Houston Bright

From Wind Repertory Project
Houston Bright


[Robert] Houston Bright (born 21 January 1916 in Midland, Texas; died 8 December 1970 in Canyon, Texas) was an American composer, professor of music, and choral conductor.

He attended West Texas State College (now West Texas A&M University), receiving a Master of Arts degree in music education in 1940 and joining the faculty there. During his college years, he also organized a dance band, which played locally and toured the Southwest. After military service as an officer in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, Bright returned to the faculty of West Texas State College, in Canyon, Texas.

He received a doctoral degree in musicology from the University of Southern California, writing his dissertation on "The Early Tudor Part-Song in the Courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII: From Newarke to Cornyshe." At West Texas State College, Bright taught composition, music theory, and choral conducting. During a long and distinguished professional career, Bright wrote over a hundred compositions (primarily short choral pieces, but including a number of solo and ensemble instrumental works) — many of them on commission.

Houston Bright composed entirely within the tonal idiom and may be fairly described as a neo-Romantic — bearing comparison to such contemporaries as Samuel Barber, Vincent Persichetti, and Norman Dello Joio — albeit a neo-Romantic with a fondness for traditional forms. His compositions have been performed, and recorded, by groups worldwide including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Wiener Singakademie, and the American Woodwind Quintet. Bright's scores are currently published by Shawnee Press and by G. Schirmer, Inc. - Associated Music Publishers, Inc.

Works for Winds


  • Bright, Houston (1965). Modern tonal counterpoint in two parts: Strict and linear styles. West Texas State University Press: Canyon, Texas.
  • Herrington, John Scott (1992). The choral music of Houston Bright: A descriptive style analysis. Doctoral dissertation: University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri. University Microfilms International: Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • The Houston Bright, Choral Composer Website includes some information on, and audio of, instrumental works as well as choral. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  • Garrett, Roger [Illinois Wesleyan University] (n.d.). The Best Band Music, in The Clarinet Pages. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  • Wind band literature (n.d.), in Wikipedia. Retrieved July 7, 2015.