Who they are - brief bios

See below a short bio for those who serve on the judging panels of the Midwest Color Guard Circuit:

 

Sal Adamo

During the past 35 years, Sal Adamo has been associated with all phases of pageantry arts. His involvement in design, coordination and consultation has produced innumerable Drum and Bugle Corps, Marching Band and Winter Color Guard shows. As an adjudicator his experience and qualifications span 25 years. He’s continually dedicates time to improving his own skills and has maintained qualifications in all visual captions. He is proud of his continued affiliation with the following premiere pageantry organizations: Drum Corps Associates Drum Corps International Winter Guard International While Sal has been a championship finalist’s judge many times for these organizations, he also has bolstered his experience as DCA judges Visual Caption Head. As a cofounder and Chief Judge of the East Coast Judges Guild, he takes pride developing new, highly-respected judges.

 

Leticia Alcuran

Leticia Alcuran has an extensive background teaching and performing at the highest levels of the marching arts activity as well as years of professional experience in the dance industry. Leticia also has contributed to development of guard and dance programs with getting courses approved through the UC/CSU for Visual and Performing Arts credit. Having competed at the highest caliber in DCI and WGI she has earned multiple gold medals and world championship titles with groups including Santa Clara Vanguard and Concord Blue Devils “A” Corps and Fantasia Independent World Guard. Leticia received her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from California Institute of the Arts and upon graduating was awarded a full scholarship from The Limon Dance Company New York’s Dance and Teaching Intensive where she studied under Risa Steinberg, artistic director at Julliard. Beyond her education Leticia has danced professionally with companies such as Disney, The last Dance Company (CalArts, RedCat Theatre) and has performed a solo in the royal Albert Hall in London. She also was the female lead performer in the Tony and Emmy Award winning Broadway Show “BLAST!” with the Anaheim Cast and went on the North American and Japan Tour with the company. Most recently, Leticia appeared on Billboard’s 2014 American Music Awards, performing on stage with Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull. Aside from having taught and choreographed for groups competing in WGI, she hascompleted the WGI Certify and currently travels judging for many circuits.

 

Chris Babashka

Chris Babashka has been actively involved in the marching arts for more than 30 years. Chris is currently an adjudicator with Bands of America, The Midwest Color Guard Circuit, and many local shows across Illinois. Chris received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois State University in 1995 and a Master of Arts Degree in 1996.  He recently completed his MBA from Benedictine University in 2013. In his spare time, he works as a hospital administrator in the suburbs of Chicago and, most importantly, enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. 

 

Keith Baker

Keith Baker has 27 years of experience in adjudication, instruction, and design in the pageantry arts.  He performed with the Belleville Black Knights, Geneseo Knights, and Capital Brass Ensemble and has taught numerous ensembles including Images Winter Guard, Francis Howell Central Indoor Drumline, and O’Fallon Township HS Marching Band.  He continues to be active as a designer and instructor with high school teams from Missouri to Maryland.  Keith is proud to be associated with judging associations such as Drum Corps International, Winter Guard International, Midwest Color Guard Circuit and the Indiana State School Music Association. Keith has spent most of his life in education, first as an instructor in Reactor Plant Chemistry at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory while serving in the US Navy.  Since receiving his degree in education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville he has taught Honors US History and Medieval History at Edwardsville High School in Southwestern Illinois. He is the recipient of numerous awards for education including the Olin Corporation Silver Medallion Award and WIU’s Most Influential Teacher Award.

 

Michelle Bowers

Michele has been a Winter Guard Movement & Percussion Visual judge since 2005 as well as a Drum Corps International (DCI) Visual judge. She has been the Color Guard Director at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio where she has enjoyed 12 years of success. The Walnut Hills Marching Blue and Gold is one of 8 bands in Ohio to receive a Superior rating from the Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA) State Finals 12 years consecutively. The Marching Blue and Gold has also placed in the top 3 in both AA and AAA classes in 2012 & 2013 in the MidStates Band Association (MSBA) Circuit Finals. Recently, Michele was named the Visual Coordinator for the Walnut Hills Marching Blue and Gold. During the winter months, she is a Visual Designer for the Talawanda High School Indoor Drumline. Michele is an alumnus of the Pride of Cincinnati Drum & Bugle Corps (1981 & 1982), Phantom Regiment Winter Guard (1983) and Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps (1983). Michele holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication Arts from the University of Cincinnati (1987).

