Judges for Cavalcade

Greg Thomas

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Greg Thomas received his Bachelor’s Degree and Master of Music Education Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.  He recently completed his 34th and final year of teaching music in the Albemarle County Public Schools. He is currently on the Faculties of James Madison University where he conducts the Jazz Band and teaches Instrumental Arranging, and Charlottesville Day School where he teaches private lessons and music concepts. During his tenure as a public school band director, Mr. Thomas was twice recognized by the UVa chapter of Phi Delta Kappa as the “Outstanding Teacher”.  He was selected as “Charlottesville’s Best Teacher”, by C’Ville Magazine and was named “Jazz Educator of the Year” by the Charlottesville Jazz Society. Under his direction, the Albemarle High School Band was recognized seventeen times by the VBODA as a “Virginia Honor Band.” He has presented multiple times at the State VMEA conference on the subject of creativity in the instrumental ensemble.  Mr. Thomas is a member of VMEA, VBODA, Phi Beta Mu, VEA and is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician around the state of Virginia.  Mr. Thomas has been an active performer all over the United States, and has performed with Gladys Knight, the Temptations, and other national and regional acts. His true pride, however is his wife of 34 years, Veronica Price-Thomas, and their three children: Price, 33, Lauren, 29, and Carmen, 24. 

Tim Bray

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Tim Bray taught percussion at Tunstall High School for over 25 years and was also the founding director of the Virginia Helmsmen.  The Virginia Helmsmen and the Tunstall Concert Ensemble are perennial finalists and medalists at WGI. Tim has also served on the WGI advisory board for many years shaping the percussion activity nationally. He has consulted with many national high school groups and represents VA on the national level. He and his wife Debra have raised two children who are both highly active in the winter percussion activity.

Reiko Casteen

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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 15 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.

Justin Johnson

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Justin Johnson is a performer and composer within the areas of percussion and has been a part of the marching arts for over 10 years. Justin received a Master's degree in Percussion Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has a Bachelor of Science in Music, with an emphasis in Music Education and Performance from Radford University. During his undergraduate studies, Justin participated in the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble/Combos, Percussion Ensemble, and Pep Band. During his graduate studies, he participated in the Symphonic Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, and recorded with the Wind Ensemble on several released albums. He has also performed in outside ensembles such as the Virginia Helmsmen Indoor Percussion Ensemble, the Standing Room Only Jazz Orchestra, Urban Essence/Bernard Hairston Group, and Atlanta CV Drum & Bugle Corps where he also won first place in DCA I&E drum set. Currently Justin resides in Greensboro, NC as the current director of the Titans Drumline at Guilford Technical Community College, battery arranger for Duke University, technical support analyst for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is married to Tierra Coleman Johnson.

Kent Baker

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Kent Baker (ASCAP) recently retired from The United States Air Force Band, DC where he was a hornist, arranger, and composer for 23 years. Kent's works have been featured on NBC's The Today Show 15 times, Fox & Friends, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Presidential Inaugurals, Twilight Tattoos, Flash Mobs, The USAF Band 75th Anniversary Concert, Kennedy Center Honors, and recently performed by the Dallas Winds, George Mason University Symphony Orchestra, George Mason University Wind Symphony, The Beltway Brass, Oklahoma City University Wind Philharmonic, Quintessential Brass Repertoire, The St. Louis Brass Band, and Barclay Brass. 

    He is a graduate of George Mason University where he majored in Music Composition and minored in History and is pursuing his Masters in Music Education at Liberty University.

Kent has also performed as a hornist with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Carbondale Civic Orchestra, Fairfax Wind Symphony, Prince George's Symphony Orchestra, The Arlington Players, Brass Quintet, and the Beltway Brass Quintet. He is also the Atlantic Indoor Association’s Percussion, Winds, and Color Guard judge. Kent was on the brass staff of The Cavaliers when they won their first DCI Championship in 1992, and on the visual staff of The Cadets in the mid-2010s. He was also the Executive Director of Music City Drum and Bugle Corps from Nashville, TN, in their inaugural year in DCI’s World Class Competition. Kent is in his 19th year as the Program Coordinator, Arranger, Drill Writer, and Music Caption Head for the James Madison High School Marching Ensemble, a 24-time BOA Regional and Super Regional Finalist and 6-time BOA Regional Class Champion. They are the VMBC 2018-2021 State Champions, 2019 BOA Mid-Atlantic Regional Champion, and a 2019 BOA Grand Nationals Semi-Finalist and National Class AAA Silver Medalist.

Kent's concert works have won numerous awards, including recent winners Scenes from an American Childhood, winner of the District New Music Composition Competition (2020), The Eternity Gate, The Tannhauser Gate, and Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, winners of the 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020 Dallas Winds Fanfare Competition, The Common Good, winner of the 2017 Bay Colony Brass’ Composition Competition, The Bearer of Evil Tidings for Solo Horn, winner in 2017’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame Contest and the reNEW Music Micro-Commission (2020), 75.29.30, a winner in the 2016 United States Air Force Media Contest, and Wichita Falls, After the Rain for Orchestra, winner in the 2015 Musica Merida Composition Competition. His works have been included on USAF Band CDs Home of the Brave and Breaking Barriers. Kent is a 2020 Composer-in-Residence with the Westben Composer/Performer Residency in Campbellford, Ontario, Canada, as well as a finalist in the 2020 North State Orchestra Composition Competition with his work, Archetypes. Recent consortiums include the Carolina Chamber Consortium and the Fairfax County Digital Consortium.