DIRECTORS AND INSTRUCTORS
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 and Kevin Carpenter.
DIRECTOR of BANDS
Matt Taylor is the band director at Houston High School. 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 and the University of Mississippi with a masters degree in Educational Leadership.
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.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR of BANDS
Kevin Carpenter is the Assitant Band Director of the Houston Band at Houston High School. He is the inaugural conductor of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program's Concert Band and a freelance conductor and clinician in the area.
Before beginning work as a band director, he attended the University of Memphis’s Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, acquiring his BM in K-12 Instrumental Music Education. He is currently pursuing an M.M.Ed. degree with the University of Georgia.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he spent thousands of hours creating virtual performance opportunities for his ensembles and others’. Performances include the Memphis Area Virtual Youth Choir's performance of Tichelli's Earth Song, Memphis ChoralArts "4corners4peace" concert, Memphis-Shelby County School's "State of the District" Honor Choir performance of "North" by Sleeping At Last, and the performances of dozens of other organizations, helping thousands of musicians reach audiences of tens of thousands around the world.
He is deeply involved in local music, singing in various choirs and serving on the Board of Directors for Memphis ChoralArts. He is a member of the West Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, the Tennessee Music Education Association, and the National Association of Music Education.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR of BANDS
Victoria, a highly accomplished and versatile musician, is a classically trained oboist from the Memphis area. Her unwavering dedication to music and impressive achievements have solidified her position as a respected figure in the local classical music community.
Victoria holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with a concentration in Instrumental Music K-12, a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Oboe Performance, and a Master of Music with a concentration in Oboe Performance degree, all from the University of Memphis.
Victoria has actively performed in Memphis and its surrounding areas for the past 10 years. Driven by her passion for music education, Victoria currently maintains a flourishing oboe studio in Memphis. In addition to her proficiency as a musician and educator, Victoria is an accomplished instrument repair technician.
Prior to establishing her own successful musical instrument repair business, Victoria serviced woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments for Memphis Shelby County Schools from 2020 to April 2023.
MICHAEL ALLEN TODD
DIRECTOR OF PERCUSSION
Michael Todd is an active artist and educator based in Memphis, TN. He graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Math and a minor in music from Rhodes College. He played drum set in the front ensemble for Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 and 2012. He was the DCI Drum Set/ Multi Percussion Individual Champion in 2012.
A product of the Tullahoma Band, Mr. Todd is a freelance performer in and around Memphis and is a manager for the Memphis Grizzlies Grizzline. He is a fellow with the Memphis Music Initiative and the percussion director for the University of Memphis’s Mighty Sound of the South. He has previously worked with Stax Music Academy, the Tullahoma Band, the East High School Mighty Mustang Band, the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy Band, and Soulsville Charter School.
JOSE MIGUEL RIVAS
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF PERCUSSION
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Jose Miguel Rivas is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Music Theory and Composition, with a concentration in percussion. While at the University of Memphis, he also helped the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and the Mighty Sound of the South as a videographer/ photographer. Throughout his collegiate career, Jose strived to learn the workings of the entertainment industry and aspires to be a composer for film, video games, and television. With his knowledge of audio / visual content creation, Jose helps local artists and musicians in achieving their goals with producing and archiving quality recordings. He has worked as a tech with the bands at Marion High School, First Assembly Christian School, and Cordova High School.
Brittany Roberts has been involved in color guard and marching arts for twenty-four years, including sixteen as an instructor. She has taught at several school in the Memphis and Arkansas areas. Brittany is currently the head director of THE Houston Band's color guard at Houston High School and Houston Middle School in Germantown, TN. Mrs. Roberts is also the designer for Future Independent Winterguard.