Dillon C. Downey, M.M. (he/him/his)
Artistic and Administrative Director, Dillon C. Downey, is the proud founder of the Denton Community Youth Choirs. He is the inaugural music specialist at Sandbrock Ranch Elementary School in Denton ISD, where he was acknowledged as the 2024 Teacher of the Year. Mr. Downey gets to teach other music teachers at the Midwestern State University Kodály Institute, where he teaches pedagogy. He also serves as the Vice-President of the Kodály Educators of Texas and is the editor for the KET journal, The Encounter. He has taught students from infants through adults and college students professionally for eight years in classroom, private, and rehearsal settings. The Organization of of American Kodály Educators recognized Mr. Downey as the 2023 Outstanding Emerging Educator at the national conference in Jacksonville, FL.
Mr. Downey is an alumnus of the prestigious Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), where he earned Master of Music degrees in Music Education and Music Performance and Literature (Tenor Trombone). At Eastman, he taught aural musicianship and trombone methods. He earned the Advanced Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy at Eastman. His undergraduate degrees in Music Education and Orchestral Performance (Tenor Trombone) are from the University of North Texas, where he graduated summa cum laude and as a Distinguished Honors Scholar.
He has presented at school districts and universities around the country, as well as at state, national, and international conferences. His research interests are in curriculum design, accessibility, community building in music education, and brass pedagogy and wellness. As a performer, he has performed in world-famous concert halls, such as Carnegie Hall, The Meyerson Center, and the Wiener Konzerthaus. As a soloist, he has performed throughout the United States and in Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic. He has performed for many of the world's leading brass players and chamber ensembles, including the Canadian Brass, the Army Brass Quintet, and members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, the Buffalo Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Fort Worth Symphony.
Deborah Titus - music educator, flutist, and collaborative pianist, Ms. Titus works as a freelance musician in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, playing for soloists, choirs, musicals, and operas. She directs choirs and worship at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Tx. She grew up playing piano and woodwinds in church, singing in choirs, and ringing in handbell choirs, eventually studying flute, piano, and voice at Evangel University and earning her bachelor's degree in Music Education. During college she played principle flute in symphonic and traveling orchestras, pit orchestras for musicals, and flute choirs, winning the 2008 MMTA Collegiate Woodwinds Competition and principal flute in the 2009 MMEA All-State Collegiate Orchestra. Ms. Titus also did her master’s studies in collaborative piano under Drs. Harlos and Puccinelli at University of North Texas and flute performance under Dr. Terri Sanchez at University of Texas at Arlington. She performs with several traveling ensembles, traveling to 42 states and countries including Canada, Russia, Poland, and Spain. In addition to music performance, Ms. Titus has started children's music programs at various churches, created music curricula for summer camps, and taught music, choir, piano and flute classess in both public and private schools.