The list below were the judges for our 2022 event. The 2023 event judges will be listed soon.
Mr. Garrick Cheyne began his career as a music educator at Jonesboro Middle School in 2000 following his graduation Cum Laude from the University of Georgia. His two years at JMS were followed by stints at Oglethorpe County High School and Sonoraville High School. In 2010, Mr. Cheyne accepted the position as director of bands at Cherokee High School in Canton, Georgia, where he has served for 13 years.
Vincent K. Rosse
Mr. Vincent K. Rosse is the Director of Bands at Stephenson Middle School located in Stone Mountain, Georgia. With over 25 years of experience, Mr. Rosse is one of the most sought after adjudicator/ conductors in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and California. An honors graduate of Hardaway High School in Columbus, Georgia, Mr. Rosse received his B.A. in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and his M.A. in Music Education from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama, and received his Educational Leadership Certification from the State University of West Georgia and has most recently completed the Education Specialist Degree from Walden University.
His professional teaching career began in Columbia, Mississippi at Jefferson Middle and Columbia High Schools(Miss.). Mr. Rosse has also taught at Stone Mountain Middle School, Mundy’s Mill High School, Spencer High School in Columbus, Georgia, Albany High School in Albany, Georgia, North Clayton High School in College Park, Georgia and LaGrange High School in LaGrange, Georgia. Mr. Rosse has also served as a guest professor at Morris Brown College in Atlanta Georgia and was the Instrumental Band Lead Teacher for Clayton County Schools in Jonesboro Georgia.
Bands under his leadership have gone on to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, The All-American Music Festival in Orlando, Florida and Performing Arts Abroad in Mexico City, Mexico.
As a performer Mr. Rosse has performed twice at the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic with Hardaway High School and the Tara Winds Community Band. He has also performed with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as Principal Percussionist, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, and the Meridian Symphony. He has had the honor of being the percussion instructor at the Southeastern Music Center at Columbus State University; Guest Conductor and Percussion Instructor at the Encore Music Camp at Georgia College; and Assistant Director for the Atlanta Olympic Band.
His awards and accolades include: Who’s Who in Music in 1980, Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities in 1983; Outstanding Young Man of America Award in 1985 and 1987; Outstanding Leadership Award in 1989 from Spencer High School; the Golden Apple Teacher Award in 1996; Who's Who Among American Teachers in 1999 and 2000, Teacher of The Month in 2003 from Mundy’s Mill High School and Teacher of the Year from Stone Mountain Middle School in 2011 and most recently chosen as the 2021 Teacher of the Year at Stephenson Middle School Mr. Rosse is a 2004 recipient of the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honor.
In 2006 Mr. Rosse was inducted into the National High School Band Directors Hall of Fame. Mr. Rosse is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Music Educators Association where he served as Multi-Cultural Awareness Chairman, All State Organizing Chair and Chairman of the Music Selection Committee. His is also a former member of the Board of Directors for Arts Clayton Incorporated; and currently a member of the Board of Directors for Troy University – Southeastern United States Honor Band.
His professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters, Kappa Kappa Psi, Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Mu Alpha. In addition, he serves as a motivational speaker at schools and churches across the country. He is happily married to Sonja and we enjoy traveling.
Mr. Estep currently serves as the band director at Jasper Middle School (GA), where he teaches 6 th grade Beginning Band. Mr. Estep served as the Director of Bands at Johns Creek High School in Johns Creek, Georgia from 2009 until his retirement in 2019. He is a veteran teacher of 40 years in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia. His concert bands and marching bands have consistently earned superior ratings and numerous championship accolades at a variety of festivals and competitions.
Mr. Estep holds a Bachelors Degree of Music Education from East Tennessee State University and a Masters of Arts Degree from The University of Alabama. His professional affiliations include, Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu International Band Fraternity (State President 2015-2017), American School Band Directors Association, and Phi Mu Alpha. He has served GMEA as the District V Chair, and during 2006-2008 and 2012-2014, he served as District V Band Chair. He has also served as host for various band events, such as, District Large Group Performance Evaluation, Solo and Ensemble, and several marching band festivals/competitions. In addition, he has served on the North Carolina Band Curriculum Revision Committee, and the GMEA Band Adjudication Committee. Mr. Estep is an active clinician and adjudicator in Georgia and throughout the southeast.
