Hundreds of band members pay tribute to Washington County music-legend Bradly Smith

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"We just wanted him to know the thousands of lives he's touched, we'll never forget him."

UPDATE: HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– Hours before tri-state music legend Brad Smith was set to be honored by his Rebel Band Alumni, he passed away peacefully with his wife at his side.

At 3:45 p.m. Monday night, Smith passed away but his wife Darleen wanted the planned festivities at 6:00 p.m. to continue as a celebration of Smith’s life-long accomplishments. Darleen said that she knew Brad “wouldn’t want the night ruined” with the news of his passing, so only a handful of people knew of it during the event.

Funeral arrangements are being made in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A memorial service will be arranged in Hagerstown at a later date.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– There wasn’t a dry eye Monday night as band members from across Washington County gathered to pay tribute to tri-state music legend Brad Smith. 

Smith taught music from 1964 to 2003 and was South Hagerstown High School’s Band Director from 1975 to 1994. Smith was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and generations of band members wanted to thank him for his contribution to music. The only way to do that was to perform the rebel’s fight song “Are you from Dixie?”

“Brad Smith touched so many people’s lives in this community from elementary, middle to high school,” said Rebel Class 1985 Tuba Player Rick Conrad. “Not only in music but he taught us all that if we can gather together as one and fight for the same common goal, we can achieve anything. He’s not going to be with us much longer and we want to get this message to him that he made a difference in thousands of people’s lives.”

Smith wasn’t able to be in attendance but got to watch the performance on Facebook-live and thanked his band members for playing the fight song one more time.

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