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Judges for VMBC Championships

Dave Kaiser


Dave Kaiser is a recently retired Band Director, after 35 successful years in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. He taught mainly grades 5 – 12 band, and his programs were very active in marching, jazz, and concert band. David is currently serving as Music Caption Head for CSJA, where he has been an active member the past 18 years. He is an independent consultant for marching bands in the Cincinnati/Dayton area, where he also adjudicates various concert festivals. David is also a WGI Winds Adjudicator in Music Analysis, and judges Winds events for various indoor associations, including e-adjudicate (online). He is currently the MEPA Winds Judge Administrator and oversees the judges for MEPA Winds. He has served on the OMEA Adjudicated Events Committee as the Jazz Chair and served as Jazz Chair for OMEA District 13 and 14. David resides with his wife, Deb in Venice, Florida.

Stephen Howard

Stephen Howard.jpg

Stephen Howard is a native of Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Howard holds degrees in Music Education (B.M. from Radford University, 2005) & Instrumental Conducting (M.M. from George Mason University, 2007).Stephen moved to Austin, Texas in 2007 to teach at James Bowie High School as an Assistant Band Director. At Bowie, Mr. Howard received Division I ratings at several UIL Concert & Sight Reading Contests with the many of the schools wind ensembles. The James Bowie High School Outdoor Performing Ensemble also experienced success during his time, being named a UIL 5A State Finalist in 2008, 2010, & 2012, a Bands of America Grand National Finalist in 2009 & 2012, and was a consistent BOA Regional Class Champion & Super Regional Finalist.As Director of Bowie’s Color Guard, the program grew considerably to include over 50 members and two levels of courses. Most notably, the Winter Guards competed at the Texas Color Guard Circuit State Championships where both the JV & Varsity teams were named class champions in 2014. The Varsity team went on to appear in the Scholastic Open Class Finals at the WGI World Championships that same year.Currently, Stephen serves as Director of Bands at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, a magnet school for women grades 6-12 in the Austin Independent School District. Under his direction, the band program has tripled in size. The Marching Stars are the nation's only all-female competitive marching band and are a consistent Bands of America Regional Class Champion. They have recently been invited to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.Mr. Howard is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, and is President of the Texas Color Guard Circuit.

Reiko Casteen


Reiko Casteen is a native of East Tennessee. She graduated from Daniel Boone High School, East Tennessee State University, and Eastern Virginia Medical School.  She has taught several guards (fall and indoor) throughout her career. Her judging experience includes serving as a movement caption judge in the Atlantic Indoor Association since 2004 and has been judging marching band competitions across the Southeastern US for the past 20 years.

    Her winter guard performing experience includes Daniel Boone High School from 1992-1995, Nuendo Winter Guard from 1996- 2000 where they were the WGI Bronze Medalists in 1996, and Infiniti World Winter Guard in 2003. Reiko’s drum corps experience includes marching with Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois from 1994 (3rd place), 1995 (5th place), and 1996 (DCI Gold Medalist). Reiko currently lives in Richmond, VA with husband and son.

Paula Hales


Paula Hales currently lives in Clayton, NC where she serves as band director at Archer Lodge Middle School. She has performed in WGI with Northern Nash HS and in DCI with the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 1994-1995. Mrs. Hales has been active in the Marching band community as both member, staff, and director since 1990. She has judged numerous marching band contests for NCBA.  Mrs. Hales received her Bachelor and Masters of Music Education degrees in 1997 and 2006 from East Carolina University. She achieved National Board Certification in Music education in 2007. She maintains professional affiliations with MENC and NCBA South Eastern District associations and has been named Teacher of the Year at her school for 2014. She currently is trialing as a visual judge for DCI. On a personal note, she is the proud mother of  four wonderful children, Alex, age 20, Matthew, age 18, Maddie, age 17, and Darryn, age 13. 

