notes of life
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notes of life

Bishop Auckland, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 1996

Bishop Auckland, England, United Kingdom
Established on Jan, 1996
Solo Christian Classical


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


This band has no press


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Richard Ellis Hawley, alongside his husband

and business partner Rowen, are the founders

of Notes of Life. Through their combined

musical talents, they have forged a remarkable

reputation in the entertainment and events

industry. In December, Richard was recognised

as the Best Private Event Keyboard Musician in

North East England in LUXlife Magazine’s 2018

Entertainment Awards programme. We spoke

with Richard to find out more about his and

Rowen’s passion for music and the story behind

the company.

From the outset, Richard makes it clear that his passion for music stems

from an early age, the result of growing up in a family with a rich musical

history. “I am a self-taught musician: I began playing the piano at the

age of eight. By the age of sixteen I was working as a church organist.”

From there, it was perhaps inevitable that Notes of Life would be born –

Richard’s interest in music thrived, driven by a constant need to improve,

learn more, be better. In the years since, he has become skilled in a

plethora of styles including classical, jazz and pop, becoming an indemand

entertainer at weddings and events across England, the UK and


“One of the things I love about music is that it’s a universal language

which can be understood by a great diversity of people. Music usually

reflects the environment and times of its creation. It also gives us a sense

of belonging and an understanding of our roots. Where words fail music


Notes of Life formed its roots firmly in North-East England, particularly

in County Durham where Richard now plays frequently in churches and

hotels. “As a Pianist, Organist and Keyboard Player, I have also played

in Liverpool during the 175 years of Cunard event in 2015 at the Atlantic

Thistle Hotel. My Great Grandfather made the organ pipes at the Hillbark

Hotel in the Wirral many years ago and I have been privileged to play

upon that organ for a wedding. We frequently organise events in the

local village, including small events in the local church such as a choral

evensong with the local Rectory Chorale. During the week I give lessons

to both children and mature adults on piano and Tuba”

Richard continues, emphasising County Durham’s vast musical heritage.

“There is a rich history of music within County Durham and the North East

from Durham Cathedral choir to the many well-established colliery bands

in the local villages. The Sage Gateshead has become an international

venue for musicians, both individuals and groups, from around the globe.”

The conversation soon turns to touch again on Richard and Rowen’s

dedication to improve upon their talents, and branch out into new

instruments and styles. “For over thirty years I have been involved

in brass band internationally, including New Zealand. Both of us are

members of the Lanchester Brass Band playing the Euphonium and

Tuba. I am currently studying at Bishop Auckland College for an HND in

Music. My ambitions for the future are to continue to develop my personal

style and explore new horizons.”

“Rowen is going for a national qualification in business administration,

and remains the driving force behind Notes of Life, working behind the

scenes getting me to gigs, organising the work and setting up equipment.”

On the topic of equipment: “We have the Korg PA50SD and a brand-new

Yamaha PSR S775”.

Finally, Richard takes a moment to discuss his award win and his efforts in

helping to preserve and commemorate North-East England’s impressive

musical history. “When Rowan and I heard that we had won this award

we felt wonderful, honoured, delighted and fulfilled. I have persevered

in many different ways to present a diverse range of music to a wide

audience, building up my ability on organ, keys and brass. Ultimately, I

have very much enjoyed my performances and feel I have transmitted my

love of music to many people.”

Band Members