Band Music Judge

Shawn Halquist

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.

Any time

Phil Barnes
Since 1991

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.

Occasional Contact

Chris Church

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.

Any time

Brian Taylor

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.

Any time

Bill Castillo

Design (20 years):
Percussion arranger/composer for various high schools across the country, including Texas, Illinois and New Jersey.
Visual Designer for various schools.
Music consultant for Reef Independent Indoor Percussion.

Teaching (30 years):
Currently – Percussion technician for Rockwood Summit High School Marching Band
Past – Belleville East High School, Belleville West High School, Truman State University band camp and other various schools around Missouri.

Judging (7 years):
Level One graduate of the Judge’s Academy
USBands judge
Judged Kansas Bandmasters State Championships and Kentucky Bandmasters Association quarterfinals in addition to judging nationally.

Any time

Rich Guillen

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.

Any time

Jon Mattheis

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.

Any time

Taylor Smith

Currently the Assistant Director at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Ca. Marched RCC Fall 3 years and was featured trombone soloist. Traveled to BOA twice with RCC and Rose Parade 4 times. Marched the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps for two years on Euphonium 2010 and 2011. Taught Blue Devils B Drum and Bugle Corps, Pacific Crest D&B Corps, and The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps for two years. Earned Music Education Degree and Jazz Performance Degree from CSULB under Jeff Jarvis. Has been seen on several Television commercials, movies, and tv shows as a performer/background actor. I have written drill for indoor drumline, and marching band.

Any time

David Kaiser

David is currently band director at Wyoming City Schools District, Wyoming, OH. He teaches grades 5 – 12 Band, as well as middle school jazz band, high school jazz band, and marching band. He is the Music Caption Head for The Central States Judges Association of America and has been a member of the organization for 14 years. He judges Individual, Ensemble, and General Effect music throughout the fall season and is in demand as an adjudicator throughout the midwest. David also is a Music Analysis Judge for WGI Winds. David serves as a clinician for marching bands in the Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus, OH area. He is a Level Two Graduate of the Marching Roundtable Judges Academy.

One Time Consultation with Option of Future Discussions

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.

Any time


Page 2 of 3 123