Jason Derting


Jason Derting as been teaching and judging marching band for over 20 years. He has marched with 3 finalists at Winter Guard International (WGI) including winning a world championship with Infiniti Winter Guard and Chimeras World Winter Guard. Jason was a clarinet and drummer in marching band and has experience teaching and designing band and color guard shows for various high schools in Virginia and Tennessee. Jason is currently the Chief Judger for the Atlantic Indoor Association (AIA). He also judges with other winter guard circuits in the United States. He is entering his 5th season as a WGI Equipment Judge this year. He adjudicates numerous marching band competitions annually in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. He resides in Fredericksburg, VA with his wife and 2 children, working as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Joshua Potter


Joshua K Potter is currently the Director of Bands at Providence Senior High School. Previously, Mr. Potter was the Director of Bands at Raleigh Wakefield High School for eleven years – beginning with its opening in 2000. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from UNC - Chapel Hill and completed a Masters in Wind Band Conducting at ECU. Mr. Potter also served as the Director of Bands at West Rowan HS and Charlotte Catholic HS.

    During his time at Wakefield, the program developed into a comprehensive music education program that featured three concert ensembles, two jazz bands, a percussion ensemble studio and a winter percussion ensemble, four winter guards, a chamber music program, and a music theory and AP Music Theory program. The marching band was a Bands of America Regional Championship Finalist on multiple occasions. The Winter Guard was a four-time Winter Guard International World Championships finalist. The Wakefield band program was featured twice at the NC Music Educator’s Conference. 

    At Providence, the Wind Ensemble was a featured ensemble at the 2013 NC Music Educator’s Conference. In addition, the Pride of Providence Marching Band was a finalist at the 2013 Bands of America Winston-Salem Super Regional, the first band from Charlotte to earn this honor. 

Jim Brooks


Jim Brooks obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from Wright State University in1980, and was the assistant band director Kokomo HS, Kokomo Indiana, from 1981-1982, and was the assistant director at Centerville, (OH) High School, from 1983-1988. At both Kokomo and Centerville, he designed and instructed the winter guard, directed the percussion ensemble, and was visual designer for the marching band. Jim did graduate work at the University of Dayton in Educational Leadership, and also at Wright State University in music education. He was a band director and music educator in Dayton Public schools from 1992-2002. 

Jim was an extra percussionist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed professionally with such artist as, Moody Blues, Doc Severinsen, Shirley Jones, Clarke Terry, Lionel Hampton, Art Garfunkle, Roger Williams, and Sarah Vaughn. He played drums and percussion for dozens of musical theater productions in the greater Dayton/Cincinnati area, including: Sweeney Todd, Evita, Brigadoon, Children Of Eden, Cats, Gypsy, Cabaret, A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, Applause, Anything Goes, Will Rogers Follies, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Falsettoland, and many others. 

Jim is the color guard judges coordinator for the Mideast Judges Association, and judges for numerous other circuits across the country. He has judged for WGI, DCI, and DCA. He currently resides in Centerville, Ohio.

Bob Thomas


Bob Thomas judges or has judged for Drum Corp International (DCI), Winter Guard International WGI), Drum Corp Midwest, Drum Corp Atlantic, Indiana State Scholastic Music Association (ISMMA), Bands of America (BOA), Drum Corp Europe (DCE), Youth Education in the Arts (YEA), Ohio Judges Association, Florida Federation of Judges, Atlantic Indoor Association (AIA), Pennsylvania Federation of Judges, and Marching in Okayama, Japan, Drum Corp Associates (DCA). In 2008 he judged the World Marching Band Championships in Malaysia. He judged the 2009 Thailand Drum Line Competition. He recently returned from Malaysia where he taught the DCE Judges college for DCE license partner M World Band Championships.
He has been the Director of Education for Drum Corp Europe for the past 15 years. He designed the current scoring system for Drum Corp Asia which is currently being used in 16 countries. He has also been the Director of Education for the Florida Judges Association, the Ohio Judges Association, and the Atlantic Indoor Association. Bob was very instrumental in helping establish the VMBC judging system. 

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