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Judges for NOVA Regional

Todd Fox


Todd Fox is a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and has been a music educator for over twenty-five years.  In this time he’s held many roles in music education and the pageantry arts.  Mr. Fox began as the band director at Brooke High School (WV) for five years, Quaker Valley High School (PA) for fourteen years, marching band director at Gateway High School (PA) for two years and currently the Band Director at Quaker Valley Middle School.  His bands, winter guards, and drum line(s) have received countless superior ratings in local, state, regional and national contests, named BOA Regional Finalists, and have been awarded numerous class and grand champion awards throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and others.

Mr. Fox’s Drum corps career began in 1976 with the Thunderbirds Sr. Drum & Bugle Corps from Erie, Pa. where he was a member of the percussion section for seven years.  Since that time he’s held the role of instructor, designer, composer, & consultant, for many other drum corps, marching bands, winter guards, and indoor drum lines such as the General Butler Vagabonds (PA), Ventures (Canada), Golden Lancers (PA), Centurions Indoor Drum Line (PA), and many others.

Mr. Fox has been a music adjudicator since 1990 and has been the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Federation of Contest Judges (PFCJ) for eight of those years.  He currently judges winter guard, indoor percussion, and marching bands throughout the U.S. and Canada and has judged in the Music caption for over fifteen years with Drum Corps International including numerous regional and national championship contests.  Mr. Fox resides in the Pittsburgh, PA area with his wife, Mariann and two children, Mia and Ryan.

Elisa Lessard


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. 

Steve Calhoun


Steve Calhoun has been a music educator, clinician, consultant and adjudicator for over 30 years. He is a graduate of Jacksonville State University, the University of West Georgia and Lincoln Memorial University. His bands have won numerous awards locally, nationally and internationally, and have performed in Ireland, Australia, and twice for President Ronald Regan. He has judged the finals for DCI, DCA, WGI, BOA, Drum Corps Japan, ISSMA, USSBA, MCBA, KMEA as well as many other local and regional shows. He has served as judge administrator for the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit, Drum Corps South, and is currently the percussion judge administrator for SAPA.

Samuel Ambrose


Samuel Ambrose turns back-row tuba playing into frontline artistry, bringing high-caliber style to performances, outreach, and educational experiences. His sound supports a variety of ensembles, most recently with the Peabody orchestras and wind ensembles, as well as the Eastern Edge Brass Quintet of Baltimore, MD. Ambrose has also performed for the Sunrise Pops Orchestra in Sunrise, FL, as well as freelancing in the area. When he is not performing in the concert hall, Sam takes his talents to senior communities and homeless shelters, providing free educational recital programs.


As an educator, Mr. Ambrose’s teaching ranges from private instruction to master classes, clinics, and ensemble instruction. He currently teaches Instrumental Music at University Park and Hyattsville Elementary Schools, and is also tuba faculty at the Fredericksburg Brass Institute, and on staff with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps as a visual technician. His previous appointments include visual instruction with the Boston Crusaders, the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, and many high school and WGI groups in Florida, Maryland, and Illinois.


Sam currently lives just outside of Washington D.C., where he has recently received a Master’s degree in Tuba Performance from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Sam also holds a Bachelors of Music Education degree from Florida State University. His teachers include David Fedderly and Paul Ebbers.

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 94-95. 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. On a personal note, she is the proud mother of  four wonderful children, Alex, age 18, Matthew, age 16, Maddie, age 15, and Darryn, age 11. She would also like to thank her husband, Allen, and her father, Wayne, for their love and support.

