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Death of Goff Richards

The death has been reported of composer Goff Richards.



4BR has been informed of the death of Goff Richards on the evening of the 25th June, aged 66.

The Cornish born composer had battled against long term illness for many years and died peacefully surrounded by his family.

Musical career

Born in St Minver, Goff Richards studied at the Royal College of Music and Reading University, before embarking on a career that led him to become a leading conductor, composer, arranger and teacher.

He was one of the pioneering spirits behind the growing success of the then Salford College of Technology, leading courses in arranging and composing between 1976 and 1989 as well as being the director of the Chetham’s School Big Band.


A life long passion for music saw his talents blossom in many musical directions, notably with his compositions, which were performed by numerous leading professional and amateur musical ensembles all over the world.

These included the famous King Singers to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Huddersfield Choral Society to Black Dyke and encompassed all genres—from popular, jazz and light music to extended works for brass bands in test pieces as well as ensemble and solo compositions.

Goff's active Presidency of the Association stretched from 1985 to the present, and his passing will be a great loss to the SWBBA and the brass band movementBrian Elliot

Leading composer

His involvement with brass banding led him to become a leading composer and arranger for the medium, as well as a highly respected adjudicator. His expertly crafted output was regarded with great respect with many works becoming staple concert repertoire for bands at all levels.

In 1976 he was honoured to accept being made a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd. He received a Doctorate from Salford University in 1990 after a career that had seen him lead the University Jazz Orchestra to the prestigious BBC Big Band of the Year title in 1989.

Great loss

Brian Elliott, Secretary of the South West Brass Band Association told 4BR: "It is with the deepest regret that we have learnt of the death of Goff Richards, after a long and bravely borne illness.

Goff's active Presidency of the Association stretched from 1985 to the present, and his passing will be a great loss to the SWBBA and the brass band movement. He had been instrumental in many of it's activities including the prodigious success of the Mid-Winter Brass Workshop.

The Association's sincere condolences are conveyed to his dear wife Sue and all their family."

Funeral details

The funeral will take place on Tuesday 5th July at 1.00pm at St Thomas' Church, Stockton Heath Warrington WA4 6HJ, followed by followed by burial at 2.30pm at Fox Covert Cemetery, Red Lane Appleton, Warrington WA4 5LA

There will be a reception at the Royal Park Hotel, Stretton Road, Stretton Warrington WA4 4NS.


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Sarah Groarke-Booth

BA (Hons) MA
Conductor, Adjudicator, Compere, Actor