William Hill Obituary, Death – The death of William (John) Hill, who resided in Kilgore, Texas, has been brought to the attention of the Texas Skeet Shooters Association, which expresses its deepest condolences. John served as our association’s Secretary and Treasurer for a significant portion of his career and is now enshrined in the TSSA Hall of Fame.
John was a mainstay in our competition and put in countless hours to advance the cause of our group. He will be greatly missed by everyone.
The flautist William Bennett received a phone call not long after he had returned to Britain in 1958 from studying in Paris. The caller told him to “Get to the Festival Hall as quickly as you can. The production of Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben that Sir Thomas Beecham is directing is missing a player. The dress rehearsal has already gotten under way. Almost immediately after this, he received a second call instructing him to attend an audition in Manchester with what was then known as the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra and is now known as the BBC Philharmonic.
Five days later, Bennett was a member of that orchestra, and he was about to begin on a career as one of the greatest players of his generation. Unfortunately, Bennett passed away at the age of 86 due to motor neurone disease. His goal was to give the flute “the depth, dignity, and grandeur of the voice or a string instrument” through his influence on the creation and construction of the flute as well as through the more than 100 recordings he made as a soloist, many of which were released on his own Beep Records label.
In 1960, he became a member of the Sadler’s Wells Orchestra for a period of one year. From 1966 until 1972, he was James Galway’s successor as the principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra. After that, he joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, but a short time later, he was sacked for missing too many rehearsals in order to go on a global tour with the English Chamber Orchestra. This did not cause him a great deal of concern because he preferred the life as a freelancer. As a result, he never rejoined an orchestra as a full-time member again. In addition to the ECO, he also worked as a freelance musician for the London Mozart.