Ms. Loren Taylor

Director of Bands

Loren Taylor is the Director of Bands at Highland Park Middle School.  Ms. Taylor’s HPMS and MIS courses include beginning flute, oboe, bassoon, and clarinet as well as Honors Band.  During her tenure at HPMS/MIS, her students have received Sweepstakes at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading contest and have had high levels of individual success at region level, with 60 students earning spots in the 2020-2021 TMEA Region 20 Honor Band. 

Ms. Taylor is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor Degree in Music with emphasis in instrumental education as well as a Flute Performance Certificate.  At USC, Ms. Taylor was a member of the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Campus Orchestra, and the Mighty Sound of the Southeast.  During her membership in the USC Wind Ensemble, Ms. Taylor had the unique opportunity to perform in a 10-day concert tour in China.

Prior to her time at Highland Park Middle School, Ms. Taylor was the director of bands at Utley Middle School in Rockwall, TX for three years.  Under her direction, the band performed at the Dallas Winds Windband Invitational, received Sweepstakes at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest and had multiple students place in the top of their section at Region Band.  Before coming to Rockwall, Ms. Taylor also taught in Forney ISD and Uvalde CISD.

Beyond teaching, Ms. Taylor is also an active flute performer. Her past memberships include the Palmetto Concert Band, Carolina Wind Symphony, Heart of Texas Concert Band, Plano Community Band, and served as coordinator for the Forney Community Band.  As a member of the Heart of Texas Concert Band, Ms. Taylor also served on the executive board as the band secretary.  

Ms. Taylor’s professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Outside of school and performing, Ms. Taylor enjoys spending time in the garden, cooking, and spending time with her family and fur babies (Archer, Thomas, and Ellie!)

TJ Emsley

Associate Director of Bands

Mr. TJ Emsley is an Associate Director of Bands for the Highland Park Independent School District. While at HP, Mr. Emsley has taught Symphonic Band, 6th grade Saxophone, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba classes, as well as 5th grade, Trumpet, Trombone, Clarinet and  General Music.  Prior to teaching at HPISD, Mr. Emsley served as an adjunct professor of music at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Kilgore College, and Paris Junior College.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina and a product of Kingsland, Georgia, Mr. Emsley attended Camden County High School where he played percussion and piano in the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensembles.

Mr. Emsley earned a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. While at VSU, he served as the drum major of the VSU Blazin’ Brigade for three years, performed with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, VSU Wind Ensemble, VSU Percussion Ensemble, and the Blazer Steel Drum Band.

Mr. Emsley earned a Master of Music in Music Education degree in 2013 from Texas A&M University-Commerce in Commerce, Texas. While in Commerce, he performed with the TAMUC Wind Ensemble, Concert Band (Clarinetist), Percussion Ensemble, and Piano Studio as well as performing with the Irving Symphonic Band.

Mr. Emsley enjoys spending time in his yard making sure his plants are top-notch. He loves food whether it’s eating it or baking it–his specialty is cheesecakes! Mr. Emsley also likes to build things and do woodworking, he’s built a swing for his yard, a table, a bookshelf among many other things.

Teachers and mentors of Mr. Emsley include: Phil Clements, Brian Merrill, Lynne Jackson, Eddie Green, Allan Goodwin, David Morris, Paul Campiglia, Joe Brashier, Eric Bradshaw, Allan L. Smith, Curtis Hersey, Luis Sanchez, Josephine Wammock, and Lyle Indegaard.

Ryan Dutton

Associate Director of Bands

Ryan Dutton is an Associate Director of Bands at Highland Park Middle School & McCulloch Intermediate School. Mr. Dutton teaches 6th grade beginning classes in Tuba, Euphonium, Trumpet, 5th grade general music, and team teaches the Honors Band and Symphonic Band at HPMS, as well as assists with the Highlander Marching Band.

Mr. Dutton received a Bachelor of Music in Education and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Stephen F. Austin State University. During his time at SFASU Mr. Dutton was a Undergraduate Assistant for The Lumberjack Marching Band and the Roarin’ Buzzsaws Basketball Pep Band. Mr. Dutton student taught in Lewisville ISD at The Colony High School and Griffin Middle School.

Mr. Dutton received a Master of Music at Youngstown State University where he studied Wind Conducting and graduated Summa Cum Laude. While at YSU, Mr. Dutton served as the Graduate Assistant for the YSU Marching Pride and Basketball Band. He also worked extensively with and conducted the YSU Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Orchestra, and many other chamber ensembles. Mr. Dutton is committed to studying dance, theater, and American Sign Language and their relation to conducting. During his time at YSU, he studied ballet & modern dance, performing in dance ensembles and theater productions as a way to expand his knowledge of nonverbal communication and ensemble conducting. He has given numerous presentations on the topic of “Non Verbal Art Forms.” Mr. Dutton is an avid conducting symposium participant and advocate for Michael Chekhov (mime) technique.

Mr. Dutton was the principal euphonium player in both the SFASU and YSU Wind Ensembles. He’s an avid performer in many musicals, pit orchestras, and chamber ensembles including the Eutopia quartet which was a semifinalist at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference in 2016. His professional associations include: Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, the International Tuba Euphonium Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Texas Music Educators Association.

When he is not teaching, Mr. Dutton spends his time cooking, and enjoying the great outdoors!

