Strengthening development and the south

Posted in: Latest News,BYBA News

It’s always a pleasure to bring people to Council who are passionate about BYBA and seeing the association develop. Both the Development role and the role of Southern Region Representation over the years have been beset with a mixture of volunteers and periods of no one stepping up to the plate, but that’s all changed as we confirm that Luke Drewer and Jay Lindner are joining the team.

I approached Luke shortly before the AGM, and I could sense that the interest for BYBA was still there from his time working with us previously. If you don’t know Luke, here’s what he had to say, “This is the second time I have joined Council and this time round in the role of Development”.

He went onto say, “I joined the Hadleigh Marching Militaire when I was eight and like many of you, I grew up in a marching band – it was like having a second family. I finished my marching career in 1995 when I joined Mayflower Drum and Bugle Corps; run of course by Ron Hope, whom I have much admiration for the commitment and time she has given to the activity over the years.

In my Development role I will be looking to make a positive impact within the BYBA organisation as well as looking at opportunities that may exist to grow and develop the organisation.

These are my three main objectives:

  1. Research and discover ways in which BYBA can maximise its brand and offering nationally to the benefit of its members and potential members
  2. Develop practical resources that can be used by members and to encourage new members to join BYBA
  3. Develop strategic partnerships with other like minded organisations or companies that will bring positive benefit to BYBA

Through these objectives I feel that we will be able to grow the organisation, provide opportunities for its members and continue to help our members provide a unique and lifelong positive experience for our young people”.

As Luke is based in the south part of his research and delivery will be through a small number of localised pilot activities which will see BYBA breaking new ground, and once there’s proven success, they can be extended to other areas of the country. Luke will also look to work with Council for the benefit of the wider existing membership, as and when time allows.

Now moving to the Southern Region Representative, which in my opinion has been a vacant seat at the table for far too long, but that is all set to change. I am therefore pleased to welcome Jay Lindner to Council, who has taken the brave step of volunteering his services, and we all know, our membership base in the south has diminished, BYBA hasn’t recently had any events in the region, and the geography is large – all of which I see as both challenges and opportunities, and I know Jay does too, though he’s really excited to get cracking! So, for those that don’t know Jay, here’s what he had to say:

“I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to help BYBA grow and develop over the coming months and years as the Southern Region “Representative”.

Jay went onto provide a bit more background, for those who don’t know him, and he said, “I first got involved with BYBA in 1988 as a marching member of the Blue Ambassadors, and have enjoyed for many years the  great memories and lifetime friendships that have been made. I am also lucky to follow in the footsteps of some very important people in the history of both Thurrock Marching Brass and BYBA – Dave Loader, Eddie Hendle, Tony Hendle and the current chairman of Thurrock Marching Brass, Paul Morgan. I certainly have my work cut out following those with such influence”.

As for the future, here’s what Jay said about his aspirations in this role, “I feel that both short term and long term goals are needed to make my time on council a success, to help build the southern region, and develop its involvement in the organisation, as the south has a deep history of producing top performing bands. My short term goals are to work with existing members and their local authorities with things such as recruitment and funding. This will require building networks and sharing success stories and best practice.

I will be looking to meet leaders of bands and corps that are not currently involved with BYBA to see what we can do to encourage them join in.

I will also look at ways of sourcing equipment, support and/or advice to help people to start new units.

To create an event where units from all over the south primarily but include those from across the Country where we can meet, interact and get to experience training and technique seminars (we all have great memories of Pontins). 

But, none of this is possible without everyone working together to drive this great activity forward. 

We should all be ambassadors in encouraging others to be part of our Association. As an active Corps Director myself, my role at TMB and the many friendships I have already made, I believe this stands me in good stead as the right person for this job”.

So there you have it folks, two more guys prepared to give so much to make BYBA great again. Please join me in welcoming them to Council, get in touch with them, and give them your full support. You can email Luke on and Jay on


Paul Cartwright

BYBA Chairman