A new musical director has been appointed to take over control of Helston Town Band.

Darren Hendy comes with a wealth of musical experience behind him and is arguably one of the most recognisable names in west of England banding.

Following a 12-year break from banding whilst he focused on building his former Helston-based business, DS Hendy Ltd fruit and veg suppliers, Darren returned to playing 18 months ago as principal cornet with Camborne Band.

He originally started playing the |cornet with Porthleven Band in 1979, under the tuition of Stanley Oliver and |Henry Medlin, and also began taking lessons with former Helston Town |Band musical director Edward Ashton, before joining Camborne Town Band aged 14 under the tuition of Albert Chappell.

Darren moved away in 1988 to join the famous GUS Band before returning to Cornwall to take the principal chair at St Dennis Band.

Aged 21 Darren returned to Camborne on principal cornet. During his playing career he has won a number of prestigious solo awards at many competitions throughout the country and has also played for world famous bands Brighouse and Rastrick, Grimethorpe, and Fodens when they performed in Cornwall.

Band chairman Alan Trewhella said: “I am pleased to welcome Darren Hendy to the role of musical director of Helston Town Band and am sure that his vast experience and enthusiasm along with the dedication of our players is certainly a good recipe for success.”

Darren said: “I am excited at the prospect of this new venture and it is an honour to be a part of this famous band.”

Darren takes over the band at a busy point in its calendar. Members are currently looking forward to their first engagement of the summer season, a Proms-style evening of music and entertainment at Godolphin House on July 11, before performing at the Constantine Band Sunday, the ever popular Lismore Proms and a host of other venues throughout the county over the course of the summer.

Helston Town Band has been without an appointed musical director since January following the sudden departure of Derek Johnston after only seven months in post.

Before that the band was led by John Hitchens for ten years.