AN HISTORIC Whitefield brass band has been seeking to raise spirits and spread a message of positivity during the coronavirus outbreak by sharing a joyful video performance.

The 76-year-old Besses Boys' Band has been attempting to overcome the challenges posed to its ability to rehearse and perform due to Covid-19 by practicing "social-distance banding".

The experimental method has seen the band members and musical director, James Holt, individually recorded themselves playing along to a click track.

This was then edited by band member David Wilkinson to produce a heartening video rendition of the 2013 pop hit Happy.

Besses Boys' Band has since shared the video online alongside a message thanking key workers on the front lines doing their best to keep us all safe.

The band added: "Here is our attempt at “Stay at home banding” in the hope that, if even only for a few moments, we can make you ‘Happy'.”

Following its release, the video has proven a hit with viewers who have described the performance as "epic" and "absolutely brilliant", while another added: "Fabulous. Made me smile so much. Well done."

It has also gone viral and been viewed more than 10,000 times, as well as being shared far and wide across social media.

Bradley Hirst, Besses Boys’ Band chairman, said “It was phenomenal to receive so many positive messages following the post and it is great to be able to spread happiness to so many people during this difficult time”.

The historic Besses Boys' brass band has survived many trials and tribulations since it was formed in Whitefield in 1943 as a feeder to the Besses o' th' Barn Band.

The band was conceived in the dark days of the Second World after the Besses Band lost 50 per cent of its members in the conflict in a matter of months.

To help ensure that the parent band would have an continuing supply of talented musicians for the future, four young lads, Jim Cowburn, Rowland Curless, Harold Galloway and Stan Warburton decided to form a 'nursery class'.

It quickly rose to become one of the nations best and the longest surviving youth brass band.

Now, despite the new challenges posed by coronavirus, Besses Boys' Band says it is planning to continue entertaining the borough "from a distance", and intends to share more performances on social media in the coming weeks.

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