Richard F. Guillen, a native of Kearny, New Jersey, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Kean University of New Jersey his Master’s Degree in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University. Since 1997, Mr. Guillen has been director of bands at Arlington High School, in the Arlington Central School District, located in Dutchess County, NY. He has previously served as director of bands at Central Regional High School in Bayville, NJ from 1989 to 1997. Mr. Guillen’s current responsibilities in the Arlington Central School District include serving as the district’s Music Coordinator as well as director of the Arlington High School Wind Ensemble, the most advanced of the school’s five concert bands. Mr. Guillen is also the director of Jazz programs at Arlington High School, serving as the director of the award winning Arlington Jazz Machine, the most advanced of the school’s three Jazz Ensembles, and assisting with the school’s two other jazz ensembles. Mr. Guillen’s marching, concert and jazz ensembles have consistently received many awards and accolades under his direction. His 9th Grade and Symphonic Bands have received several “Gold with Distinction” awards at NYSSMA state music festivals. The Arlington High School Wind Ensemble has performed at the NY State School Music Conference, several wind band festivals around the northeast, and made it’s Carnegie Hall debut in 2014. The Arlington High School Jazz Machine performs annually at local and regional festivals as well as hosting its popular Jazz Cabaret night. The Jazz Machine has attended the prestigious Berklee Jazz Festival in Boston 20 times. The Jazz Machine has won 1st place 4 times at the Berklee Festival and has placed in the top 3 every year in Large Ensemble Class 1 since 2007. The Jazz Machine also participates annually in the Essentially Ellington program. From 1997 – 2005, Mr. Guillen was the director of the Arlington Admiral Marching Band. During that time, the Admiral Band consistently ranked as one of the top 5 bands in New York State and in the Northeast. In 2004, the Admiral Marching Band won the NY State Field Band Conference National Class Championship. The Admirals also won the 2005 US Bands NY State Champions and the Musical Arts Conference Class 5 Championship and were named Grand Champions in both 2003 and 2004. The Admiral Marching Band has been a Bands of American Eastern Regional finalist every time they attended the event. In 2004, the Admirals attended the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana. Out of 100 bands in competition that year, the Admirals were named as a semi-finalist and placed among the top 25 bands in the nation.
Aside from his duties at Arlington High School, Mr. Guillen is also a very active freelance arranger, composer and program consultant for many competitive marching bands and drum corps. He has been invited to work with various musical organizations as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor around the country. His marching band and drum corps arrangements have been a part of many state and regional championship programs. As a brass performer, Mr. Guillen was a member of the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps (formerly the Garfield Cadets) and the Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps. As a saxophone and jazz performer and director, Mr. Guillen has worked with Bob Mintzer, Phil Wilson, Greg Hopkins, Andy Fusco, and Bob Yurochko. Mr. Guillen is also active as an adjudicator for marching bands, concert bands, jazz ensembles, and drum corps throughout the U.S. After serving as a judge in Drum Corps Associates 8 years, he was appointed Brass Caption Judging Supervisor for DCA in 2009 and has held that position since then. Mr. Guillen is also an active freelance adjudicator with MAC, US Bands, ISSMA, KMEA and many independent programs. He currently resides in the town of LaGrange, NY with his wife and their four daughters and feels truly blessed.
BRIAN STEVON TAYLOR earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education cum laude from Jacksonville State University in 1991. Dr. Taylor received the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Southern Mississippi. During his time at USM, Dr. Taylor was under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas V. Fraschillo. Dr. Taylor holds membership in NAfME, CBDNA, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and College Music Society. He also marched in the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps for Rockford, Illinois (1988, 1989).
Teaching Experience: Dr. Taylor began his teaching career in rural Alabama at Cold Springs School followed by teaching assignments in Cobb County, Georgia. In the Cobb County System, he taught on the middle and high school levels. After attending graduate school, Dr. Taylor was named Associate Director of Bands at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. There he was responsible for the 275 member “Pride of Acadiana” Marching Band, basketball bands, Symphonic and Concert Bands, and taught courses in conducting and music education. During his tenure, the Pride performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2005 and 2012), and completed performance tours of England, Scotland, and Spain. In addition to normal performances, the Pride participated in two football bowl games and several national basketball tournaments. Currently, Dr. Taylor operates BT Design Concepts. The company offers visual design for marching bands, winter guards, and indoor percussion. Also, camp staffing, adjudication services, and consultations are offered.
