‘It’s not what I do, it’s why I do it’
Wayne Collyer is one of the young men and women about to head off to the UK as part of The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory’s 35-person youth band. He is the band's manager, and plays euphonium and piano in the band.
Before moving to Melbourne, Wayne worked as a computer administrator at his alma mater, the Wollongong High School for Performing Arts, where he was also heavily engaged in student welfare through mentoring and pastoral care, Wayne explains, for ‘students who needed someone in their corner’. When circumstances did not allow his Bachelor of Creative Arts to be completed at Wollongong University, Wayne considered his options.
He chose to come down to Melbourne to work for – and make music with – The Salvation Army, as a pianist and a member of the Melbourne Staff Band. He currently plays baritone in the band and is the MSB's pianist. In the eight years he has been a member, he has also played horn and euphonium.
Wayne’s current employment roles vary; he works in the Australia Southern Territory’s social programme department as a systems support worker for SAMIS*, and in its creative arts department within mission resources. He also currently sits on the territorial creative arts board. He has formerly worked for the Army in event management, social justice and admin support.
But for Wayne, the roles are not the be all and end all. While employment keeps the bills paid, he says that ‘I’m not defined by my roles. They give me tools and the opportunity to get out on the ground to come alongside others and support them.’ It’s the same principle when it comes to his music, Wayne explains: ‘I would not consider music to be my only or even my primary gift. But I thank God for the gift to come alongside others; that’s who I am. That’s why I do what I do.
‘For me, music was always my way to worship God. I don’t see myself as a performer; my playing is to enhance the spiritual experience of others, and I want to use all the gifts God’s given me to support and encourage others.’
We hope Wayne and the territorial youth band have a enjoyable, productive UK tour, from 25 May to 7 June.
* SAMIS is the Salvos’ ‘Service and Mission Information System’.