Candidate Barry Houser

Barry Houser portrait

University of Illinois
Clinical Associate Professor of Music

Associate Director of Bands
Director of the Marching Illini & Athletic Bands

Involvement with CBDNA

  • April, 2022
    Organized & Coordinated a North Central MB Video Session
    North Central Division Conference
    Madison, Wisconsin
  • April, 2022
    Organized, Coordinated & Moderated a Panel Discussion
    “A Culture of Positivity, Inclusion and Access”
    North Central Division Conference
    Madison, Wisconsin
  • 2019 – present
    Chair, Athletic Band Committee
    See items below of some of the initiatives we have collaborated on through my service to CBDNA.

The CBDNA Athletic Band Committee is comprised of 11 outstanding individuals who represent a
variety of athletic conferences, institutions, and diverse backgrounds. Collectively, we have tackled
many items unusual to the “normal” line up of things-to-do based on the response to COVID-19.

Athletic Band Symposium
The Athletic Band Committee facilitated calls for hosting the 2021 symposium as well as
juried-sessions for the Summer 2020 Athletic Band Symposium. As a result of these actions, a
number of institutions submitted to host the 2021 symposium and approximately 50 individuals
submitted to present at the 2020 Athletic Band Symposium hosted at the University of Cincinnati.
Unfortunately due to the uncertainty of COVID back in the Spring, the decision to cancel the 2020
symposium was made based on concerns and limitations of facilities on the Cincinnati campus. At
that time, I presented a concept of a virtual symposium to the Athletic Band Committee and
President Spede. The goal was to help our colleagues with what we knew related to COVID as well
as developing a variety of opportunities to engage our students based on multiple limitations based
on geographic regions.

The two-day symposium included multiple sessions with leading experts and educators and was
provided FREE to all attendees – with a number of middle school, high school, and collegiate
colleagues attending. The symposium registration included a total of 1,433 individuals who joined on
zoom as well as being live streamed on facebook. All sessions were recorded and now live on the
official CBDNA YouTube channel – something that was created as a result of this virtual

National Association of Alumni Bands
The creation and launch of the National Association of Alumni Bands took place this past year.
Their first official event was to take place at the in-person symposium this past May hosted on the
University of Cincinnati campus. Since that did not take place, Geof Sloan, president of the NAoAB
presented to those in attendance at the virtual Athletic Band Symposium. Following that
presentation, we have continued in conversations with the NAoAB and our athletic band directors
to collect contact information from previous band members, establish alumni band organizations on
campuses nationwide and I have presented a session to the members of the NAoAB this past fall.
We look forward to ongoing conversations and continuing to strengthen the relationship and
collaboration between our two organizations.

Together As One
The CBDNA Athletic Band Committee was part of the initiative to create a performance called
“Together as One – One Nation.” It was designed in response to the extraordinary circumstances
and as an opportunity for collaborative performances between music programs, cheer teams, dance
teams, sports teams, and entire communities and crowds. This fully arranged, designed, and
choreographed marching band performance is available for FREE to any school and director
exploring field show options for 2020 and was extended to 2021 as well.
An individual created a website years ago which contained all of the schools from every conference
around the country. This website offered downloads of music for a fee, allowing the individual who
hosted the website to profit from music that did not belong to this individual. Collectively, the
Athletic Band Committee worked with universities around the country to issue cease and desist
letters on several occasions to shut this site down. We will continue to monitor this site to be sure it
does not go live once again.

CBDNA Athletic Band Resource Center
In an effort to reduce the number of requests on the listserve for duplicate surveys, general
information about budget, instrumentation and other items, we have developed a central resource in
one google folder, shared with all athletic band directors who belong to CBDNA. This repository
contains information on the following topics:

  • Athletic Band Spring Plans Spring 2021
  • Bowl Itineraries, Pregame and Halftime performance times
  • COVID-19 Procedures and Plans Fall 2020
  • List of Tenured Faculty with Athletic Band responsibilities for colleagues who need evaluators for their own tenure and promotion
  • Marching Band general information based on organizational structures, budget
  • And many other items for membership use as we move out of being shut down

CBDNA Intercollegiate Band
President Spede and I were part of an initial meeting with Style Plus, Halftime Magazine and to discuss some type of collaboration to highlight our students in college
marching bands nationally. After an initial meeting, we created a concept to produce a virtual
Intercollege Marching Band involving and bringing together programs across the country.
After an unprecedented season for college marching bands across the country, the College Band
Directors National Association is extremely excited to announce the CBDNA Intercollegiate
Marching Band (IMB)! Nearly 1,500 talented performers from 200 college bands across the country
will keep the spirit alive by performing virtually together. The video premiered online on the
CBDNA-IMB YouTube channel on the day of the College Football Playoff National Championship
game on Jan. 11, 2021.

2020-2021 CBDNA Statement of Purpose Committee
Served on a committee with outstanding CBDNA members to
evaluate our past Statement of Purpose and create a new statement
that is more reflective of who we currently are and who we want to
be – with a strong emphasis on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and

2015-2019 Member, Athletic Band Committee
• Assisted in reviewing juried sessions for the ABS
• Assisted in reviewing marching band videos for our national
• Assisted in site selection for future Symposiums

2014 and 2016
• Organized & Coordinated a North Central MB Video Session

2008 – present
• A number of presentations and sessions at CBDNA Athletic Band
Symposiums – I can provide an extensive list if needed

Vision for the Future of CBDNA

During the pandemic, I had the opportunity to serve on an ad-hoc committee to review and re-write
the CBDNA Vision and Declaration of Principles. The collaboration that transpired from this
committee was inspiring and invigorating, yes because of the work we were able to achieve but most
importantly how we worked through the process to accomplish the end result. It did not matter how
long each person had been in the profession, what their business card stated as their position or title,
nor where each individual worked. The culture created by this group of dynamic individuals was
one of respect, patience, and the ability to listen and understand another perspective. Looking back
on each meeting and overall task, we were building Community – a large part of CBDNA’s newly
formed statement of purpose.

As we look toward the future of our organization with specific purpose, it is important within our
community each member feels they have a place, a voice, and an openness to pave new paths all
while developing and growing as artists, leaders, educators, and people. The progress of this
organization over the past few years has propelled us forward to a place of better understanding and
acceptance, placing us at the front of many of our other musical organizations. However, our work
cannot stop here.

As a Community, our work should explore new and innovative ways to mentor and consistently lift
up new colleagues who enter this profession. We must find ways to engage with institutions of all
sizes with a primary focus on smaller institutions with limited resources. Our future should include
continued and increased efforts to commission works by BIPOC composers and further diversify
our wind band repertoire. In addition, we should explore ways to engage with our primary and
secondary music colleagues to provide support when needed to assist in strengthening music
programs globally.

As an organization and as a community, CBDNA has been putting in the work to create change
while honoring and respecting our past. Our future is bright and with a collective effort from all
members, we can continue to transform the lives of those we intersect through music.