Judging Experience: Judging experience includes Drum Corps International, ISSMA, Southern Association of Performing Arts, Southeastern Color Guard Circuit, and Louisiana Color Guard and Percussion Circuit. In addition, Dr. Taylor has judged individual events, in concert and marching band, in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. In addition to music captions for marching band, he has judged the following captions in Winter Guard, Indoor Percussion, and Winds events: color guard general effect, percussion visual performance, percussion visual general effect, and all winds captions.
Phil currently serves as a band director for the Waconia School district in Waconia, Minnesota. His duties include conducting 8th- and 9th-grade bands, team teaching high school Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, and Jazz band.
Phil is currently on the instructional staff for the Colts drum and Bugle Corps where he has taught for 8 of the past 11 years. He has also served on the brass staff for Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle corps from 2009 through 2015. During his time with Minnesota Brass, the corps enjoyed two DCA brass titles as well as a DCA World Championship title in 2011.
In the marching band realm, Phil has become an accomplished drill designer and instructor writing 8-10 competitive and non-competitive field shows each year throughout the country. Bands that have used Phil’s designs have been responsible for eleven state championships.
Phil is an outspoken advocate for music education at all levels and enjoys a busy schedule as a guest clinician, adjudicator, and freelance trumpet player. He studied trumpet performance at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and music education at the University of Minnesota.
Outside of the music world Phil enjoys distance running, Nordic skiing and spending time with friends in the greater twin cities area.
Bill Ratcliff holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Music from the University of Arkansas. Mr. Ratcliff is a frequent guest clinician and adjudicator in Arkansas and surrounding states. Recently retired, Mr. Ratcliff served as the Director of Bands at Alma HS in Alma Arkansas. Previously he taught at Northside HS in Fort Smith AR , Kimmons Junior High School in Fort Smith AR and at Jonesboro HS in Arkansas. As a professional musician he has performed with the North Arkansas Symphony, Fort Smith Symphony, Ozark Mountain British Brass Band, and The Marshals of Swing Big Band. Mr. Ratcliff’s professional affiliations include the Arkansas Bandmaster’s Association, Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association, National Band Association, Texas Bandmaster’s Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster’s Fraternity, American School Band Director’s Association, and was included in the 2002, 2004, and 2006 editions of “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.”
Phil Barnes has been the Instrumental Music Director at Rockville High School in Montgomery County, MD since 2003. In that time, he has developed the Marching Band program from one that stood still on the field into one that competes annually in the USBands Group I/IIA circuit. In addition to his duties at RHS, he also currently writes drill for non-competitive high school marching bands in the area, and he arranges shows and stand tunes for several bands, including Baltimore’s Marching Ravens. His major areas of expertise in the marching arts are saxophone, mellophone and drum major. Previous experience includes mellophone, drum major and instructional staff for Baltimore’s Marching Ravens, mellophone and drum major for the University of Maryland Marching Band, instructional staff for several competitive high school programs throughout Maryland, and saxophone and mellophone in his middle and high school marching bands.
Ryan H. Turner brings a rich history in the marching and pageantry arts activity that covers over 35 years of experience as a performer, designer, instructor, administrator, and adjudicator.
Ryan graduated from Pasadena High School in 1984 after a successful high school music career, performing on trombone, euphonium, and tuba, and serving as drum major and marching instructor for the marching band. He moved on to Pasadena City College, where he served two years as the drum major for the PCC Lancer Marching Band as well as the world-renowned Official Tournament of Roses Honor Band. During those same years, Ryan began his three-year stint with the very popular Drum Corps International World Class Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from Anaheim, California, serving one year as a lead baritone in 1985, and then the next two years as drum major. He was also a member of the highly regarded California State University at Long Beach “Big Brown Music Machine” Marching Band for two years. In his performing career, Ryan has performed in multiple idioms of music with over sixty performance ensembles as a specialist in low brass with some of the top names in southern California music education and entertainment.
