Judges for Freedom Showcase
Chris Sharp, Ph.D. is a professional composer, arranger and orchestrator currently living in Lynchburg, VA. Educated at the University of Florida and the University of Miami, he has served the music field in a wide range of capacities. As a trombonist, Dr. Sharp worked as a full-time performing musician and bandleader at Walt Disney World for eleven years. In addition, he has served as an arranger/orchestrator for the Disney parks worldwide since 1984, providing music for atmosphere groups, live shows, recording sessions and national television broadcasts. He also has written for numerous freelance clients including Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the Boston Pops, the Dallas Brass and several service bands including the famed USAF Airmen of Note.
Mr. Sharp is currently serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Lynchburg College where he conducts the instrumental ensembles and teaches music theory and humanities courses. Dr. Sharp has served as a clinician and guest conductor on numerous occasions, and has extensive experience as an adjudicator judging for several organizations including Bands of America and Drum Corps International. His compositions and arrangements for concert and jazz band have enjoyed widespread performances, including annual appearances at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago. He has received the ASCAPlus award multiple times.
Scott Gordon is the Director of Bands for Cumberland County Public Schools. Scott holds a master’s degree in film scoring from Berklee College of Music and an bachelor’s degree in music education from Liberty University. His first teaching assignment was serving 22 years at Powhatan High School from 1992-2014. He led this organization from being a small, rural band program to a notable department with 13 performance ensembles, college preparatory music theory, and multiple nationally competitive groups.
In 1995, Scott was a founding board member of Atlantic Indoor Association, the governing organization for competitive winter guard, winter percussion, and winter winds in Virginia and North Carolina. He spent ten years on the board serving as Treasurer, Vice President, and Percussion Coordinator, and is an inducted member of the Atlantic Indoor Association Hall of Honor.
Additionally, Scott marched in 1990 Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as being on brass and visual staff of Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps from 1991-1993. He also served on the board of the Performing Arts Foundation of Powhatan and spent several years as the trombonist for the Old Dominion Brass Quintet.
Scott is a Level 2 graduate of the Marching Roundtable Judges’ Academy in both Music and Visual, and currently judges with the Virginia Marching Band Cooperative, Atlantic Indoor Association, as well as additional regional assignments. He is an active ensemble composer with dozens of performed compositions, specializing in fresh and unique small marching band and winter percussion works, as well as a successful film and media composer
Elisa Lessard has been involved with color guard as a performer, choreographer, designer, instructor, and adjudicator for over 20 years. She believes in the power of color guard and marching band to shape the lives of those who dedicate themselves to this activity. Ms. Lessard holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Texas Christian University and a Master’s in Music Performance from the University of North Texas. She is a former music educator in Fairfax County before deciding to stay home with her small children. She has taught successful color guard programs in North Texas as well as Northern Virginia. Currently, she serves as an adjudicator for the Atlantic Indoor Association, a thriving winter guard circuit in the Northern Virginia area. Elisa lives in Woodbridge, Virginia with her husband and three children.
Katie Greene Kegley
Katie Greene is originally from Salem, VA and currently is a school counselor for Rockingham County Public Schools in Virginia. She performed with James Madison University's color guard in 2010 and was captain in 2011. She was also a member of JMU Nuance Winter Guard in 2010 and 2011. Most recently, she was a member in First Flight World for the 2016-2018 seasons. She has been teaching high school and collegiate color guard and winter guard throughout the Shenandoah Valley since 2012 and is excited to continue with her fourth year of judging with VMBC. She is currently a movement judge with the Atlantic Indoor Association (AIA).
Kent Baker received his education at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, where he studied Music Education with Dr. Stephen K. Steele, and Horn with Dr. Joseph Niesler. He was the Director of Bands at Central Catholic High School, Bloomington, IL, directing Concert Band and Concert Choir. Mr. Baker was a member of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Dr. William Wilson. He has also performed with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra, MD, and the Fairfax Wind Symphony, VA. He regularly performs with the Quintessential Brass Quintet playing the French horn and arranges music for them. Their CDs and charts can be found at www.trumpetunes.com. He is recently retired from the The United States Air Force Band in Washington, DC, as a Master Sergeant with the Ceremonial Brass, the marching component of the band. He was the staff arranger/composer, an assistant Drum Major, and composed music performed on USAF Band CDs, and live on The Today Show, and Fox & Friends. He is currently the Executive Director of Music City Drum & Bugle Corps from Nashville, TN.
A native of Illinois, Mr. Baker has marched with and instructed such legendary Drum and Bugle Corps as the Belleville Black Knights, the Geneseo Knights, and The Cavaliers, where as a member of the brass staff, the corps won its first DCI Championship in 1992. He was a designer and instructor for Images Winter Guard from Normal Community High School, IL, from 1986-1996. They were a finalist at Winter Guard International (WGI) regional competition 15 times across all Scholastic classes during his time there. Mr. Baker has judged for Drum Corps Midwest, WGI and Atlantic Indoor Association. Mr. Baker is active as an arranger and drill writer for many successful high school marching bands. These bands have won numerous awards such as BOA Grand Nationals Semi-Finalist, BOA Regional Class Champion, BOA Regional Finalist, USSBA State Champion, Greater St. Louis Champion, Illinois State Class Champion, and VBODA Honor Band.
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.
Bob Wall is from Middletown, VA and is a nationally recognized public safety professional with extensive experience developing and managing traffic and other public safety and educational programs. Bob coordinated the child passenger safety training and traffic safety public information and education programs for the Fairfax County Police Department. In the Commonwealth of Virginia Wall has been active as a consultant to the International and Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, coordinating and assisting with several highway programs. As the coordinator of the IACP National and Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge, Bob made the Virginia state program one of the premier state traffic safety programs in the country.
Bob is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and an alumnus of the two-time DCI World Champion, Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps. His pageantry experience incubuses over 15 years of instructing the Lake Braddock Secondary Marching Band in Burke, VA as well as instructing or consulting many other marching bands and winter guards in the Commonwealth for more than 25 years. Mt Vernon High School, Madison High School, Thomas Jefferson High Schools and Centerville High School are only some of the schools he has instructed or consulted over the years. His judging experience also spans many years in Virginia and nationwide.
After his retirement, Wall also committed himself to the development of youth. As the Executive Director of the Madison Drum & Bugle Corps Association, Inc, in Madison Wisconsin. He coordinated over 200 instructors and volunteers and three drum and bugle corps with over 500 young adults. The Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps or Lexington, KY, The Capitol Sound Drum & Bugle Corps, Madison, WI and the Madison Scouts, Madison, WI, activities were coordinated and directed by Bob. The Madison Scouts placed 8th in the DCI World Championships and the Capitol Sound were in finals for the first time ever in the A class at the DCI Championships. Southwind was in the DCI Associates placement for the first time ever, in 20th place.
He recently retired, again, as the Public Education Coordinator with the Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue. Bob is now the Global Car Seat Safety Advocate for Wonderland Manufacturing, representing NUNA Baby Essentials. In 1993 Bob received the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s highest award for outstanding achievements in highway safety, the J. Stannard Baker Award.
Michael Kirby currently lives in Washington DC. He is a former snare line member of the Crossmen, Blue Knights and Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps. He is a former instructor of the Univ. at Buffalo and Thomas Jefferson HSST. He is long-time percussion judge for the Atlantic Indoor Association.