A lifelong member of the Salvation Army will proudly become bandmaster of the church’s regional music group.
David Haywood, 73, has taken on the new role with the Yorkshire Fellowship Band as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in Batley later this month.
Mr Haywood, from Soothill, has lived in the town for almost half a century and has been bandmaster of the local Salvation Army for 20 years during two stints.
But now, following the retirement of the outgoing bandmaster, he is taking on the big responsibility of leading the Yorkshire Fellowship Band, having served as deputy since its foundation in 2005.
Mr Haywood said: “It is exciting for me. I’ve been an integral part of the group for 10 years and now I’m looking foward to taking over and making my mark for what could be another 10 years.
“I’ve been part of the Salvation Army since birth. My parents were involved with it and my grandparents were part of it when it was set up 150 years ago.”
And though the job of leading the brass and percussion may look easy to some, Mr Haywood assures doubters that there is much more substance to the job than meets the eye.
“There’s more to it than just conducting the band,” he added. “You’ve got to make sure that the bandsmen and bandswomen are in fellowship with each other and that the Christian message is being spread in the places we go.”
The dedication and commitment of the band members is symbolised by their fortnightly rehearsals which take place throughout the year to prepare them for their public performances.
They will mark their decade of performances with a special concert and festival at the Salvation Army’s Batley premises on Bradford Road on Saturday October 24, at which Mr Heywood will formally take on his new role.