Judges for South County Invitational
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.
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.
Paul Fadoul's successful career as a performer, composer, and teacher has deep roots in both the concert and marching percussion community. Since 2003, he has performed in the groundbreaking duo, Lawler + Fadoul with flutist Zara Lawler. Hailed as “a great treat” (Classical WETA, Washington DC), the duo blends classical virtuosity with lively commentary and theatrical flair. In 2013, Lawler + Fadoul released its debut album, Prelude Cocktail, which the music blog, I Care If You Listen called “collaborative artistry at its finest.” Since forming, Lawler + Fadoul have performed together in many of North America’s most prestigious concert series and venues, including the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Trinity Wall Street, the Edmonton Recital Society, and McMaster University’s Celebrity Concert Series.
Paul is also a founding member and principal composer/arranger of Dark by Five, the ensemble-in-residence at Canada’s Gros Morne Summer Music Festival in Newfoundland and Labrador. The ensemble expands the boundaries of musical presentation by weaving classical, contemporary, and popular music with theater, poetry, visual art and visual media working with renowned artists such as the celebrated Canadian poet, Don McKay and guitarist Duane Andrews.
A dedicated teacher and educator, Paul has toured with the ensemble Tales & Scales, where he performed 200 shows annually for children and families, including solo performances with the Milwaukee, Buffalo, and Oregon symphonies. He has taught at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and the George Mason University drumline. He was director and designer of the Chantilly High School Indoor Drumline which, under his leadership, became a two-time medalist at the WGI World Championships. Paul is currently on faculty at The Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.
Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, Paul has a Bachelor of Music from George Mason University and a Master of Music from Yale University where he studied with Robert van Sice.
Paul Fadoul proudly endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Pearl/Adams drums and keyboards, and Evans drum heads.
Jerry Philp is the director of bands at Skyline Middle School in Harrisonburg Virginia. There, he also designs drill for several high school programs across the Commonwealth and works specifically with the Harrisonburg High School marching band, the James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes, and the WGI medalist Nuance Winterguard. For the past several years he has been a general effect judge with the Atlantic Indoor Association, and continues to perform with the Massanutten Brass Band.
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.
Doug Casteen currently resides in Richmond, Virginia and is a graduate of North Carolina State University. He has been judging marching bands, drum corps and color guards for the last 25 years. He has been active as an adjudicator for many band associations across the US. He has recently judged state championships competitions for Oklahoma. Colorado, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. He is currently the Chief Judge for the Atlantic Indoor Association (AIA) where he inducted in the AIA Hall of Honor in 2006 for his contributions to the circuit. He is the current Chief Judge for the Virginia Marching Band Cooperative (VMBC). He has judged all visual captions for Drum Corps International (DCI) and currently judges for the Winds Division of Winter Guard International (WGI). He served as a General Effect Judge for Color Guard Division of WGI for 12 seasons where he judged over 40 Regional Championships and 6 World Championships. His performing experience includes marching in DCI with Avant Garde from Saratoga Springs, NY, the 27th Lancers from Revere, MA, and the Star of Indiana from Bloomington, IN. He performed the Star Alumni Drum Corps in 2004 and 2010. He has instructed various marching bands, winter guards, and drum corps throughout the Southeastern US.
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.
Dr. Brandon Cochenour
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.