Southeastern Virginia Music Games (SEVMG)

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The 2024 Southeastern Virginia Music Games 

Saturday, September 28th, 2024

Hickory High School
1996 Hawk Blvd
Chesapeake, VA 23322



On the last Saturday of September, the Hickory Marching Hawks host the Southeastern Virginia Music Games, or SEVMG. This event is a competition of bands from around the region. It features renowned judges and enables the audience to view many exceptional bands.  SEVMG is a Virginia Marching Band Cooperative sanctioned event.  More information about VMBC can be found HERE.

Our competition goal is to provide bands with invaluable feedback from a distinguished panel of adjudicators early in the season, to facilitate continued improvement throughout the band season. These judges are selected based on their experience in education, the judging field and their creative writing experiences. It is our feeling that you and your students will benefit greatly from such a wonderful panel. We are looking forward to having a wonderful audience in the 7,500 seat stadium here at Hickory HS. It is also our hope that you are able to enjoy some of the many activities available in this area. Virginia Beach is 25 minutes away, and Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg are just an hour away.

Ticket Information:
Adults (ages 13 and up): $15
Youth (ages 6 to 12): $10
Children (ages 5 and under): No Charge



Band Registration Fee $150
Payable to: Hickory Band Parents Association (HBPA)
Hickory High School Band
Attn: Mitchell Reed
1996 Hawk Blvd
Chesapeake, VA 23322


2024 Judges


Music Ensemble – Dr. Sam 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 Capital Wind Symphony and Rockville Brass Band. Samuel has also performed for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Augusta Symphony Orchestra, and Sunrise Pops Orchestra, as well as freelancing in the Mid-Atlantic region.

As an educator, Dr. 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. He is a frequent adjudicator for the Virginia Marching Band Cooperative, and is often in demand as a consultant for many drum corps and marching bands.

Sam currently lives in Hyattsville, MD. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland, a Master’s degree in Tuba Performance from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelors of Music Education degree from Florida State University. His teachers include David Fedderly and Paul Ebbers.


Music Effect -Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson is the Music Director of the VWA Senior Winds. Mr. Johnson also currently serves as Director of Bands at Westfield HS in Chantilly, VA. This is his 26th year in Fairfax County, previously teaching at Fairfax High School, Glasgow Middle School, Chantilly High School, South County Secondary School, and Shenandoah Conservatory. The Westfield Band program is comprised of Marching Bulldogs, 3 Concert Bands, 2 Jazz Bands, 2 Percussion Ensembles, an Indoor Drumline and Winterguard. Mr. Johnson was a Finalist for FCPS Teacher of the year in 2015 and winner of FCPS Band Director of the Year in 2016, and in 2019 received the Outstanding Music Educator Award from James Madison University.

In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Johnson serves as the Performance Coordinator for the VMEA Professional Development Conference. In his vast spare time, he writes and arranges wind and percussion music and writes drill for marching bands. His arrangements have been performed by University of Michigan, Louisiana State University, Iowa State University, James Madison University, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, The Greensboro Symphony, and many high schools. Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from James Madison University with a concentration in Percussion and a Masters in Conducting from Shenandoah Conservatory. He is also proud alumnus of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Mr. Johnson lives in Centreville, Virginia with his wife Kimberly, son Ryan and daughter Emily.


Visual Effect – Josh Gall



Visual Ensemble – Joey Montez

Jose Montes is a Visual Designer originally from El Paso, TX. He recently moved to the Raleigh, North Carolina area to work with multiple competitive Marching Ensembles in the State. Jose writes drill, designs uniforms/props, choreographs, program coordinates and judges Indoor/Outdoor competitions across the country. Jose has an extensive dance background with emphasis in hip-hop/breakdance. He also marched mellophone with the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps for 3 years. Jose is the Co-Director of a competitive IA Guard in Kansas as well as a WSO Winds group in Wendell, NC. He is also the Executive Director of Eva Independent Winds in Raleigh, NC. In their first year of existence (2023), the group championed Independent A Class at WGI World Championships. When he isn’t immersed in the Marching Arts, Jose is fighting for quality time between new dinner recipes and his 3 year old Boxer puppy named Charcoal.


