THE LONGEST-SERVING musical director in a local band's 150-year history is stepping down.
Norman Johns has announced his retirement after 15 years at the helm of Redruth Town Band, in which time he has more than trebled the number of members – from 6 to 21 – and was key in the band producing some historical moments.
After taking over in 1999, Mr Johns led the band to the West of England Bandsman's Festival title in 2011 and narrowly missed out on retention when it finished runner-up a year later.
Second place at the Cornwall Brass Band Championships in 2005 and then third in 2011 only cements his place in Redruth Town Band folklore.
He said: "I am very proud of what the band has achieved over the years and I hope that it continues to go from strength to strength."
Although stepping down as director, this will not spell the end of Mr Johns' affair with the band as he looks set to join the ranks as a player, working under Sara Munns who will be taking the reins as musical director in his place.
Mrs Munns has a long musical career background having studied music and conducting in London for three years and performing in several bands and orchestras, including Launceston Town Band and Gweek Silver Band.
She said: "I am extremely honoured to be taking on Redruth Town Band, especially with its rich heritage."
The band, now standing at 21 players, has been competing since 1891 and is actively looking for new or experienced players. Contact Sara Munns on 01209 822886.