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 Dr. John Hagan.
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.
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.
Dr. John Hagan is the assistant band director at Houston High School. He has been a music educator in the greater Memphis area for over a decade, having received the Outstanding Teacher award from the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts as well as recognition from the Tennessee Lottery as Educator of the Week. He has appeared extensively throughout the Mid-South as a soloist, clinician, and adjudicator. He is a member of WTSBOA and NAfME.
Dr. Hagan has a wide range of professional experience. He served as a trombonist with the U.S. Navy Band program from 2002 - 2010. While in the Navy Band, Dr. Hagan was a part of many high-profile performances, including the opening of the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library in 2004 and headlining the Oklahoma State Fair in 2006. Locally, he has performed and recorded with the Memphis Jazz Orchestra, Memphis Repertory Orchestra, and he is a former member of the local music institution FreeWorld. Dr. Hagan is also no stranger to musical theater. In addition to serving as music director for the Poplar Pike Playhouse productions of The Little Mermaid, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Sweeney Todd, he has performed in the orchestras for local productions of Urinetown, Anything Goes, Tarzan, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, The Wizard of Oz, as well as Desoto Family Theater's award-winning production of Les Miserables.
A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Dr. Hagan studied music education at Youngstown State University. He went on to complete a Master's degree in trombone performance from the University of Memphis, during which time he directed the Jazz Ensemble II and was a staff member with the Mighty Sound of the South Marching Band. Most recently, he has completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trombone performance from the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. His primary teachers include Dr. Michael Crist, Dr. Albert Nguyen, and Dr. John Mueller.