Mr. Estep is married to the love of his life, Dana Gutteridge Estep, and has three adorable children, Taylor Bronwyn Phillips  (husband CJ Phillips), Alfred Miller Estep , and Samuel Estep .
Matt Weaver is the current Director of Bands at Southside High School in Southside (Gadsden), Alabama. He and his wife Haley (who teaches kindergarten) met while in the band at JSU. The Weavers have two sons, Benton Allen and Pearson David.
Mr. Weaver was awarded a Citation of Excellence in 2018 from the National Band Association and has been recognized several times by the Etowah County Board of Education for outstanding performance. He is a 2012 graduate of Jacksonville State University, where he earned a BA in Music Education and a 2020 graduate of the University of West Georgia where he earned a MM in Music Education. While at JSU, he served as a section leader for the Marching Southerners and studied arranging with the late Dr. David L. Walters. He studied tuba performance with Chris Hosmer (JSU) and Daniel Perantoni (IU) at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Denver, Colorado.
While at Southside, Mr. Weaver has continued the program’s long tradition of musical and personal excellence earning all superior ratings at concert and marching contests and evaluations. Due to the program’s growth, two additional directors (RMS & SHS) were hired, and in 2015 the Southside Wind Ensemble was created as an additional, audition-based concert ensemble. Under his direction, the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the 2018 AMEA Professional Development Conference in Birmingham, AL. The Southside Band has been featured numerous times on national and international television, most recently on “Fox & Friends” live from the Talladega Superspeedway. Under Mr. Weaver’s direction, the Southside Band has performed in the 2013 Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, the 2016 San Antonio Fiesta Flambeau Parade, the 2020 Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, and has twice performed in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
In addition to the performing ensemble courses, Mr. Weaver also teaches music theory and composition. Several of his students have gone on to pursue high education in the performing arts and music education. The SHS graduating class of 2022 was awarded over $100,000 in musical scholarships. He is an active member of the Alabama Music Educators Association, and Alabama Bandmasters Association. Mr. Weaver is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Men’s Music Fraternity, the International Tuba & Euphonium Association, and is currently serving as Principal Tubist for the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra.
A native of Blue Ridge, Georgia, Mr. Weaver is a frequent clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor. He and his family reside in Southside and attend Rainbow Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Rainbow City, AL.
Scott Brown is a graduate of Georgia State University in Music Education and has over 40 years experience teaching both elementary, middle and high school musicians. He currently holds a valid T-4 teaching certificate for Music K-12 and teaches at Allatoona Elementary in Bartow County, GA
Scott has performed with the Atlanta, Macon, Charleston and Chattanooga Symphony Orchestras and has backed such notables as Paul Anka and Bernadette Peters. Scott is a charter member of the award winning Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corp percussion section and has performed with, instructed and composed for the 2001 Class A percussion champion Atlanta CV drum and bugle corps, the National Champion Georgia Brass Band plus many other groups. Mr. Brown keeps an active schedule performing elementary assembly programs on percussion instruments at schools throughout Georgia. Mr. Brown is the administrator for the Sam Jones Academy of Music in Cartersville, GA as well as their private percussion instructor.
Color Guard Judge
Dianne Hartness is from Newberry, South Carolina, where she is in her 23rd year of teaching high school English at her alma mater. A graduate of Newberry High School, she was a member of the NHS Blue Brigade color guard and a French horn player in the school’s symphonic band, under the direction of renowned SC director, Lorraine Paris. She went on to perform with the Mighty Sound of the Southeast at the University of South Carolina as a member of the color guard. Dianne began teaching high school color guards immediately after high school graduation and has continued to do so throughout her teaching career. She has worked with multiple award-winning programs across the state of South Carolina in both marching bands and winter guards.
