25th June 2011
Goff (also Godfrey) Richards was a prominent English brass band arranger and composer. He was born in Cornwall, studying at the Royal College of Music and Reading University. Between 1976-1989, he lectured at the Salford College of Technology. He was the musical director of the Chetham's Big Band for many years. In 1976, he was 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 BBC Big Band of the Year title in 1989. He was well known for his original compositions such as "Trailblaze", "Doyen", "Exploding Brass!", "The Jaguar" and "Barnard Castle", and won a European Broadcasting Union Award in 1984 for his "Continental Caprice". He was also a prolific arranger, and his works included "Hymns of Praise", "Shepherd's Song", "Over the Rainbow", "Mack the Knife", "New York, New York", "Chanson d'Amour", "I'll Walk with God", and "That's a Plenty". He also composed light orchestral and choral works.