Staff

SHMC’s professional and creative staff offers excellence in performing arts education. We strive for a high level of professionalism in every area of instruction.  We have been blessed to have access to the fine staff of Mississippi State University and First Baptist Church of Starkville along with the use of their band and choral facilities.

Our Instructors


     Sara Horan |  Concert Choir

Sara Horan, a Louisiana native, earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Northwestern State University, and her master of music education from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Mrs. Horan has taught public school music, including high school choir, elementary general music and elementary choir. Mrs. Horan has also taught at the university level at Georgia Southwestern University, where she instructed a variety of music and music education courses. Mrs. Horan currently teaches private voice and piano in addition to directing the concert choir. She is active at her church working in children’s, college and music ministry.

Mrs. Horan is married to Joe Horan, pastor of Starkville Community Church. Joe, a former music minister, is also the assistant director for the concert choir. They have three wonderful children: Ella, Ruby and Aaron, and a lovable old dog, Baxter.


     Arey Hill  |  Music Explorers

Arey Wilson Hill is an alumnus of the Starkville Homeschool Music Cooperative Band and Choir. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. During her time at Mississippi State, she was a member of the University Chorale and also led worship for the Baptist Student Union.

After graduating college, Arey released her first EP, “Writing My Story,” that is compiled of her original songs.

Arey currently serves as a Worship Leader at Starkville Community Church, teaches private guitar lessons, leads church worship events across the state, and is a songwriter in addition to leading the Explorers Choir. She and her husband Jay live in Bellefontaine, MS with their dog and two cats.


     Christa McGrew  |  Music Adventurers

Christa McGrew is a home schooling mother of five with a background in early childhood education and a love for music. She has played flute for many years and has participated in various instrumental and vocal musical groups.

After growing up near Philadelphia, Mississippi, Christa attended Mississippi State University and earned a degree in Child Development. She has worked as both a preschool and kindergarten teacher and found music to be one of her favorite activities to do with young children.

In high school Christa was selected as a member of the Mississippi Lions’ All State Band. In college she was a member of the Maroon Band and was involved in Sigma Alpha Iota, Kappa Kappa Psi, flute choir, and musical theatre. She has been a member of several church choirs and has often played flute for church and weddings.

In addition to music, Christa enjoys reading, needle arts, and assisting families as they welcome new babies. She currently lives in Houston, Mississippi with her husband Matthew (who she met in Lions’ Band) and their five children, Kenna, Landon, Riley, Galen, and Archer.


     Dr. Clifton Taylor  |  Band

Dr. Clifton Taylor has served as Associate Director of Bands at Mississippi State University since 2005. At MSU, he co-directs the Famous Maroon Band and basketball pep bands, conducts the MSU Symphonic Band and the Jazz Ensembles, and teaches courses in the Department of Music. A native of Mississippi, he holds two music education degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a DMA in wind conducting from the University of South Carolina. A veteran teacher, Dr. Taylor has taught instrumental music at every level, from the elementary school to the community college, and currently directs the band program for the Starkville Homeschool Music Cooperative.

Dr. Taylor is regularly engaged in composing and arranging for concert band, marching band, and other media. His original concert band works are published by Grand Mesa Music Publishers and Maroon Tune Publications. He is also the composer and publisher of Honor Band Sight Reading Etudes. Now in its 3rd edition, the collection contains 87 etudes written for all-district and all-state auditions in Mississippi and Louisiana. Dr. Taylor also maintains a steady schedule as a performing trombonist, playing in symphonic, chamber, and jazz settings. He has served as the principal trombonist of the Meridian Symphony since 2002.

Dr. Taylor is affiliated with the College Band Directors National Association; the National Band Association; the Mississippi Bandmasters Association; Phi Beta Mu; Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia; Kappa Kappa Psi; and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. In addition to his work at MSU, he is the Director of Music at Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA), and serves as a leader of Trail Life USA Troop MS-0110.