Drum Major Judge
Ms. Holly Kinsey
Ms. Holly Kinsey is in her sixth year as a music educator serving as Band Director at Clear Creek Middle School and Assistant Band Director at Gilmer High School. A 2012 graduate of Northwest Whitfield High School in Tunnel Hill, Georgia, Ms. Kinsey began conducting at the age of 15 when she was first selected as a drum major for her high school band for her sophomore year. Before graduating, Ms. Kinsey was selected six times to the GMEA District 7 Honor Band, five times to the GMEA All-State Band, and was a 2012 member of The United States Army All-American Marching Band, an honor given to only 125 high school seniors nationwide. Ms. Kinsey also performed frequently with the Chattanooga Clarinet Choir in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In her senior year, Ms. Kinsey was named a National Merit Scholar, which granted her a full-ride to The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Ms. Kinsey is a 2016 Magna Cum Laude Honors College graduate of The University of Alabama where she earned both a Bachelor of Science in Instrumental Music Education and a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance. While at UA, Ms. Kinsey was a four-year member of The Million Dollar Band, serving her sophomore year as clarinet section leader and as drum major her junior and senior year. As a part of this ensemble, Ms. Kinsey traveled across the country cheering on the Crimson Tide Football Team to two National Championships and three SEC Championship wins. In addition, Ms. Kinsey performed as the bass clarinetist with The University of Alabama Wind Ensemble and The Huxford Symphony Orchestra. While in college, Ms. Kinsey was involved with Sigma Alpha Iota, an international music fraternity focused on service through music, and The University of Alabama Community Music School where she taught private lessons to clarinet students.
Under Ms. Kinsey’s direction, the Clear Creek Middle School Band has consistently received excellent and superior ratings at LGPE. Her students have been selected for ensembles such as GMEA District Honor Band, University of Alabama Honor Band, Young Harris Honor Band, and others. Ms. Kinsey is a member of Georgia Music Educators Association, Alabama Music Educators Association, National Band Association, and the International Clarinet Association. Ms. Kinsey is currently pursuing a Master of Music Education degree at The University of Florida.
Majorette/Dance Team Judge
Dr. Rogers has judged the Blue Ridge Mountain Marching Festival for the past eight years. She works with auxiliaries and judges other marching festivals throughout the Southeast. After 32 Years of teaching Mathematics and Education at Piedmont University, she retired in June. Now, she teaches mathematics nationally through Varsity Tutors.
Mr. Beard taught in Georgia public schools for 30 years, including stints with Forest Park High School, Newton County High School, and 26 years in Fayette County. An eight-time recipient of the National Band Association (NBA) Citation of Excellence, Mr. Beard is a member of Who’s Who Among American Teachers, and his bands have been selected to perform at Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) State Conventions, Southern Division Music Educators National Conference (MENC) Conventions, the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, the Southern Division of the National Band Association Conference, the Lord Mayor of London’s New Year’s Day Parade, the Tournament of Roses Parade, and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. Mr. Beard is a member of MENC, NBA, Phi Beta Mu, and GMEA, for which he served as the State Band Chair. He has also served as the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Band Chairman. Mr. Beard currently serves as a Board Member of the National Band Association as a High School Representative.
Jeffrey Rowser—Auburn University College of Education’s 2018 “Outstanding Educator,” 2014-15 Morgan County Schools “Teacher of the Year” and 2013-14 “Georgia Music Educator of the Year”— is a native of Attalla, Alabama and is a 1976 graduate of Etowah High School, where he lettered 3 years in band, basketball and track. Mr. Rowser later graduated from Auburn University (AU) with his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education. He was a saxophone major, studying with Lawrence Morgan. He has also studied music arranging with the famed Dr. Johnnie Vinson and Bob Richardson. He performed his student teaching duties with the legendary Tommy Goff at Auburn High School in 1980. While at Auburn, he was drum major of the Auburn University Marching Band for three years. His appointment by Dr. Bill Walls made Jeffrey the first African American Drum Major at Auburn University and in the Southeastern Conference.
