CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) will induct the first three members into the West Virginia Marching Band Directors Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 25. The induction will take place during the awards ceremony at the 3rd Annual West Virginia Marching Band Invitational at the University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field which begins at 10 p.m.
Honorees include Julia Kade of Princeton, Mercer County; Sherry L. Poole of Ripley, Jackson County; and Rhonda E. Smalley of Huntington, Cabell County. The inductees were selected from a list of nominations submitted to the WVDCH.
Kade has been teaching music for more than 35 years, first in Greenbrier County at Crichton Elementary-Junior High School and Rainelle Elementary and Junior High schools, before moving to Princeton in Mercer County and working with students at Oakvale High School, Silver Springs Elementary, Melrose Elementary and Princeton Junior High School. She currently is teaching at Princeton High School. Her bands have received Grand Champion accolades as well as countless top three ratings in the marching band venue.
Poole has been serving the Jackson County education system for 39 years at Ripley Middle School and since 1990 as band director at Ripley High School. She also teaches color guard, piano, guitar and dance. During her tenure as director, the school has been chosen as Honor Band at the Black Walnut Festival three of the last six years and was chosen to perform for the presidential visit in Charleston. She was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu International Band Director Honorary in 2014 and will be a guest conductor for the 2014 West Virginia University Honor Band Program.
Smalley has spent her 40-year teaching career serving more than 4,000 students in Cabell County. Her bands at Cabell Midland High School won 65 Grand Championships on the state and national level. They won top honors in field shows and parades at the Peach Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Orange Bowl, Universal Studios and the Toronto International Music Festival. Her concert bands earned superior ratings at the West Virginia Regional Band Festival for 40 straight years. Her award-winning Jazz Band program won many awards on the state and national level. In 2003, she was inducted into the West Virginia Music Educators Association Hall of Fame, and in 2007 she was selected for membership in Phi Beta Mu, the international bandmasters’ honorary fraternity. She received a West Virginia Distinguished Mountaineer Award from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in 2011 and Congressman Nick Joe Rahall presented her with the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition on behalf of the U.S. Congress. Currently, Smalley is a member of the Cabell County Board of Education, and is serving as a clinical supervisor at Marshall University where she supervises instrumental music student teachers.
“I am so pleased to induct Julia Kade, Sherry Poole and Rhonda Smalley into the West Virginia Marching Band Directors Hall of Fame. Together they have spent more than 110 years inspiring young students with a love of music and teaching spectacular performance skills that the audience can celebrate and enjoy,” said Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the WVDCH.
There are two categories for the West Virginia Marching Band Directors Hall of Fame. The first is for current band directors in the West Virginia school system with at least five years of experience. The other category is for retired band directors. The majority of their teaching years in either category must have been at the elementary, middle school, junior and high school levels, rather than the college or university level. Nominations should include strengths and accomplishments of the nominees.
An updated performance schedule for the West Virginia Marching Band Invitational is attached.
For more information, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the division, at (304) 558-0220.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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