Life in music for band man David

David Horsfield and his wife Jenny
David Horsfield and his wife Jenny

Growing up, David Horsfield had three passions - football, cycling and music.

But by the time he was 15, the Brighouse teenager was the youngest principal cornet player in the brass band world.

Since starting in the brass band world as a talented 10-year-old, David has enjoyed six decades at the top in the brass band world. His passion for music has taken him round the world and seen picking up the silverware at competitions all over the country.

David, who ran the printing company Kirklees Music in Bailiff Bridge, has now written a book about his life in music. In ‘A Boy from Brighouse’ he reflects on his association with the brass band world. He was involved with Clifton and Lightcliffe, Brighouse and Rastrick and Black Dyke and, for more than a decade, with the successful James Shepherd Versatile Brass, an eight-piece brass ensemble which gained a strong following and played numerous gigs.

Growing up in a musical family in Rastrick, it wasn’t a surprise that David was also keen to learn an instrument. Initially he wanted to play the clarinet but when a teacher couldn’t be found locally, he opted for the cornet.

“As it turned out, being brought up in Rastrick, in the borough of Brighouse, was a big advantage for my music career which was to become such an important part of my life,” recalls David in the book.

As a lad David managed to combine his growing musical expertise with his passion for football and sport. His banding career began with Clifton and Lightcliffe but, before long, in 1957 at the age of 13 he stepped up to the band world’s ‘premier division’ with B & R.

“It was quite a step up and my parents were concerned that I might be too young. To me at the time it seemed as if I was playing with middle-aged and old men!”

The same year David played his first concert at the Royal Albert Hall, becoming the youngest player to take part in the top section contest at the venue .In the early 1960s David decided to take a break from banding intending to devote more time to his love of cycling but it wasn’t long before Black Dyke - B & R’s great rivals - lured him back.

“I wasn’t the most popular young man in Brighouse but this was how things worked out and after nine years with my home town band I didn’t feel too bad about leaving. I feel there will always be ‘purple’ blood in me.”

David’s love of brass banding continues with his involvement in the Brighouse Lions Festival of Brass, started as a one-off event for the millenium year of 2000 but still going strong, and through his family with grand-daughter Charlotte playing tombone.

David’s book with a CD of music costs £9.99 and is available from Harrison Lord, Kershaws Garden Centre and other outlets.