Mr. Rowser, Director of Bands at Morgan County HS, brings nearly 40 years of experience in music education. Rowser was recently selected as the 2013 “Georgia Music Educator of the Year”. He was chosen in 2006, to lead the East Jackson Fine Arts Department in Jackson County Schools (GA). His hiring in 2006-07 was to prepare a Fine Arts Department that would begin its work in August 2007. He was chosen as “Teacher of the Year” for East Jackson in 2011. Prior to East Jackson, he served as a director in Dougherty County, Marietta City Schools(STAR Teacher 1988), with 15 years serving as the founding director at Salem HS (Conyers, GA), where he was “Teacher of the Year” in 1994 for Rockdale County Schools. During his career his bands received Superior Ratings in all marching, jazz and symphonic music events. His bands have won over 600 awards, with 350 of those coming at Salem HS as “Superior, Best-in-Class and Grand Champion” awards in band, drum major, colorguard, dance team, winterguard and drum line. His bands have received special invitations to perform in London, Toronto, Hawaii, Orlando, Kansas City and NY. His groups have performed frequently in the Atlanta Children’s Healthcare Parade televised on WSB-TV2. The Salem HS Dance Team that won 9-State Champion Awards in both Jazz and Pom style competition. During those years the group also earned a national ranking with the Universal Dance Association held annually in Orlando, Florida.
In 1991, Rowser became a co-founder of the “Drum Major Leadership Academy” held annually on the campus of Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville. His student management workshop, “Team Building Anywhere” is a featured session for band, chorus and student council groups around Georgia. He is now the founder of “Premier Drum Major and Leadership Academy” recently established in Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. He is also a frequent clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor of Regional and State Band events in the Southeast. He has served on the Georgia Music Educators Board of Directors and organized several district events. Rowser endorsed the Georgia Vision Project for Public Education and has served as spoke person promoting the support for Public Education in Georgia’s Public Schools.
He is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association of Jazz Educators, National Association of Music Educators, Phi Beta Mu Bandmaster Honorary and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
He is married to the former Vernelle Jones, a costume owner/designer and souvenir creator. They have three daughters. Kayla Danielle, a retired professional ballet dancer with the Nashville Ballet; Hilary Dionne, a marketing digital media specialist at Osh Kosh-Carters, and Carmen Elise, a student at Valdosta State University.
Tracy D. Wright is is the Director of Bands at Ringgold High School. For 23 years he served as the Director of Bands at Ringgold Middle School and Assistant Director of the Marching Tiger Band. He also serves on the Operations Staff for the American Band College in Ashland, OR and the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, WA. Mr. Wright was named the RMS Teacher of the Year for the 2000-2001 academic year and has received three Citation of Excellence awards from the National Band Association (2002, 2005, 2011). Mr. Wright is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and an elected member of the American School Band Directors Association and Phi Beta Mu (Honorary Band Directors Fraternity). He has served GMEA on various committees, District VII band chair, and is currently the Vice-President of All-State events for the State of Georgia.
Under Mr. Wright’s direction, the RMS Band performed at the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University (2002, 2011), the Georgia Music Educators In-Service Conference (2003), and the University of Georgia Middle School Music Festival (2005). The RMS Band also performed in Washington, DC, Orlando, FL and Baltimore, MD.
The RMS band received a commendation from the Governor of Georgia in 2000. The band also received numerous superior ratings at GMEA festivals and other regional festivals in concert, jazz, and chamber ensembles. GMEA awarded the Ringgold Middle School Band with the prestigious “Exemplary Performance Award” in 2012. The RHS Marching Tiger Band has won numerous championships, performed in the New York City Veteran’s Day parade (2006, 2012), the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade (2011), various college football games, and traveled to The Bahamas and Canada.
A marching, concert, and jazz band clinician and adjudicator throughout the Southeast, Mr. Wright was awarded the Master of Music in Conducting from the American Band College at Southern Oregon University in 2004. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL in 1992. At JSU, Mr. Wright studied saxophone with Dr. Ronald C. Attinger, directed the basketball pep band, served as a drum major of the nationally renowned Marching Southerners, and was a student of the legendary David L. Walters.
A native of Ringgold, Georgia, Mr. Wright is a member of Quitman Lodge No. 106, Free & Accepted Masons, and is a member of the York Rite and Scottish Rite. He also teaches and lectures on Catoosa County and Georgia history and lives in Chickamauga with his wife Amy, the media specialist at Ringgold Primary School, and their daughter Georgia Lou. Mr. Wright serves as an Elder and is active in the music department at Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Chattanooga, TN.