 

Stephen Brucker

As a thirty-four year veteran of the pageantry arts activity, Stephen Brucker has fulfilled the roles of participant, choreographer, technician, caption head, consultant, set/costume designer and Judge for numerous bands, drum corps and winterguards throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, Virginia and Wisconsin. He is dual certified member of the New York State Federation of Contest Judges where he adjudicates the captions of Individual Analysis Movement and Design Analysis. Stephen holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture with a minor in Glass Sculpture from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester New York. He earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture with a minor in Art History from the State University of New York at Oswego in Oswego New York. Stephen also owns and operates his own glass art business, Throwing Stones Glass Art. www.stephenbrucker.wix.com/glass . Stephen exhibits his sculptural glass work throughout the North East and frequently provides lectures on the processes and techniques of Borosilicate Glass Sculpting. His work is sold at a number of galleries in New York. Stephen’s most recent teaching experience was with the Brigadiers Winter Guard as a member of their design team as well as serving as their movement caption head. He additionally assisted with costume design and construction as well as set design. During his time with the Brigadiers Stephen enjoyed assisting this organization gain WGI Finalist status on five occasions (1999, 2000, 2011, 2012 & 2013). He has also had the pleasure of teaching multiple high school winterguards throughout the North East, most notably Naples High School of Naples NY (WGI Scholastic A Finalists 2006-2007). As a staff member with Magic of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps of Orlando Florida, Stephen held the role of guard technician (1993-94) before becoming the guard caption head (1995-96). Assisting in the growth and development of this organization and most especially its students while witnessing their rise from DCI Semi-Finalist to becoming a DCI Finalist, to the corps achieving their highest placement as a DCI Finalist is one of his fondest memories. As a participant and student, Stephen had the unique opportunity to learn from many of the Masters of the pageantry arts activity. His drum corps marching history includes Avant Garde of Saratoga Springs NY, Les Eclipses of Longueil and the Madison Scouts of Madison WI. Additionally Stephen’s winterguard experience includes Nova of Denver Colorado and The Thunderbolts of Cedarburg WI.

 

Marci Carlberg

My name is Marci Carlberg and I have been involved in the marching arts since 1976. I started by marching in the color guard with a small drum corps in MI. Then in 1980 I began teaching marching band color guards and continue to this day. In 1988 I was one of a small group of people who started Forte winter guard. During that teams existence I taught, wrote, cleaned choreography and was the director. They were a WGI IA class finalist from 1990-1992, IO class silver medalist in 1993, and IW Class finalist in 1994 and 95. Forte folded in 1996 and that's when I began to judge more consistently. I started judging marching band and winter guard for Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Midwest. My captions are visual field and ensemble for marching band and equipment for winter guard. I started DCI trials this last summer for color guard and general effect. In 2003 I was asked to join the staff for Interplay winter guard. Interplay has competed in all three independent class in WGI. They won the IO gold medal in 2005 and the IA silver medal in 2008. I am currently on staff with Interplay. In my other life I am a retired elementary teacher. I taught for 26 years. I have been married for 27 years and have 3 childern. I reside in Gand Rapids, Michigan.

 

Lee Carlson

Lee Carlson has been involved in the pagentry arts for over 45 years. He has spent the last 36 years as the drill designer and color guard instructor for the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band. He judges for Bands of America, Drum Corps International and many Winter Guard Circuits across the United States. He served four years as Visual Caption Head for DCI and currently is the Judges Training Coordinator. He has judged in Europe and Asia and has adjudicated the Drum Corps Japan Championships nine times. He has written for and taught many mass bands including the opening of the Los Angles Olympics, Centennial of the Statue of Liberty, and the Bicentennial of the French Revolution and the Centennial of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Lee owns and operates a pottery studio in Palm Springs, CA.

 

Shirl Chumley

Shirl Chumley has been involved in marching band and color guard activities (through marching, instructing and adjudicating) for the past 42 years. She has judged color guard, drum corps, and marching band competitions across the country, in states including Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Iowa, California, Texas, Michigan, Indiana, Oklahoma,Kansas, South Carolina, Nevada, Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. She lived in Parker, Colorado, where she taught high school English in the Douglas County School District for 18 years before joining the international school teaching ranks where she spent two years as a founding member of Korea International School, Jeju Island, South Korea, from 2011-2013. Most recently, Shirl worked the past three years at The American School of The Hague in The Netherlands and judged for Color Guard Nederlands. Shirl returned to Colorado the summer of 2016 and has enjoyed returning to judging marching band and winter guard competitions in the U.S.
 
