Partly true, I guess.
The band have been quite large in the past (5 trombones, 6 horns, 5 basses and even 6 solo cornets on the 1980 tour) but started to reduce in size while Robert Rehead was the Bandmaster.
When I joined in 1993, the basses had already been cut from 5 to 4.
(I was '3rd' Eb in a National Music School band years ago and hated it!)
We have had 3 trombones for several months now although Iain Parkhouse has recently joined the band to bring us back up to 3 baritones.
My sources tell me that the principle cornet of Ramsgate band, Ian Standley is likely to be a new feature on the front bench of the ISB. His ability to play all day together with his excellent technique will be a real asset. I would expect that he will not sit at number 5 though.
Nice to hear Paul is doing well - I was at the RCM at the same time as him. He was a fantastic trumpet player and even better on the cornet. He's a shy chap so didn't get as much pro work as his playing definately deserved.