Richard Evans to be remembered at Brass at the Park celebration

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Plans are well advanced for a huge celebration event to honour the life and legacy of one of the most influential musical directors on the lives of young Scottish brass musicians over a period of more than 20 years.

Brass at the Park is being organised by the Scottish Brass Band Association to commemorate Richard Evans, conductor emeritus of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland, who passed away in April 2022.

The event, on Sunday 11 August at the Strathallan School in Perthshire, will feature the three NYBBS bands – Children’s, Reserve and Senior – and special guests will include the Dalmellington Band and, from the Isle of Man, Rushen Silver, both of whom Richard worked with for many years. A big fan of Scottish brass banding, his connections with Dalmellington go back to the 1970s.

Video recordings of Tokyo City Concert Band, another ensemble of which he was guest MD, will be shown between the live performances in a huge marquee. A pipe band and percussion ensemble have also been invited to participate.

Jennifer Cook, Aberdeen Council brass instructor and a member of the NYBBS pastoral staff, is appealing for pictures that Scottish bandspeople may have of Richard over the years to form part of a screened photographic show of the life and times of the popular MD.

If you have any photographs which you can loan for the occasion, please forward to Jennifer at together, if possible, with details of where and when the picture was taken.

“Brass at the Park will be a celebration of music and fun which is what Richard was all about,” said event organiser Ann Murray, vice-president of SBBA. “As well as the entertainment, throughout the day, from 11am to 5pm, there will be picnics on the lawn with cream teas and nourishment from the attendant food and drink vendors, trade stands and fun and games for the children.

“Richard was ever the entertainer and we at NYBBS and SBBA just want him to be at the heart of these celebrations. There will even be previously unseen footage of interviews with the great man.”

Richard – affectionately known as ‘The Boss’ by everyone at NYBBS – was one of the most colourful and flamboyant characters on the British brass band scene. With a unique ability to instil pride and passion into every player, he was ultimately the driving force behind each band he conducted.

His association with NYBBS was one of which he was immensely proud and brass students from throughout Scotland who attended the Easter and summer courses delighted in his unique way of inspiring them to play their best.

“Richard was so very well respected by everyone in both NYBBS and SBBA,” said SBBA president Carrie Boax. “He was pivotal to the success of our dear NYBBS family. He added that magical touch and was really passionate about our young musicians who were so dear and so special to him.”

Brass at the Park is open to the public as well as brass band enthusiasts and supporters and tickets can be obtained here. Donations on the day will go to the British Heart Foundation and towards the setting up of a bursary fund in Richard Evans’ name.

Furthermore, a special tartan is being designed which will be named after Richard to be unveiled at the event.

Many thanks to Nezzy for permission to publish the cartoon of ‘Dick the Stick’


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