Ryan’s love of drill design is evidenced in the over 225 shows he has designed since 1984 for high school and collegiate marching bands, drum and bugle corps, winter guards, and indoor drum lines across the country, garnering awards and praise in multiple judging circuits. He has instructed and designed as well for both DCI and DCA corps, including the Velvet Knights, Anaheim Kingsmen, Pacific Crest, Impulse, Capital Sound, City Sound and So Cal Dream All-Age Drum and Bugle Corps.
Administratively, Ryan served as Vice President of Contests for the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC) from 1990-1994, and was part of the Executive Management team that propelled the WGASC to its current status as the top “local” winter guard circuit in the world. After two years on the Board of Directors with the Pacific Crest and So Cal Dream Drum and Bugle Corps’, he served on the Board of Directors for the Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps in a public relations role as well as on the Executive Steering Committee for So Cal Dream. He has worked both with the WGASC as a Contest Director, and the Marching Band Open Series (MBOS), a division of the WGASC, assisting the organization with management, strategic planning, and promotions.
Ryan’s adjudication skills have taken him nationwide, and he is currently certified as a visual performance and effect judge for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), the Southern California Judging Association (SCJA), the American Drumline Association (ADLA) and US Bands (formerly the United States Scholastic Band Association–USSBA). He is a sought-after leadership consultant for drum majors and student leaders in the southern California region, and has taught at the acclaimed California Leadership Academy with nationally-renowned leadership expert Dave Kuhns. As well, he has offers his own “Dynamics of Leadership” workshops to great reviews, working with the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps and several marching band programs across the country.
Often referred to as the “Voice of Southern California”, he has served as announcer and Master of Ceremonies for a multitude of drum corps, marching band and winter guard shows across the southwest region over the past 30 years. He has announced for DCI, WGI, SCSBOA, and WGASC, as well as having the honor of announcing for the 2007 DCI Division II/III World Championships in Pasadena, California and for the Anaheim Kingsmen Alumni Corps’ semi-finals performance at the 2007 DCI World Championships in the Rose Bowl.
While Ryan’s love is in the marching and pageantry arts, he also serves in a very rewarding career in public safety and has been recognized for contributions in the public safety emergency communications and management industry during his 25+ year career. He is currently the Senior Fire Communications Supervisor of Education and Training for the fourth largest fire department in California, the Orange County Fire Authority, in Irvine, California. He assists in managing a workforce of 26 full-time 911 dispatchers and supervisors in a state-of-the-art Emergency Command Center. He resides in Brea, California, with his wife and three children.
He brings to the Mentor Program what you need most–friendly, humorous, and honest opinions and advice for the LOVE OF THE MARCHING ARTS.
Shawn Halquist is native of northwestern PA and holds degrees in trumpet performance from Edinboro University and SUNY Binghamton, and a teaching certification from Edinboro. From 1985-1997 he taught in the Millcreek Townhship School district in Erie, PA and had the opportunity to teach at all levels. At McDowell HS, he was in charge of the instrumental music program. The McDowell Marching Band was a frequent competitor in BOA events and was a regional finalist several times. In 1997, Shawn became band director at Brockport NY HS. Bands from BHS have garnered accolades on the stage in both concert and jazz performances. In addition to the Band duties at BHS, he teaches music theory and is department chair.The Brockport Schools have been recognized as a NAMM best school district for music education in 2013 and 2015. Shawn was named the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Outstanding HS Band director for the 2015 school year.
Shawn has written arrangements for all types of ensembles across the country and has designed marching band shows since 1984. He has marched with several drum corps including the Johnsonburg PA Diplomats and Rochester Crusaders and was an original member of the Empire Statesmen in 1983 and was brass caption head in the early 2000’s. He has been judging marching bands, drum corps, and concert and jazz groups for the past 17 years and has served as guest conductor for jazz and concert groups in NY, PA and MD. Shawn currently performs with the Brockport Big Band and the Eastman Music School’s Educators Wind Ensemble.
Shawn and his wife Dee live in Brockport and are proud parents of twin sons Noah-a freelance clarinetist, pianist and composer; and Cody-currently studying french horn performance at Yale University.