Jason Foster 
Jason Foster has been active in the creative and performing arts for nearly thirty years. He has performed with multiple winterguards and drum corps from around the country, and studied acting, dance, and vocal performance, all in conservatory settings. Additionally, he has studied and researched art philosophy, art theory, and cultural theory as related to art and performance, all in rigorous academic settings. Jason’s professional experience includes serving as choreographer, designer, consultant, and technician to multiple drum corps and marching bands from around the Midwest. He assists creative and performing artists, arts-related institutions and organizations, as well as various other nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations with complex and challenging legal, tax, and business issues. He also sits on executive boards for multiple arts, theater, and performance organizations in the Chicago area. Jason loves attending concerts and live music shows, as well as theater and dance performances of all sorts. He is an avid news-radio listener and enjoys learning about coffee, tea, beer, whisky, wine, and cheese. He tries--with varying success, given his schedule--to read at least one non-academic book each month and watch at least one independently-produced documentary each week.

 

Kelsey Gleason

Kelsey Gleason began her color guard career twenty-one years ago. Her performance career included seven years with the World Champion Nolan Winter Guard where she served as captain her final two years. She also performed with the World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps for six years, serving as captain her final three years. Kelsey’s teaching career spans sixteen years where she has served as color guard director at John Horn High School, Lewisville High School, Spring High School and Marcus High School. During her tenure, Kelsey’s programs have received top honors locally, regionally, state wide and nationally both in the outdoor and indoor competitive arenas. Kelsey has also consulted at a large number of programs in the Dallas and Houston area. She has also brought her teaching talents to the drum corps world working with The Glassmen, Phantom Regiment, Carolina Crown and the Madison Scouts. Kelsey is a member of the Texas Color Guard Judges Association evaluating groups around the country during the marching band and winter guard season.Currently Kelsey resides in McKinney, Texas where she teaches mathematics at McKinney Boyd High School and spends her summers teaching at The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps.

 

Stephen Keiser

A native of Newark, Delaware, Stephen Keiser served as President of Apex Youth Services, Inc. (AYS) from 1999-2013.  AYS, Inc. offered three independent winter guard programs:  Apex Winter Guard, Bpex Winter Guard, and Cpex Winter Guard.  While designing and instructing for all three programs, Stephen’s primary position was as director and instructor for the WGI world class program, Apex Winter Guard.  Throughout the 14 year period, the AYS programs achieved multiple successes locally and nationally, including WGI finalist and medalist status. In the outdoor arena, Stephen aged-out from Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps and went on to design and instruct for drum and bugle corps, which included color guard caption head positions at Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps (DCI) and Reading Drum & Bugle Corps (DCA).  On the collegiate level, he was color guard caption head of Towson University Marching Band from 2004-2013.  In 2009, Towson University Marching Band appeared in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  During Stephen’s time living in Delaware, he also designed and instructed for multiple high school marching band and winter guard programs in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Since relocating to Chicago, Illinois in 2013, Stephen has become involved as an adjudicator for Mid-America Competing Band Directors Association (MACBDA), Midwest Color Guard Circuit (MWCGC), and Mid-Continent Color Guard Association (MCCGA).                   

  

Rick Kemp

Richard has been active in the pageantry activity since 1968. He was a member of the color guard of the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle corps. Upon aging out, he went into instructing and taught many local bands in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, as well as the Cavaliers drum corps. While teaching, he became interested in judging and went through training to become a winter color guard judge. He later expanded into fall marching band judging as well as drum corps adjudicating. He was a national judge for Winter Guard International for thirty years. He is currently on the Judge Liaison team for Drum Corps International. He was a founding member of the Midwest Judges Guild, where he serves as their treasurer. He was the chief judge of the Midwest Color Guard Circuit. Richard holds a BS degree from Loyola University of Chicago.

 

Ryan Klassa

Ryan has been involved in drum corps, colorguard, and winterguard longer than he hasn't. He was a member of Tapestry Winterguard, Sundowners Winterguard, the DCI World Champion Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps, and the WGI World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard Winterguard. He has conducted numerous clinics throughout the US, and was the director of Velocity Winterguard for 7 years. He currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and works as a film producer and cinematographer, in addition to  serving as a clinician and instructor for various high school groups in the area. 

