Local band gives world premiere

Composer Robert W. Smith and band director Ricky D. Williams. Photo/Special.

On Veterans Day, the Bennett’s Mill Symphonic Band gave the world premiere of a piece of music composed especially for them. “Mekong,” written by the well-known composer Robert W. Smith, is dedicated to all veterans of the Vietnam War. “Mekong” was commissioned in memory of TSGT (Retired) Tommy R. Williams, a victim of Agent Orange Cancer, through a grant from the Woodruff Salutes the Arts in Education that was awarded to band director Ricky D. Williams. 

The premiere was a part of the school’s annual Veterans Day Celebration. This year’s event was a tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War and featured the BMMS Symphonic Band, Chorus, and Orchestra.  The keynote speaker was Col. Kevin Cheney (Ret.) who was a pilot and P. O. W. during the war.  Following the assembly, Vietnam veterans visited classrooms.