Aaron Houston is a composer who collaborates with artists and musicians to create music that draws from the diverse influences of the American musical language for the everyday concert audience.
As a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Aaron has performed as a member of wind ensembles, orchestras, choirs, and jazz ensembles. His experience as a trumpet player and jazz musician can be heard in his use of harmonies along with his background as a guitarist and rock musician. Aaron also has an appreciation of folk tunes and hymnody which has informed his music for a variety ensembles. His composition Reconciliation (2016) for solo viola combines many of these sounds in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016. Taking influences from Wagner and Guns N’ Roses, Reconciliation juxtaposes the ideas of longing and pain against anger and confusion before finding resolution in an ever-ascending statement of a Bach chorale.
Similarly, Macallaí (2016) uses a wide range of colors available in the orchestra to present relatively short ideas which echo (“macallaí” is Gaelic for “echoes”) throughout the piece. Buried in the roots of the piece are influences from Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” U2, and most obviously the traditional folk tune “Idumea” which becomes an overpowering melody presented in the bass voices. Other compositions, such as Miles Away (2016) or Scuttle Buttin’ (2018) have also drawn from blues and jazz sources such as Miles Davis and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Aaron grew up in Mesquite, Texas before moving to Waco in 2010 to pursue a Bachelor of Church Music degree at Baylor University and later a Master of Music Composition degree where he studied with Scott McAllister. Currently, Aaron is pursuing his DM in Composition at Florida State University where he has studied with Stephen Montague, Ellen Taafe Zwilich, and the late Ladislav Kubik as the recipient of the Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Fellowship for Orchestral Composition. This has allowed him to focus his time by working closely with the orchestras at FSU while composing a work for FSU's University Symphony Orchestra.
Aaron has been accepted to or participated in the 2019 São Paulo Contemporary Composers Festival, the 2019 Albany Symphony (NY) "Orchestrating for the 21st Century" workshop and "First Draughts" New Music Reading session, the 2019 RED NOTE New Music Festival at Illinois State University, the 2019 Festival of New Music at FSU, the 2018 Fresh Inc Festival in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the 2016 Charlotte New Music Festival in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the 2016 Atlantic Music Festival held at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. His music has been premiered by members of the Albany Symphony (NY) led by David Alan Miller, Fifth House Ensemble in Chicago, the AMF Contemporary Ensemble, the Baylor University Men's Choir, Lagan Percussion, and the Baylor Symphony Orchestra as the winner of their 2015 Composition Contest for his composition Macallaí, and many others.