Tim Gauldin


    Tim Gauldin is in his ninth year as Director of Bands at Kempsville Middle School.  The KMS Band program offers 6th, 7th and 8th grade bands, Pep Band, Jazz Band and the KMS Flag Team.  He received the prestigious Tagged by the Superintendent Award for the Virginia Beach City Public School System in 2015 for his work in the class room and the quality of his student’s performances.  
    He was the designer for the 2011 United States Scholastic Band Association Group VI National Champions Munford High School Band from Munford, TN.  They marched in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!  In April 2017, Mr. Gauldin conducted the Virginia Band and Orchestra Director’s Association District V All-Regional Band.
    Mr. Gauldin was the Director of Bands at Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach Virginia from 2009-2012.  Under his direction, the Bands of Kempsville have continued their winning traditions, being named a 2010-2011 VIRGINIA HONOR BAND and the 2010 United States Scholastic Band Association Virginia State Marching Band Champions.  Also, Kempsville High School was named into the VBODA HALL OF FAME in 2011.  In October of 2009, he was awarded the Kempsville High School Faculty “Make a Difference” Award for his influence on students.  In April 2010, he was honored to guest conduct the Chesapeake All-City Band.
    Prior to teaching at Kempsville High School, he was a freelance designer.  Since starting his own business in 2001, he taught high school marching bands and winter guards in Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, New Mexico, Oklahoma and California.  He was the visual caption head and color guard instructor at Western Branch High School, from Chesapeake, VA, was twice a medalist at the Atlantic Indoor Association Championships.  In addition, the Bassett HS Marching Band, a three-time Bands of America Semi-finalist.  Mr. Gauldin instructed the Lincoln HS Marching Band, Sioux Falls, SD, from 2006-2010.  The Lincoln HS Marching Band participated in the 2008 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Also, Mr. Gauldin was a co-founder of The Study, a three-time Winter Guard International Finalist.  He is most proud of designing/instructing the West Johnston HS Winter Guard from 2002 – 2009.  The West Johnston Open Guard was the 2009 Winter Guard International Scholastic Open Class Champions.
    Mr. Gauldin was the former Director of Bands at Herndon Middle School in Herndon, VA and LeRoy Martin Middle School, a Gifted and Talented Magnet School, in Raleigh, NC.  While at LeRoy Martin Middle School he built the band program to over 270 students.  Additionally, the LeRoy Martin Middle School had 40 students selected for the Wake County All-County Band, 24 students selected for the North Carolina Bandmasters Association All-District Band, and six students selected for the North Carolina Bandmasters Association All-State Band.
    Prior to teaching at the middle school level, he was the Director of Bands at Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, VA from 1994-1998.  Under his direction, the Frank W. Cox High School Band was a Virginia Honor Band from 1996-1998 and won numerous awards and superior ratings. In 1995, his Symphonic Wind Ensemble gave a command performance for Queen Sonya of Norway.  Additionally, he was Director of Bands at Nelson County High School from 1988-1992.  In 1990, his “Marching Governors” were selected to march in the inaugural parade for Governor L. Douglas Wilder.
    He attended Virginia Commonwealth University on a trumpet scholarship and received a Bachelor of Music Education in 1988.  During his senior year, he was named to the National Dean's List, selected as an Outstanding College Student of America and was named to the Outstanding Young Men of America.  In 1992, he was awarded a teaching assistantship at VCU, where his teaching responsibilities included being the Director of the University Band and the RamBand, assistant conductor of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and teaching Marching Band Techniques.  He received his Master of Music Education with an emphasis in wind band conducting in 1994 from Virginia Commonwealth University.  
    He was the Visual Consultant/Program Designer for Mystical Drum and Bugle Corps from Newbury Park, CA.  Additionally, he has taught the 1990-1992 Magic of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps and the 1987-1988 Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps.  He was a member of the 1987 Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont, IL.
    As an adjudicator, he judges for the Virginia Marching Band Cooperative, the Atlantic Indoor Association, Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association, the Carolina Indoor Performance Association and the United States Scholastic Band Association.  Professionally, he is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Virginia Music Educators Association and the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association.  

Tim Bray


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.

Stan Schoonover


Stan Schoonover (Music) has led the Fairfax Wind Symphony for all of its’ 19 seasons as Music Director.  His thirty-two year career in public school education included eleven as Music Supervisor for the Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools, widely regarded as one of America’s foremost school music programs. Ensembles under his direction have appeared at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Ferguson Center, the Center for the Arts, the Midwest Clinic, and 13 times at the VMEA In-service Conference.  Mr. Schoonover is an adjunct instructor at James Madison University, is a Coordinator for the Music For All National Concert Band Festival, a member of the MFA Educational Team, and the Midwest Clinic Advisory Committee.

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