Meet our

Highland Park High School

Highlander Band Staff

Rylon Guidry

Rylon Guidry

Director of Bands and Instrumental Studies, HPHS

Ross Gordon

Ross Gordon

Assistant Director of Bands, HPHS

Daniel Reberger

Daniel Reberger

Percussion Director, Highland Park ISD

Jim Palmer, Director of Bands

Loren Taylor

Director of Bands

Loren Taylor is the Director of Bands at Highland Park Middle School.  Ms. Taylor’s HPMS and MIS courses include beginning flute, oboe, bassoon, and clarinet as well as Honors Band.  During her tenure at HPMS/MIS, her students have received Sweepstakes at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading contest and have had high levels of individual success at region level, with 60 students earning spots in the 2020-2021 TMEA Region 20 Honor Band. 

Ms. Taylor is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor Degree in Music with emphasis in instrumental education as well as a Flute Performance Certificate.  At USC, Ms. Taylor was a member of the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Campus Orchestra, and the Mighty Sound of the Southeast.  During her membership in the USC Wind Ensemble, Ms. Taylor had the unique opportunity to perform in a 10-day concert tour in China.

Prior to her time at Highland Park Middle School, Ms. Taylor was the director of bands at Utley Middle School in Rockwall, TX for three years.  Under her direction, the band performed at the Dallas Winds Windband Invitational, received Sweepstakes at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest and had multiple students place in the top of their section at Region Band.  Before coming to Rockwall, Ms. Taylor also taught in Forney ISD and Uvalde CISD.

Beyond teaching, Ms. Taylor is also an active flute performer. Her past memberships include the Palmetto Concert Band, Carolina Wind Symphony, Heart of Texas Concert Band, Plano Community Band, and served as coordinator for the Forney Community Band.  As a member of the Heart of Texas Concert Band, Ms. Taylor also served on the executive board as the band secretary.  

Ms. Taylor’s professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Outside of school and performing, Ms. Taylor enjoys spending time in the garden, cooking, and spending time with her family and fur babies (Archer, Thomas, and Ellie!)

Preston Prior, Assistant Director of Bands

TJ Emsley

Associate Director of Bands

Mr. TJ Emsley is an Associate Director of Bands for the Highland Park Independent School District. While at HP, Mr. Emsley has taught Symphonic Band, 6th grade Saxophone, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba classes, as well as 5th grade, Trumpet, Trombone, Clarinet and  General Music.  Prior to teaching at HPISD, Mr. Emsley served as an adjunct professor of music at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Kilgore College, and Paris Junior College.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina and a product of Kingsland, Georgia, Mr. Emsley attended Camden County High School where he played percussion and piano in the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensembles.

Mr. Emsley earned a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. While at VSU, he served as the drum major of the VSU Blazin’ Brigade for three years, performed with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, VSU Wind Ensemble, VSU Percussion Ensemble, and the Blazer Steel Drum Band.

Mr. Emsley earned a Master of Music in Music Education degree in 2013 from Texas A&M University-Commerce in Commerce, Texas. While in Commerce, he performed with the TAMUC Wind Ensemble, Concert Band (Clarinetist), Percussion Ensemble, and Piano Studio as well as performing with the Irving Symphonic Band.

Mr. Emsley enjoys spending time in his yard making sure his plants are top-notch. He loves food whether it’s eating it or baking it–his specialty is cheesecakes! Mr. Emsley also likes to build things and do woodworking, he’s built a swing for his yard, a table, a bookshelf among many other things.

Teachers and mentors of Mr. Emsley include: Phil Clements, Brian Merrill, Lynne Jackson, Eddie Green, Allan Goodwin, David Morris, Paul Campiglia, Joe Brashier, Eric Bradshaw, Allan L. Smith, Curtis Hersey, Luis Sanchez, Josephine Wammock, and Lyle Indegaard.

Kenneth Kosterman, Percussion Director

Ryan Dutton

Associate Director of Bands

Ryan Dutton is an Associate Director of Bands at Highland Park Middle School & McCulloch Intermediate School. Mr. Dutton teaches 6th grade beginning classes in Tuba, Euphonium, Trumpet, 5th grade general music, and team teaches the Honors Band and Symphonic Band at HPMS, as well as assists with the Highlander Marching Band.

Mr. Dutton received a Bachelor of Music in Education and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Stephen F. Austin State University. During his time at SFASU Mr. Dutton was a Undergraduate Assistant for The Lumberjack Marching Band and the Roarin’ Buzzsaws Basketball Pep Band. Mr. Dutton student taught in Lewisville ISD at The Colony High School and Griffin Middle School.

Mr. Dutton received a Master of Music at Youngstown State University where he studied Wind Conducting and graduated Summa Cum Laude. While at YSU, Mr. Dutton served as the Graduate Assistant for the YSU Marching Pride and Basketball Band. He also worked extensively with and conducted the YSU Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Orchestra, and many other chamber ensembles. Mr. Dutton is committed to studying dance, theater, and American Sign Language and their relation to conducting. During his time at YSU, he studied ballet & modern dance, performing in dance ensembles and theater productions as a way to expand his knowledge of nonverbal communication and ensemble conducting. He has given numerous presentations on the topic of “Non Verbal Art Forms.” Mr. Dutton is an avid conducting symposium participant and advocate for Michael Chekhov (mime) technique.

Mr. Dutton was the principal euphonium player in both the SFASU and YSU Wind Ensembles. He’s an avid performer in many musicals, pit orchestras, and chamber ensembles including the Eutopia quartet which was a semifinalist at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference in 2016. His professional associations include: Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, the International Tuba Euphonium Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Texas Music Educators Association.

When he is not teaching, Mr. Dutton spends his time cooking, and enjoying the great outdoors!

Meet our

Highland Park High School

Highlander Band Staff

Rylon Guidry

Rylon Guidry

Director of Bands and Instrumental Studies, HPHS

Ross Gordon

Ross Gordon

Associate Director of Bands, HPHS

Daniel Reberger

Daniel Reberger

Percussion Director, Highland Park ISD