Solo EEb Bass - Richard Hawkey
Richard started playing at the age of 5 on cornet with St Austell Youth Band, and won the Pontins Youth Championships on his first contest, under the late Jimmy Taylor.
He progressed onto horn, baritone, and then euphonium, with a brief spell on EEb bass, with St Dennis Youth and Mount Charles Youth, before settling back onto Solo Euphonium with St Austell Youth Band.
Richard then progressed into the Kernow Band when he was 14 years old, and won the award for best instrumentalist at Bugle Contest 2 years running with the youth band.
At the age of 18, Richard accepted the position of Solo Euphonium with the St Dennis Band, where he spent 3 successful years, and also played Solo Euphonium with the Cornwall Youth Brass Band for 2 years, whilst studying for his degree in Business at the University of Plymouth. During this period Richard also won an award for best instrumentalist at the CBBA Contest.
He joined Bodmin Town Band in April 2005 on Solo Euphonium and also spent 18 months on Solo Eb Bass, before joining Camborne on 2nd Euphonium in July 2008. During his time at Camborne, Richard enjoyed some fantastic results that included winning the West of England Championship Section Regionals; winning the West of England Bandsman's festival on 2 consecutive occasions; and made his first appearance at the Royal Albert Hall for the National Finals where they came 8th.
After leaving Camborne in November 2009, Richard enjoyed helping out St. Pinnock and St. Dennis bands, before returning to Camborne in August 2011 for a short period, before taking on the challenge of setting up Roche Brass in his very own village, which has been a dream of his since he can remember.
Outside of band, Richard is a Senior Affordable Housing Officer for Cornwall Council.
Solo BBb Bass - Miles Johns
Miles started playing with the St. Dennis Youth Band on EEb Bass, and it wasn’t long before he progressed into the senior band. After a few years, Miles then moved to the Mount Charles Band for a couple of years, before deciding to take a break from Brass Banding.
Having had 5 years out from playing, Miles finally gave in to the temptation and joined Roche Brass in May 2013, and is now thoroughly enjoying playing again.
2nd BBb Bass - Andy Batten
Andrew aka "Bash" started playing aged 11 in 1984. He started with cornet at Mount Charles youth band under the teaching of Morley Bennett and Don Rosevear (who was also his Godfather).
On starting Poltair secondary school, Bash joined Poltair School Band with music teacher Geoff Whieldon. Bash then moved from Mount Charles to St Austell 'B' band where his mentor, Jimmy Bruff decided that Bash would be suited to a bigger instrument and handed him a Bb bass! Bash flourished under the direction of Jimmy Taylor and learnt not only to play the Bb, but honed his very own drinking and socialising skills!
The 'B' band disbanded in 1990 and Jimmy Taylor moved to Indian Queens. Bash followed (as did most of the band!) Bash spent 6 happy years at Indian Queens and then in 1996 Bugle Silver Band called. Bash played in Bugle Silver Band for 18 years latterly becoming the band's chairperson. During this time, Bugle Silver Band qualified for the National Finals in Harrogate. This was a real highlight in his banding career.
In 2014, Bash took a year out from banding to spend a bit more time with his young family. Unfortunately Bash's wife Rachel got fed up with looking at him 7 nights a week and sent him off to find another band to join. Richard Hawkey at Roche Brass bought Bash a pint and that sealed the deal! Bash's wife is thankful to Roche Brass for taking him on...