 

Mark Laydon

Mark Laydon has been adjudicating movement for nine years.  He has performance experience with The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps as well as Oracle Winter Guard. Mark received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in business and fine arts from the University of Colorado.  He is a consultant for finance & accounting in the Chicago metropolitan area.
 

Kyle Miller

Like many, his performing arts experience begins in marching band. Initially as a member of his father's high school band, competing in BOA events. Later he expanded upon that experience by studying music at University of Iowa, then performing with the Star of Indiana. After performing, he began expanding his pageantry arts involvement. Currently he consults, designs and clinics with schools nationwide. He greatly values the experience and opportunities to judge for Winter Guard International the last 14 years. This year, he is serving as Judge Liaison for Midwest Color Guard Circuit as well as Chief Judge for Texas Color Guard Circuit. Also spending time judging for BOA/Music for All, and summers judging with Drum Corps International, he is fortunate to have additional experience judging internationally, evaluating programs from Drum Corps Europe, Drum Corps Japan, and Drum Corps, Winter Guard of Thailand. Currently based in Las Vegas Nevada, Kyle teaches Language Arts, and Creative Writing. He served as a member of UNLV's Education Cadre and Community Partnership programs. He has earned a writing fellowship with the National Writing Project and participated in Southern Nevada's Writing Project. Moreover, he has been involved with several education programs promoting student involvement in the arts, including Nevada Ballet and USA 7's international rugby team.

 

Hieu Nguyen

Hieu Nguyen is originally from Danbury, CT. He first became involved in the marching arts as a tenor saxophone player in his high school marching band. From there, he began in the colorguard activity by joining his high school winter guard and found a great love for the activity which continues till this day. Since then, Hieu has performed with many successful groups including: Alter Ego, St. John’s of Beverly, and St. Ann’s World Winterguards. He has also performed in DCI with the Cadets in 2001, 2003, and 2004. Hieu began his extensive movement training at Boston University where he was a member of the dance theatre group. He focused his training in ballet, modern, and hip hop movement. During law school, he expanded his training to contemporary movement and earned a position in the Anna Myer contemporary dance company from Cambridge, MA where he performed professionally for several years. Hieu has shared his passion in the activity by teaching and choreographing for several successful units. He has been on staff at Bethel High School for several years before taking on the role of Director and choreographer of the award winning and WGI finalist Bethel Independent Winterguard in 2008. Hieu was the choreographer and a show designer for the University of Delaware’s Winterguard program Delazure in 2009 and 2010. Currently, Hieu is on staff at Shenendehowa High School as a choreographer where he has been since 2009. Hieu began adjudicating in 2006. He is thrilled to be adjudicating for WGI and hopes to be a part of the activity for many years to come. Outside of the activity, Hieu is an Attorney running his own law practice in Boston, MA specializing in family law and domestic violence prevention. Hieu is also an avid runner and is a proud finisher of the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Boston Marathons for team Boston Arts Academy raising over $14,000 for Arts based education. In 2013, Hieu completed the NYC Marathon raising over $2,000 for the WGI Scholarship fund.  

 

Chad Quamme 

Chad Quamme has been an active instructor in drum corps, marching band and winterguard over the last twenty years. Through his years of teaching he has worked with finalist groups in Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International as well as many Wisconsin and Michigan State Marching Band Championships. Currently he designs for marching bands in Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas and adjudicates all over the country in the fall. He is the chief judge for the Mid American Competing Band Director’s Association. During the winter he works for the Midwest, Heartland Winter Arts Association and North Star Color Guard Circuits as well as the Minnesota Percussion Association. He is a history teacher at Beloit Memorial High School in Beloit, Wisconsin and resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

 

