Judges for Oakton Classic
Denny Stokes is one of the founding conductors of the Virginia Winds Academy. Prior to assuming this position, he directed high school bands at three schools in Fairfax County, Virginia for thirty-two years. In 2011, he became the founding conductor of Northern Virginia Youth Winds, and continues to serve as a clinician, conductor and adjudicator in the eastern United States.
Mr. Stokes is the only high school band director in the United States to have earned the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor with two high school bands. Elected to the American Bandmasters Association in 2005, he also maintains professional affiliations with the National Band Association, Music Educators National Conference, Virginia Music Educators Association, Virginia Band & Orchestra Directors Association, Fairfax Band Directors Association and Phi Beta Mu. Mr. Stokes is a 2017 inductee to the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity Hall of Fame. He has served VBODA as chairman in two districts and as President of VBODA, and continues as an active past president.
Mr. Stokes attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, receiving his BS in music education. He holds an MM in conducting at George Mason University, where he co-conducts the Mason Symphonic Band.
Mr. Dembowski is currently the Apex Arts Department Chair (Broadneck) for the Anne Arundel County Public Schools where he serves as the school-based lead for all aspects of the music magnet program.
He is also the Conductor of the Anne Arundel Community College Concert Band in Arnold, MD where he serves as the music director for an 80 member ensemble comprised of students, educators, professional and accomplished amateur musicians from throughout the Washington, DC and Baltimore metro areas.
Mr. Dembowski was on the Music Faculty of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland from 2000-2012 where he directed concert bands, the marching band, jazz ensemble, pit orchestra and guitar ensemble as well as taught courses in music literature and recording technology. He was also previously a secondary school band director in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where his ensembles consistently received superior ratings in local and regional festivals as well as numerous awards for marching and jazz performance.
Mr. Dembowski is a past-president of both the Maryland Music Educators Association and the Maryland Band Directors Association and previously served on the board of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association.
Mr. Dembowski earned his Master of Music in Wind Conducting from James Madison University and his Bachelor of Music Education from Longwood College. He has also completed additional graduate work in Educational Leadership at Towson University, Recording and Studio Production at Berklee College of Music, and Music Education at Boston University.
Mr. Dembowski has performed with a number of orchestras and wind ensembles including the Roanoke Symphony, Prince George’s Philharmonic, McLean Symphony, Capital Wind Symphony and National Concert Band of America. He is in demand as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator for numerous marching and concert band events throughout Maryland and Virginia.
He resides in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife, Lynda, a member of the United States Naval Academy Band.
Tony Robinson is a graduate of Western Carolina University. Mr. Robinson his teaching career as assistant band director at Enka High School and in 1984, he became the Band Director at Pisgah High School, in Canton, N.C.
Mr. Robinson was the Band Director at Cary HS from 1987-2000. During his 13- year tenure, the Cary Band continued its strong tradition of excellence by winning numerous Grand Championships at many regional competitions. Also, the Cary Bands performed in the 1998 New Year’s Day Parade, in London, England, as well as giving a concert performance in Wembley Hall. In April 2000, the Cary Bands were invited to return to Europe, performing a 10-day tour of concerts in Bruges, Belgium, Le Touquet and Paris, France.
In 2000, Mr. Robinson started the band program at the newly built Wakefield Middle School in Raleigh, N.C. From it first year enrollment of 80 students, the band grew to over 225 members earning Superior and Excellent ratings at State Concert Band Festivals during his 10-year tenure. Mr. Robinson is currently the Instrumental Director at The Franklin Academy Charter High School in Wake Forest, NC where he conducts the Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and piano class. The band started with 27 and has presently 90 members and the 2016 Music in the Parks Concert Band and Jazz Band Grand Champion scoring the highest of all 6 weekends.
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.
Dr. Brandon Cochenour currently hails from Alexandria, VA, a suburb of Washington DC. Brandon has over 15 years experience as an instructor, designer, adjudicator, and clinician in the marching arts. He has served as an adjudicator for USBands, VBODA, AIA, CIPA, TCGC, IPA, PFCJ, and numerous independent venues across the mid-Atlantic. He was a 2014 WGI Percussion Judges Academy participant, served as a clinician and contributor for Dynamic Marching, and a graduate of the Marching Roundtable Judges Academy. Brandon is a graduate of Kiski Area HS (PA) and a former marching member of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps.
Dr. Cochenour has degrees in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College (BS), Johns Hopkins University (MS), and North Carolina State University (PhD). As a researcher, he has over 50 technical publications which have been referenced nearly 900 times in scientific literature, 4 U.S. Patents and Disclosures, and a textbook chapter on laser communications. He is a 2006 and 2012 U.S. Navy Engineer of the Year, a 2010 Maryland Academy of Sciences “Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year”, and a NAVAIR Associate Fellow. In his spare time, Brandon can be found performing regularly around the DC area as a jazz pianist.
Kyle Flohre is the former Director of Bands at Colonial Heights Middle School. He received his Bachelor of Music from James Madison University and is currently pursuing is Masters in Music Education at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Under the direction of Mr. Flohre, the ensembles at Colonial Heights High School have consistently received superior ratings at Marching and Concert Assessments. Colonial Heights High School is a twenty-one time “Virginia Honor Band,” with sixteen of those coming under Mr. Flohre’s tenure. The Colonial Heights Band Program consisted of the following ensembles: The Marching Colonials, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Percussion Ensemble. The program also supports a very successful Winter Guard. The Concept Winterguard has received numerous awards, in various classifications, while participating in the AIA circuit. In 2008, Mr. Flohre was recognized by his peers and received the Colonial Heights High School “Teacher of the Year” award.
Mr. Flohre’s professional affiliations include: NAfME, VMEA, VBODA, and Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster’s Fraternity. He served as the District III VBODA representative and has been honored to judge at various marching band and VBODA Concert Assessments. He is an instructor at JMU Summer Band Camps, and schedule permitting plays clarinet in the Commonwealth Winds.
Katie Kegley 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).