Percussion – Shelby Shelton

A native of Central Texas, Shelby Shelton is an active performer, composer, and educator living in Virginia. Shelby is pursuing a DMA in percussion performance at James Madison University studying with Casey Cangelosi. She is passionate about the marching arts and has instructed the Cavaliers drum and bugle corps, the Sacramento Mandarins, the Madison Scouts, Father Ryan High School, Dobyns-Bennett High School, and the Marching Royal Dukes. Shelby currently teaches George Mason Indoor percussion and has previously taught Veritas, Audio Theatre, and Triple Crown percussion.

Shelby received a Masters of Music degree in percussion performance and a post-baccalaureate degree in music education from Middle Tennessee State University. She attended Lindenwood University in St.Charles, Missouri for her undergraduate studies where she double majored in percussion performance and English literature. She has performed three seasons as a member of the Tennessee Titans Blue Crew drumline. She is the adjunct instructor of percussion at Washington and Lee University, Eastern Mennonite University, and Mary Baldwin University.

Shelby Shelton is a member of the PAS marching committee and the PAS diversity alliance. Shelby proudly endorses Innovative Percussion, Pearl/Adams, and Zildjian cymbals. 


Color Guard – Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. Jamie has been involved in the marching arts for the past 20 years as a performer, instructor, designer, and judge. His marching career began in 2002 with the University of South Florida H.O.T. Marching Band and he was a member from 2003-2006 with the USF Winterguard. He has since worked with many programs directing and designing in Florida and neighboring states. He has designed/directed for many high schools in the Tampa Bay area such as Newsome High School, Northside Christian, Wesley Chapel, Robinson High School and many more. He took over as the director of University of South Florida Colorguard/Winterguard from 2012-2017 after being on staff since 2007. He was most currently the director/designer of colorguards at Newsome High School in Lithia, Florida up until April of 2022. Jamie is currently serving in year 7 on the Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit Board of Directors and has managed the Education initiatives and support for the circuit. Jamie has been proactive in bringing many initiatives into the circuit and rebranding education with new supports and learning for all involved from directors, staff, and students. Jamie is a reading coach in Hillsborough County and resides in Brandon, Florida with his husband Carlos and two twin sons. 


General Overview (NOT JUDGED) – K.J. Stafford

K.J. Stafford is a full-time music arranger, educator, adjudicator and consultant with over 20 years of experience teaching, writing and designing for band programs and percussion ensembles throughout the United States. Ensembles performing his music include champions, medalists and finalists at national and regional championships in Winter Guard International, Bands of America, and other performing arts circuits.

K.J. has been involved with Drum Corps International for almost two decades. He currently serves as the Assistant Percussion Caption Head for the Santa Clara Vanguard. Since joining the staff in 2011, Vanguard has earned five Fred Sanford Awards for Best Percussion: 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 as well as the DCI World Championship in 2018. Prior to working at Vanguard, K.J. also taught on the percussion staff of the Phantom Regiment (2010 DCI High Percussion Champions) and the Troopers (2007-2009). In addition to his teaching and design roles, K.J. also frequently judges and presents clinics throughout the United States and is an active adjudicator with Winter Guard International.

From 2006-2022, KJ was the band director and music department chair at Hickory Middle School in Chesapeake, Virginia. His responsibilities included directing the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade bands, jazz band, woodwind choir and percussion ensembles. Under his direction, the bands at Hickory Middle School consistently received superior ratings at state concert band festivals and were selected to perform at the Virginia Music Educators State Conference.

K.J. earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia K.J. proudly endorses Innovative Percussion, Remo Drumheads, SABIAN Cymbals and Pearl Drums.


For SEVMG volunteering opportunities and banner/program ad forms through HBPA, Click HERE