Dan Swallow

Dan received both of his music degrees from Illinois State University (BME ’85, MME ’97). After his graduation, Dan returned home to begin his teaching career in LeRoy, IL (85-88). In the fall of 1986, Dan began working with the Normal Community HS guard while still teaching in LeRoy. This is now the 27th year that he has been teaching in the Unit 5 School District, Normal, IL (88 – present). While teaching at Normal Community High School, he was an assistant band director (88 – 02, 07-08), color guard instructor (86-01) and founder/director of the NCHS Winter Guard, Images (86-02). The marching band and color guard traveled extensively during his time at the high school. The Marching Ironmen participated in the Orange Bowl Parade (86) Fiesta Bowl Parade / Field Show competition (88, 92, 96), The Tournament of Roses – Rose Bowl Parade / field show exhibition (91), the Citrus Bowl Parade and Field Show (94, 98) and in 2000 the marching band, choirs and orchestras from NCHS did a 10 day, 3 country tour in Europe. Some highlights of Dan’s 16 years as the director of Images are: 28 time WGI Regional Finalist (including the very first year), winning three of those Regionals; promoted to Scholastic World in 1991; 3 time WGI Semi-Finalist; 4 time Midwest Color Guard Circuit Champions; 2 MCGC Rookies of the Year; 1 MCGC Commander’s Medallion; 3 MCGC Scholarship winners; 1 WGI Scholarship winner. Dan also served as the host / chairperson for two WGI Midwest Regionals (both guards and percussion each time) and one MCGC Championships. Dan was also instrumental in creating the “Creative Movement” class (1989) for the school district. The class allowed the guard members (both fall and winter) to receive training in a classroom setting and receive school credit for their participation. Dan is currently the director of bands at Chiddix Junior High in Normal (95 – present) and an adjunct faculty member at Illinois Wesleyan University (04 – present). He has worked with many different bands, guards, and drum corps throughout the Midwest. He is also a proud alumnus of the Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from Geneseo (euphonium 83, 84) and the City Slickers Winter Guard (85). Most recently Dan was on the color guard / visual staff of the 2010 Morton (IL) High School Marching Band when they were a national semi-finalist and placed 3rd in class AA at the Bands of America Grand National Championships. Dan is a member of the Illinois Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, the Midwest Judge’s Guild and a past board member (treasurer) for the Midwest Color Guard Circuit. Dan is also a member of the Unit 5 Education Association (1,000 members) where he serves on the Executive Council, the collective bargaining team (2009 – present) and is a past vice president. When he isn’t teaching or judging, you can find Dan working for the entertainment division at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

 

Juno Orefice

Juno started in the activity as a marching member of the Brooklyn Royal Eagles back in 1971. In 1974 he marched with the Secaucus Meadowlarks who later merged with the Woodbridge Townsmen to become the Royal Brigade, a 1976 DCI Regional Finalist. Juno has worked in the pageantry arts for over 20 years as a Visual Designer. He has judged for Drum Corps International since 2005, judging World Class Finals in 2012. He helped develop the Michigan Color Guard Judging Association from the ground floor and fostered the growth of judges as well as circuit members. He’s been Judge Coordinator for the Michigan Color Guard Circuit since 2002 and was inducted into MCGC Hall of Fame in 2009. The last 5 years he has been the Visual Caption Head for the Michigan Competing Band Association. He continues to hold yearly Clinics both locally and nationally for all Visual Captions. His attitude of “it’s about the kids” has been maintained and professed over his many years of service.

 

David Schliewe

Dave has been actively involved in the pageantry arts as a designer, choreographer, technician, consultant and adjudicator in the US and UK for 34 years. His winter guard experiences include the Buccaneers (1999 Silver medalist and 3-time finalist WGI-IndOpen), Pirateers, Leslynettes (2015 Bronze medalist World Championships WFNBTA in Italy), Avalon, Allegiance, Independence, Francis Howell, Lincolnway East and Central, Reflections and Pioneer. Drum Corps experiences include the Pioneer, Saginaires, Kilties, Marquis, Spirit of 76, Valley Sound (DCUK finalists), Sentinels (DCUK) and the Poynton Commodores (DCUK Finalists).

David has also worked with several bands in Wisconsin and Michigan including Oregon HS (BOA Summer Finalist), Waukesha South HS, Waunakee HS, Fort Atkinson HS, Wisconsin Lutheran HS, Hamilton Sussex HS, UW-Whitewater, Burlington HS and Montague HS (MI two-time finalist).

His Judging experience includes WGI, DCM/DCI, MWCGC (Midwest Color Guard Circuit), MCCGC (Mid-continent Color Guard Circuit), ISSMA (IN State School Marching Assoc.), IHSCGA (IN HS Color Guard Assoc.), TCG (TX Color Guard Circuit), KMEA (KYMusic Educators Assoc.), CBA (Colorado Bandmasters Assoc.) and many other independent shows across the US.

He has also served on the Boards for MWCGC and CSJA (Central States Judges Assoc) in the past.

David is a decorated veteran of the US Marine Corps.  Holds a BS degree in Political Science from UW-Whitewater and an MBA in Accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management.Currently,he is the President/Founder of Davlen Group, LLC., a Management Consulting firm and owner of däs Pageantry Designs.

 

 

 

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