No military procession would be complete without their cheery sound.
But after performing in the Yorkshire Regiment Band, Huddersfield musicians in the Army’s Reserve Force return to their day jobs as teachers, solicitors and bank workers.
The part-time band, which rehearses every Wednesday at Huddersfield’s TA centre in St Paul’s Street, was set up in 2008.
Today, the military group has grown to 28 members who regularly entertain crowds at Army ceremonial events, troops’ home-comings and charity events.
And they’re hoping even more Huddersfield musicians will now join them.
Corporal Lesley Sanders, who works in banking by day, said: “It is ceremonial and motivational really.
“We do a lot of fundraising for the Yorkshire Benevolent Fund and we always do the home-comings for people who have been in Afghanistan, and places like that, to march them through the town.
“It means a lot for them to have us there and we always get a good response from the crowds.”
The band is made up of accomplished woodwind, brass and percussion players, who are all of a minimum Grade 8 standard when they join.
The musicians – aged between 18 and 43 – have to go through the same selection process as other army reserves, but are not required to take part in basic training because they use their allocated reserve days for musical rehearsals instead.
“We have to do an annual fitness test and some other basic army training,” explains Lesley.
“But we wouldn’t have time to do all the concerts we do if we spent a lot of time training, as we only get so many days.
“We also have to take part in a two-week camp every year.”
This year, the band spent a fortnight staying at an army barracks in Belfast and playing with the Royal Irish Regiment.
Lesley, of Highburton, said: “We did a few concerts and marching displays in uniform. They don’t let people out in uniform all that often because of the troubles, so the crowds were pleased to see us.
“For me, the most important thing is playing with such a high-standard group.
“I have also met some of my best friends in the band because it is incredibly social.”
For further information about getting involved in the band, contact www.army.mod.uk/yorksband .