27 April 2022
It is with great sadness that we share news of the death of Richard Evans at the age of 87 on Friday 22 April, a much-loved teacher of brass music at Kirkham Grammar School.
Below, former KGS teacher, Mr Adrian Long, shares with us the significant contributions Richard made during his time at KGS.
Richard’s influence on music at both the Senior School and the Junior School was hugely significant: he worked as a peripatetic teacher and band conductor in the 1990s and early 2000s and during that time he inspired numerous young people thanks to his warmth and charisma allied to an insistence on the highest standards of musicianship.
His flowing locks and exuberant manner gave him the persona of an entertainer, who loved connecting with band members and audiences alike, yet in individual lessons he demonstrated a deep concern for the welfare of those whom he taught and an attention to detail which made him one of life’s natural teachers. He would always start his lessons with a chat with pupils about how they were, what they were doing in school, putting them at their ease before getting down to the serious business of developing and improving their skills and techniques.
His time at KGS brought many highlights and triumphs, but for one golden generation of Concert Band players, he will be remembered for organising and leading a residential weekend for the band at Borwick Hall in July 2002, just before his retirement. In a relaxed atmosphere away from the usual surroundings of school music rooms, musicians of all ages spent two days rehearsing and bonding as a group, ending with an impromptu concert for parents and families who came to collect their children at the end of the weekend. I had the privilege of being one of the additional staff helpers for that weekend.
I can never hear a Sousa march without picturing in my mind the KGS Concert Band of that era, their eyes fixed on their charismatic conductor, all giving their very best in the joyful togetherness that ensemble music alone can bring.
The time and attention that he devoted to KGS was all the more remarkable given his many other commitments in the world of band music, in which he was one of the UK’s most successful, respected and well-loved bandmasters, as the many tributes appearing online so eloquently attest.
We send our condolences to Richard’s family and friends, and remember with joy and gratitude his contribution to music at KGS.
Adrian Long (KGS staff 1981-2017)