Download Full Text (973 KB)

Publication Date


Year of Release



Gold Band - Shirelle Yuhase, conductor

White Band - Rhonda E. Smalley, conductor

Green Band - Radonna Hess, conductor

*Special thanks to Kerr's Music World of Huntington and Charleston for their support and for providing refreshments for the Director's Hospitality Room.

Radonna M. Hess, a native of Salem, WV, is the Band Director at Ripley Middle School and Assistant Band Director at Ripley High School in. She is a 1979 graduate of Liberty High School in Harrison County and earned a B.A. in Music Education from Alderson-Broaddus University. Her major emphasis in college was the French Horn and she was a member of the A-B Brass Quintet, Brass Choir, and Concert Band.

Mrs. Hess has been teaching for 30 years in the areas of General Music and Band. She has served as director at Ripley Middle School since 1997 and under her leadership the band has consistently earned superior ratings at regional band festivals. She is a member of the WV Music Educators Conference and the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Society.

Radonna and her husband, Blaine, reside in Ripley, WV, with their daughters Ashton and Katelyn.

Rhonda E. Smalley taught instrumental music in the Cabell County School System for 40 years. During that time, she served as band director at West Jr. High School, Beverly Hills Jr. High School, Barboursville H.S, and her final 17 years at Cabell Midland H.S. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Marshall University and member of Delta Omicron earning Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in music education.

Mrs. Smalley's concert bands earned overall "Superior" ratings at the West Virginia Regional Band Festival for 40 straight years. While at Cabell Midland, her marching band won 65 Grand Championships on the state and national level. They won top honors at the Peach Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Outback Bowl, and the Orange Bowl. The "Marching Knights" were five-time Grand Champions of the Marshall University Tri-State Marching Band Festival and Honor Band of the WV Black Walnut Festival eight times. They also performed in the nationally-televised Indianapolis 500 Parade and marched in Disney World's Magic Kingdom seven times. Her bands twice were invited to perform for the President of the United States. At Cabell Midland, Mrs. Smalley also founded the "Jazz Knights," who performed as the Marshall Jazz Festival Honor Band and competed on the national level at festivals in Orlando, Fl. Her groups' International travels included band trips to Canada, the Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Belize, and Mexico.

In 2003, Mrs. Smalley received statewide recognition by being inducted into the West Virginia Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. In 2007, Mrs. Smalley was selected for membership in Phi Beta Mu, international bandmasters' honorary fraternity.

At the time of her retirement in 2011, she was presented the "West Virginia Distinguished Mountaineer Award" by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and was recognized by a resolution of the West Virginia State Senate. Congressman Nick Joe Rahall presented her with the "Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition" on behalf of the U.S. Congress.

Mrs. Smalley is presently serving as a clinical supervisor at Marshall University where she works with instrumental music student teachers. She continues to serve students in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky as an adjudicator and guest conductor. Mrs. Smalley and her husband "Coach" Jerry Smalley make their home in Barboursville, W.Va.

Shirelle Yuhase is currently the Recruiting Coordinator for the Music Department and Assistant to the Director of Bands at Marshall University. She conducts the Marshall University Symphonic Band and assists with the "Marching Thunder" Marching Band and Pep Band. In addition to her other duties, she also teaches Brass Techniques for music education majors. Ms. Yuhase earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, and her Master of Arts in Music Education from Marshall University. As a graduate student, she held a graduate assistantship with Marshall Bands and assisted with several band festivals and events. Before coming to Marshall, she was the band director at Green High School in Franklin Furnace, Ohio and also substitute taught at Fairland and Green High Schools in Ohio.


Smith Recital Hall


Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance

Marshall University Music Department Presents the Ninth Annual Middle School Festival Band, Grand Concerts, with Guest Conductors, Radonna Hess, Rhonda E. Smalley, Shirelle Yuhase