Band’s former supremo returns for special concert

Richard Evans was the conductor with Leyland Band for over 25 years. He is returning to the band for a special concert
Richard Evans was the conductor with Leyland Band for over 25 years. He is returning to the band for a special concert

He has travelled around the globe conducting the biggest names in the brass band world, but there is only one place he calls home.

Richard Evans, who conducted Leyland Band for more than 25 years and is credited with helping it rise to world-renowned status is rejoining the group for a very special performance.

The 76-year-old, who left the band more than 10 years ago, will lead musicians to perform some of his favourite music at a concert on Sunday.

Richard was recruited as conductor by the band in 1978, when it was then known as Leyland Vehicles Band.

He recalled: “At the time the band had dropped in the ranks, and I got a call saying Leyland Motors had a new managing director and some of the band had talked to him about sponsoring the band.

“He gave them new instruments and uniforms and they sent for me. I knew most of them, they were friends.

“I signed a contract to take the band to one of the top five in the country in three years. Looking back I was rather stupid when I signed it, but four years later we were second in the British Open.”

Richard’s interest in music began when he was a young boy playing with the Leyland British Legion Band.

He said: “I started to play when I was 11 and I just got the bug. No one in my family was musical, I just had this burning desire. I wanted to make music my life.”

Richard was a founder member of the National Youth Brass Band, and then went on to play cornet with the Leyland Vehicles Band.

- For the full feature, see this week’s Leyland Guardian