Learn more about our wonderful judges for this years event.



William Austell graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana with a Bachelor of Music Education (BME) degree. He was a band director at the high school level for 21 years in Pennsylvania before moving to New Mexico in 2001 to become a member of the faculty at Valencia Middle School in Los Lunas where he was the Band Director until 2018.

During his tenure at Valencia Middle School (formerly Manzano Vista Middle School), the VMS bands were consistently recognized for their musical excellence. Most notably, the VMS Advanced Band earned a rating of Superior every year at the CNMMEA Music Performance Assessment and placed first in the middle school division of the 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2011 NMAA Concert Band Competitions.

In August of 2018, Mr. Austell was hired to create a music program for all students, grades PreK-6, at Tomé Elementary School in Los Lunas. This has been the first year-round school music education experience for the current Tomé students as well as an opportunity to be enriched by the joys and benefits of music for years to come.

As a bass trombonist, Bill is a member of the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra (AJO). In addition to being a member of the AJO, he has performed with the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, The Santa Fe Pro Musica, NDI New Mexico and Opera Southwest. As a member of the AJO, Bill has performed with Bobby Shew, Wayne Bergeron, Bob McChesney, Pete Christlieb, John Fedchock, Butch Miles, and Toshiko Akiyoshi. He has also appeared with The Manhattan Transfer, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole, Bobby Vinton, and the Four Tops.

Mr. Austell also works as a guest clinician and adjudicator. Most recently, he served on the adjudication panels for the 2020 ABQ/UNM Jazz Festival, the 2022 SWNMMEA MPA, the 2022 NMMEA District 7 (Albuquerque) Middle School MPA and the 2023 NMMEA District 7 (Albuquerque) High School MPA.

Bill is a member of the New Mexico Music Educators Association (NMMEA), the current President of the NMMEA Central District and a 2023 inductee into the NMMEA Hall of Fame.



Henry Estrada is a native of New Mexico. He was born and raised in Deming and attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces where he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1977. He taught in the Alamogordo Public Schools system for four years before entering the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He received his Master of Music Education degree from UNM in 1983 before accepting the position which he currently holds as Director of Bands at Los Lunas High School.

Henry also performs professionally in the Albuquerque area. He has played trumpet and recorded with the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra, the Outpost Jazz Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and several salsa and dance bands in the area including Salsa Suite, Cafe Mocha, Brown Sugar, Casa Blanca, Encanto, and Red Wine.

Mr. Estrada has served as a conductor and clinician throughout the state of New Mexico for Junior High and Senior High Honor Bands as well as individual band programs. He has judged at band festivals in every music district in New Mexico and has also judged bands in the El Paso, Texas area.

Henry has been involved at the District and State levels of the New Mexico Music Educators Association. He has served as Band Vice-President and also as State President of both the Central District Six and New Mexico State organization of NMMEA (New Mexico Music Educator’s Association). He has served two terms as president of the state chapter of Phi Beta Mu, national band director’s fraternity.

Mr. Estrada's Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Bands and Jazz Bands have earned first division awards at district, state, and regional festivals. His top concert groups have earned 29 consecutive First Division ratings at District Festivals and many First Division ratings at State Festivals. The marching bands have received numerous awards at state and regional festivals, including many first place trophies for parade marching and finals appearances at area competitions. In addition, the "Tiger Band" has represented New Mexico at the Sun Bowl Parade in El Paso, Texas and at the Hollywood Christmas Parade in Hollywood, California.

Recently, Mr. Estrada was the Tour Director for the New Mexico Ambassadors of Music – a group of New Mexico students who travel through seven European countries and perform American music for European audiences.

Mr. Estrada was named “Music Educator of the Year” by the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) in 2003 and by the New Mexico Music Educators Association (NMMEA) in 2006. He was inducted into the NM Jazz Hall of Fame in the summer of 2011 and the NMMEA Hall of Fame in 2014. Henry most recently was acknowledged as the “Emeritus Teacher of the Year” by the NMMEA in 2019.

Henry is currently the director of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop Big Band. He resides in Los Lunas, along with his wife Catherine, and both are members of the Albuquerque Concert Band.



Randy Hamm, Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Saxophone, joined the faculty of Missouri State University in 1989. While studying at the University of North Texas, Mr. Hamm was a member of the internationally acclaimed One O’clock Lab Band. He maintains an active performance schedule and his work as a composer, arranger, and featured soloist can be heard on the Arabesque, Seabreeze, and Origin/OA2 record labels. Hamm has released two solo CD’s on the Encore Music Presents (EMP) record label, “Yellow Cadenza” and “Abstract Thought.”



Steve Wiest is a multiple Grammy-nominated trombonist, composer, author, and cartoonist. The former soloist and writer for Maynard Ferguson, Steve went on to perform on the road with Doc Severinsen and the Old Tonight Show Orchestra as well as many other artists. Steve has numerous recordings out as a leader, the most recent of which is the second album (BLUE) from the critically-acclaimed all-star horn band Vinyl Hampdin. Along with being the trombonist with the group, Wiest composed and arranged all the tracks for their debut RED, as well as their new release, BLUE.

In the world of jazz education, Steve was formerly the Director of the One O’Clock Lab Band at The University of North Texas where the band under his direction was nominated for two Grammy awards.  Following UNT, Wiest was Co-Chair of Jazz Studies at The University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. Before his tenure at UNT, Steve was Director of Jazz and Trombone at UW-Whitewater. In high demand as a clinician, composer and conductor, Steve has directed many all-state ensembles and continues to appear as a guest artist and clinician all over the world.

Steve now teaches jazz trombone at Elmhurst University and is an artist for Edwards Instruments playing the custom “Excalibur” version of the T302 and the Griego-Steve Wiest Mouthpiece exclusively. His compositions and arrangements can be found via Excelcia Publishing as well as Ben Patterson’s Pro Jazz Charts (PJC). Steve’s new book on lead trombone playing titled “Leadology” is available at leadtrombone.com.

To learn more about Steve, please visit https://steve-wiest.com