture Christian School, Stewart County High School, Houston High School, and Lake Road Elementary School. She has student taught at Lake Road Elementary (k-8) and Union City High School (6-12 band).
After receiving her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education, Ms. Coleman is excited to begin her teaching career with the Houston High School Band. She is a proud owner of a lazy gray cat named Kitty, and is happy to be living in the Germantown area. She would like extend a warm thanks to everyone who has been so welcoming, supportive, and kind.
Let’s Go Mustangs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Larry Groh, Concert Band Director
Larry Groh has been working with the Houston Band since 2006 when his son was a freshman trumpet, and has been a part-time director here ever since. His Concert Band ensembles have always received Superior ratings at contest. Mr. Groh started his career as a Band Director back in 1979 and had a very successful program in North Carolina for 5 years. He left teaching to pursue a career with the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller and Flight Instructor. His undergraduate and most of his graduate studies in Music Education were at Western Carolina University where he studied trombone with Mr. Dick Trevarthen, Choral Conducting with Dr. Joyce Farwell, and Band Conducting with Dr. Joe Scagnoli. The remainder of his graduate work was at the University of Memphis where he studied Orchestral conducting with Dr. Pu-Qi Jiang, and post-graduate Wind Ensemble conducting with Dr. Kraig Williams. He has conducted ensembles in the Memphis area, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Georgia, Florida, and in Salzburg, Austria. He has been married for 35 years to his lovely wife Mary, and is the proud parent of two HHS Band alumni, George (tpt. 2010) and Rebecca (perc. 2011). He is a member of WTSBOA and NAfME. When not in the bandroom, he can usually be found at one of the local gyms trying to stave off the inevitable.
Isiah Rowser, Drumline Instructor
Isiah Rowser Jr. has been a drum instructor with the Houston Band for the last seven years. He’s been playing for over 30 years. “Zeke” studied with Carey Bobbitt, Mike McCray, and Dr. Frank Shaffer. He attended the University of Memphis where he was a member of the school’s marching band, wind ensemble, and numerous percussion ensembles. Isiah specializes in all types of percussion from concert mallet to marching rudimental snare drum.
Kayla Burns, Guard Instructor
Kayla Burns is the Color Guard instructor for The Houston Band. A native of Memphis, Kayla currently attends the University of Memphis, seeking a degree in Spanish. Kayla’s color guard career began in 2007 as a marching member of the Fayette Academy Viking Pride Marching Band. She served as captain from 2008 until she graduated in 2013. Ms. Burns has also competed in WGI with Vivace of Huntsville Winter guard (2013). After high school Kayla joined the Mighty Sound of the South Colorguard in the fall of 2013. She was appointed choreographer for the MSSCG the following year. Kayla has also performed with the University of Memphis Winterguard (2014-2017) competing in both WGI and MIA. Prior to Joining the staff at Houston, Kayla held the position of guard instructor at Northpoint Christian School (2014- 2016) and co-head instructor with Convergent Winterguard (2016). In her free time Kayla enjoys Painting, Binge watching Parks & Rec, Dr. Pepper, and spending time with her family. She is a proud puppy parent to Oliver the dog.