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The return of Johnny Sop

The lure of playing at the Welsh Regional Championships has been too much for one of Welsh banding's most respected players.

Brangwyn Hall
  John Evans will be enjoying his return to the Brangwyn Hall

There have already been many celebrations at the Welsh Regional contest this weekend, with at least two more to come with the Fourth and Championship Section titles to be decided at the Brangwyn Hall.

One personal milestone though will be enjoyed by John Evans, one of the most respected cornet and soprano players produced by the nation over the years.

John — better known as 'Johnny Sop' — will be notching up 60 years of competing at the event when he takes to the stage with the Parc & Dare Band this afternoon.

Return

A few years ago 4BR ran a small feature on him notching up his 50 year accolade, but such as been the lure of playing again that he has decided to return.

His proud daughter Leanne told 4BR: "He continues to amaze us all with his enthusiasm and love for banding.

We thought he would take it easy when he reached retirement age, but he still works five days a week and regularly has a blow of his cornet. We all just knew that if he was asked he wouldn't turn the chance down."

John made his debut in 1958 at the age of 8 with Rhymney Youth Band — and made a winning debut with his picture taken for publication in the then national Daily Herald newspaper.

We thought he would take it easy when he reached retirement age, but he still works five days a week and regularly has a blow of his cornet. We all just knew that if he was asked he wouldn't turn the chance downJohn's daughter Leanne

Best instrumentalist

Over the years he has played with many of the top bands in Wales, including Cory, Tredegar, BTM and for a long period of time Parc & Dare, helping them to win countless titles and more than his fair share of personal 'Best Instrumentalist' awards.

As Leanne added: "We don't think this will be his last Area contest for sure, so we are already preparing for his 70th anniversary appearance!"



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John Maines

BA (Hons)
Presenter, compere and conductor