Band Music Designer

Jon Mattheis
17

Judging Experience: Jon has been judging marching bands for the past seven years with the Tri-State Judges Association out of Decorah, IA. He has also judged many solo & ensemble, jazz and concert band festivals in the upper midwest.
Teaching Experience: Jon has taught for 17 years and is currently the director of music at Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD.
Bio: Jon is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Music ensembles under Jon’s direction have consistently been awarded superior ratings at contests. Two concert bands under his direction, have performed at state music educator conventions. Jon lives in Sioux Falls, SD with his wife Devyn and their son.

57106
Any time

Michael Th. Embrey
45 years

Former University Marching Band Director (NIU) having created the first Drum Corps style college Band. Music arranger and show designers for universities and High Schools. Drum & Bugle Corps experience including Music arranging for Cavaliers and other corps. Former musician/music arranger USAF Drum & Bugle Corps. Music Judge for various groups, past & present: CSJA, DCI, and independent organizations. Currently hosting several National Music Festivals and Executive Director for the ALL-Illinois Marching Band.

60115
Any time

Chris Church
35

Chris Church is a 35-year Veteran Band Director. He served as the Director of Bands and Fine Arts Department Chairman in Willard, Missouri for 32 years and is currently in Springdale, Arkansas teaching at Har-Ber High School, Southwest Junior High, and Helen Tyson Middle School. His marching bands and jazz bands have consistently placed at or near the top in all festivals attended and he has also worked as a drill designer for numerous bands throughout the Midwest. His Wind Symphony earned State Level Honor I Ratings for 32 consecutive years.

Chris spent 13 seasons with the World Champion Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois where he served on the Marching/Visual Staff. He has provided marching clinics and adjudicated marching bands throughout the United States while also judging concert and jazz ensembles. Chris is currently serving as a Visual Judge for Drum Corps International (DCI) and as a Winter Guard Judge for the Mid Continent Color Guard Association (MCCGA) and the Winter Guard and Percussion of Oklahoma (WGPO). He is a graduate of the Marching Roundtable Judges academy and also adjudicates concert bands, solo & ensemble, and jazz festivals.

65781
Any time

Sue Cechal
40

36 years in the classroom as HS band instructor, guard instructor and drill writer. In retirement, write drill and guard choreo for several schools, serve as resource for others.

54220
Any time

Phil Snyder
17

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.

55346
Occasional Contact

Dominick Ferrara
28

Dr. Dominick Ferrara currently serves as Associate Professor of Music Education, Director of the Day Sessions Young Performers Summer Program, and Conductor of the Symphonic Winds at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he teaches courses in instrumental music education and conducting. For his work at Berklee, Dr. Ferrara was awarded the Professional Education Division’s Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008.
Formerly, Dr. Ferrara served as the Founding Director (2003-2006) of the Fairleigh Dickinson University (Teaneck, NJ) Pep Band, the Founding Director (1997-2009) of the Wind Ensemble at Montclair State (NJ) University’s Stokes Forest Music Camp, and Director of Bands (1996-2006) at Lenape Valley Regional High School (Stanhope, NJ). While at Lenape Valley Regional High School, Dr. Ferrara’s bands won 2 USSBA (now USBands) Group I-A All-States Marching Band Championships and received numerous Superior ratings at concert festivals throughout the United States. For his public school teaching, Dr. Ferrara was awarded a Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award by the State of New Jersey Department of Education in 2000 and was named as a 2005 Finalist for the Princeton University Prize for Distinguished Secondary School Teaching.
He holds a BA in Music Education, Summa Cum Laude, from Montclair State University and both an MAT in Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Rutgers University, where his specializations were Educational Administration/Supervision and Wind Conducting. He is an active adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, educational consultant, and free-lance performer. Among his many performance credits are concert appearances with The Temptations; Broadway star, Bernadette Peters; the Portland (ME) Symphony Orchestra; and the United States Coast Guard Band and Chamber Players. He is a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association.

02125
Any time

Dickie Whiteside
25

Designer, Creator, Educator and Adjudicator

33813
Occasional Contact

Rich Guillen
28

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.

12603
Any time

Shawn Halquist
32

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.

14420
Any time

Shilo Stroman
23

Shilo Stroman is a musical chameleon determined to fit into any musical situation supported by his wide range of musical talent, a laid back attitude and a desire to push himself artistically. His thirst for performing began at the age of 5 when his parents purchased a toy Drumset. Armed with his dad;s record collection, an empty basement and chopsticks as drumsticks, the journey began. He continues on this path with a diverse schedule of performing, composing and teaching.
A versatile performer, Mr. Stroman’s credits range from playing triangle in symphony orchestras, electric bass in salsa bands, drums in funk bands and flower pots in chamber groups. Performing Stroman originals, Red Hot Chili Pepper covers and the occasional country tune, Shilo’s contemporary jazz quartet, Square Peg, released their first recording, “Searching” in 2013. In 2006, he commissioned and performed the world premiere of “Sticks and Stones” variations for drumset and wind ensemble by Jim Bonney. Shilo can also be heard on various Jazz and singer/songwriter recordings.
As an educator, Shilo is adjunct instructor of Percussion and Jazz at Colorado State University where he teaches lessons, freshman percussion ensemble, drumline, Jazz Pedagogy and is charge of the Jazz combo program. Mr. Stroman is also very active in the marching arts and has worked with the Blue Knights World Percussion Ensemble, Longmont High School and currently with Fossil Ridge High School, Loveland High School, Dakota Ridge High School and The Battalion Drum and Bugle Corp.
Shilo’s love of travel and sharing his passion for music education has led him to presenting clinics, adjudicating festivals and judging competitions. He has presented clinics at several Percussive Arts Society Days of Percussion, State Music education conferences, middle schools, high schools and colleges throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Texas. In November 2014, he will present at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indiana. He has adjudicated at the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival, The Kinser Jazz Festival as well as many smaller Jazz festivals. He also regularly judges for the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association and recently the Intermountain Percussion Association.
Furthering music education and giving back is an important part of what Shilo does. He is active in the Percussive Arts Society and served as Colorado Chapter President for 10 years. He is also serving his second term on the board of directors for the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association.
Shilo is a Yamaha Performing Artist and a proud endorser of Promark, Evans, and Sabian products.

80524
Occasional Contact

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