Below are the names and qualifications of our 2023 Festival judges.

Garth Gundersen

Garth Gundersen currently serves as the Assistant Director of Fine Arts for Killeen ISD.  In this position, Mr. Gundersen oversees the instrumental music programs in Killeen ISD.  His duties include supervising band and orchestra programs at 6 high schools, 11 middle schools, and 31 elementary schools throughout Killeen ISD. Mr. Gundersen is also the co-conductor of the Austin Youth Orchestra.

Prior to this appointment in Killeen, Mr. Gundersen spent 26 years ting bands in the greater Austin area. Mr. Gundersen served as the Assistant Band Director at Westlake HS (1993 – 1996) and Stephen F. Austin HS (1998 -1999). He served as the Head Band
Director of the W. Charles Akins HS (1999 – 2002); Robert E Hendrickson HS (2003 –2018); and James Bowie HS (2018 – 2022). During his tenure at these schools, the bands performed at the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, the Midwest Convention in Chicago, the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, the ABC Boscov’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, to name a few. Under his direction, the bands were consistent Bands of America Regional, Super Regional Finalists and Champions; and these bands were consistent UIL sweepstakes winners and participants at the UIL State Marching Band Championships.

Mr. Gundersen earned his master’s degree in Music Education and Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Jerry Junkin, Bob Duke, and Paula
Crider. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Louisiana State University, where he studied with Frank Wickes and was the drum major of the Golden Band from Tiger Land.

Mr. Gundersen is a frequent adjudicator and clinician. His professional affiliationsinclude TMEA, TBA, Phi Beta Mu, TMAA and Pi Kappa Lambda.

Alan Sharps

Alan Sharps received both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. While at U.M. he served as the Graduate Assistant Director of the U.M. “Band of the Hour”. He began his ting career in 1980. After ting in Florida for five years he taught in Virginia B, VA for an additional eleven years. His bands were awarded the Virginia Honor Band plaque five times.

Mr. Sharps is proud of all of his current and former students. One stands out in particular due to his career in the music business. Artist-producer Pharrell Williams was a percussionist in Mr. Sharps band at Princess Anne H.S. in Virginia B. Pharrell was named Music Producer of the Decade from 2000-2010. Pharrell served as a judge on the NBC show “The Voice”. His most famous hits Happy and Get Lucky propelled him from music producer to superstar fame.

In 1997, Mr. Sharps moved to San Antonio to take a position at Winston Churchill High School. He taught there for eleven years. In 2008 Mr. Sharps opened the new C.T. Johnson High School also in North East I.S.D. He taught there until his retirement in 2020. He currently works at C.T.J. as a clinician and director of the jazz bands.

The bands Mr. Sharps taught were honored to be Bands of America Regional Champions twelve times. They were also finalists at the B.O.A. Grand National Championships in Indianapolis eight times. They placed between third and sixth place seven times at the Texas State Marching Band Championships before being awarded first place in 2020. The bands were invited to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2005 and 2014. The C.T.J. Wind Ensemble also performed at the Midwest convention in 2019 and the band received the Sudler Shield award for marching band excellence in 2015.

Herbert Washington
Colorguard Judge

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Herbert Washington graduated from Winthrop University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance Performance and Theatre. Herbert currently resides in Austin, Texas where he is the Colorguard Director at Moe & Gene Johnson High School in Buda.  He has performed, taught, designed, and choreographed in a broad range of pageantry such as: A performing member of Carolina Crown (2006-2011), Étude Independent open (2007), Phantom Regiment Winter Guard (2008), Pride of Cincinnati Winter Guard (2012), Winthrop Dance Theatre (2010-2012), Color Guard tech, designer, and choreographer for Carolina Crown (2012-2016), TRANSform Dance Collective (2013, guest artist), American College Dance Festival Association “ACDFA” (2008-2012, choreographed and performed works), Sapphire Moon Dance Company (2009, guest artist), and South Carolina Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance “SCAHPERD” (2008, 2011, choreographed and performed works).

He was the artistic director of Legacy Performing Arts, 2016-2018. Herbert continues to pursue his artistic goals in Texas by choreographing and designing for a variety of local area schools such as Hendrickson HS, Round Rock HS, Cedar Ridge HS, Dripping Springs HS, LASA, and more.

Lance Brightwell
Percussion Judge

Lance Brightwell, a native of Beckville, TX,  is a graduate of Northwestern State University, LA with a BA in Music Education and Music Theory. While in school he served as Section Leader multiple years for the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and Marching Drumline where he also acted as an arranger.  After graduating NSU in 2005, he lived in Nashville, TN working as a freelance percussion instructor and private lesson ter for Wilson Central High School, where he was involved with WGI and TCGC competing nationally.

In 2006 he began his full time Music Education career in Texas. Lance designed for, worked with and taught various successful PASIC competitors.  These include High School Snare Championship solos for the 2009-2011 1st place award winners as well as the 2010 PASIC Multi-Percussion Champion and 1st Runner Up Compositions.

In 2008 Lance was hired as Assistant Director of Bands / Coordinator of Percussion for Lake Travis ISD in Austin, TX.  Here he worked with all percussionists from 6th-12th grade including Lake Travis and Hudson Bend Middle Schools and also conducted the high school Symphonic Band. In his time in Austin, Lance has been part of the following accomplishments:

  •  2011 Lake Travis HS –  UIL 4A  State Marching 5th Place in Finals
  • 2012 Lake Travis HS – UIL 5A State Marching Contest
  •  2014 Dripping Springs HS – BOA Atlanta Super Regional 5th Place
  • 2015 Dripping Springs HS – UIL 5A State Marching 5th Place
  • 2020 Lake Travis HS – 6A State Marching Contest
  • 2021 Lake Travis HS – 6A State Marching Contest

While under Mr. Brightwell’s direction the Percussion section at Lake Travis also experienced many high achievements including 2012 PASIC Silver Medalists in the marching stand still division and winning “Best Snare Line” and “Best Cymbal Line”. In 2012, the LT Winter Drumline was the Scholastic Marching A Campion in the Texas Colorguard Circuit.  In 2013 they were the WGI Houston Regional Champions and the Scholastic Marching Open Champions in TCGC.  In 2014, the Winter Drumline finished 3rd place in the TCGC State Competition solidifying themselves as a consistent medalist in the circuit. Lance also served as Percussion Chair on the Executive Board for TCGC from 2017-2019.

Lance is an active adjudicator and clinician in Texas and Louisiana for UIL and Percussive Arts Society and is Educationally Endorsed by Innovative Percussion.  He has been an instructor all over TX since 2010 for “RATAMACAMP”, a series of Summer Percussion camps, beginner level – 8th grade with founder, Paul Garretson.  It is here that he continues his pursuit of ting and developing the young percussionist, one of his greatest passions.  Associations include PAS, TBA, TMEA, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Lance lives in the hill country of Austin, TX with his wife Hannah and 3 year old daughter Stevie. He is grateful for the opportunity to adjudicate the 2022 Cap City Marching Festival

Director Level Sponsors