About Our Experts
Ron Maier - Color Guard Judge
A native of Bremerton, Washington, Mr. Maier has performed in the Titans Drum and Bugle Corps, the Seattle Imperials Drum and Bugle Corps, the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps and the State Street Review Winter Guard. He has designed for and taught many groups across the United States and Canada, including the Phantom Regiment, of Rockford, Illinois, the Thunderbolts of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, the Marauders of Longview, Washington, Les Eclipses of Montreal, Quebec, and numerous high school bands and winter guards. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Washington, a Master’s Degree in Integrated Arts from Lesley University and is a National Board certified music educator. Currently, Mr. Maier is Director of Bands at Finn Hill Middle School in Kirkland, Washington, and serves as Judges Coordinator for the Northwest Pageantry Association.
We welcome Ron back for his third year as a judge for SFOB.
Steve Baretich - Drum Major Judge
Steve has been involved in the pageantry activity since 1979, starting as Drum Major of the Seattle Diplomats Drum & Bugle Corps. Other organizations include the Seattle Imperials, Longview Marauders, Salem Argonauts (as Drum Major), University of Oregon Marching Band, Minnesota Brass, Seattle Cascades, and the Seattle Brass Attack. He is currently Associate Director of the Seattle Sounders FC band "Sound Wave". Steve is also a professional musician, playing trombone in and leading many groups since his High School days. In addition he is a designer and craftsman of men's hats, and owner of the Bonafide Hat Company.
We welcome Steve to the Sunset Festival of Bands for the first time.
Jeff Ray - Music Judge
Jeff Ray is in his 29th year of working in public education, and is currently the director of the 350 member Olympic View Middle School Band from Mukilteo, WA. This group has won events all over the Pacific Northwest and California. They were the first middle school in the United States to perform at a division one NCAA Bowl game, performing with Destiny’s Child. Prior to entering education, Mr. Ray spent 25 years in drum and bugle corps as a member, instructor, and as a director. His affiliations include the Percussionaut Patriots, Renaissance, Freelancers, Imperials, Marauders, Argonauts, Spartans, and Cascades Corps. Mr. Ray also keeps a very busy performance schedule as a lead trumpet player and plays in several big bands in the area.
We welcome Jeff back, serving his eighth year as a judge for SFOB.
Nathan Novak - Percussion Judge
Nathan Novak has been active in the world of percussion for over 30 years, playing jazz, major symphonic works, rock and worship covers, and marching percussion. Nathan appears on a number of recordings and has accompanied jazz greats Bob Mintzer, Benny Green, Nicholas Peyton, and Carroll Dashiell. As a member of the East Carolina University Marching Pirates Drumline, Nathan performed for tens-of-thousands of fans weekly, plus numerous appearances for Sunday and Monday night NFL halftimes.
Nathan has instructed and adjudicated high school marching bands in North Carolina and Washington, covering the percussion and marching captions. Residing in Snoqualmie, WA, when not running global-scale services for Microsoft or chasing his kids, you can find Nathan playing drums for the modern worship band at Bellevue Presbyterian Church.
This is Nathan's seventh year with us as a judge at SFOB, welcome back!
Brian Bailie - Visual Judge
Brian Bailie is a drill instructor and designer. He has been involved with marching band and pageantry since he was twelve years old. Brian started his marching career with the Blackwatch Drum and Bugle Corp out of Auburn, Washington in the early 80's. Next he marched Marauders then aged out with the Santa Clara Vanguard. After aging out Brian began teaching with local high schools and drum and bugle corps. After several years of teaching drill Brian began to write shows. For the past twelve years Brian has been judging. Starting with winter guard and moving into marching band.