Roanoke College announced late last week that Terrell Smith has been selected as its first-ever director of marching and spirit bands effective Sept. 1.
Smith is said to bring 16 years of experience in music instruction and band program leadership to the role. He comes to Roanoke from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he had served as director of athletic bands since 2021. He was previously assistant director of bands for Stevenson University and marching percussion coordinator for the University of Maryland.
At Roanoke College, Smith will build a new marching band program that could grow to as many as 50 students. He’ll play a key part in championing student engagement and campus spirit.
“Terrell will bring great energy to Roanoke as he will immediately launch his plan to start the spirit band to support many of our athletic teams and other events,” said Dean of Students Tom Rambo, whose office oversees the band initiative. “Terrell’s accomplishments with marching bands are recognized throughout the country. He will be an active member of our Maroon community.”
The college noted that the marching and spirit bands program is part of a larger, donor-supported plan to restore a varsity football program at Roanoke after an 80-year hiatus. The team is set to start as a club sport in fall 2024 and advance to varsity status in 2025.
In addition to band, the college will create a competitive cheerleading team. Together, the three programs are expected to attract as many as 130 students to campus.
Smith is currently completing a master’s degree in music education with the University of Maryland and holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. In addition to music instruction, he’s a composer and performer who has founded nonprofit youth and community music programs such as the Maryland Arts Recreation Sports Academy and the Thunder Brigade Drum & Bugle Corps.
“I am honored to have been selected as the first-ever director of marching and spirit bands at Roanoke College. This is an exciting time for the institution, and the impact that varsity football, athletic bands and competitive cheer will have on school spirit promises to further excite and unite this already close campus community and region,” Smith said. “I look forward to all collaborations with students, faculty and staff at RC as we develop this exciting new program. Our aim as a band organization is to represent American diversity in music selections, show design, audience engagement and university recruiting strategies. I cannot wait to get started!”