A COMMUNITY band warmed the hearts of people in lockdown with a unique virtual performance of a Dean Martin hit song.

Members of the Bicester Concert Band, who have not able to meet and rehearse since the beginning of the pandemic, took part in a makeshift music video of Sway as part of a special lockdown project.

Each musician rehearsed their part on their own then filmed themselves.

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The video was then put together by oboe player Mike Nunn and uploaded to YouTube.

The song, which was made famous internationally by Dean Martin in 1954, was written by Mexican composer Pablo Beltran Ruiz.

Conductor Wendy Marks, who is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music, said: "Having a music project to unite the band when lockdown had stopped our weekly rehearsals was a great way of providing an incentive to practise.

"We would previously recorded an audio track, but to have one of our members, Mike Nunn, offer to make a video, made it all the more exciting."

The Bicester band, which started off as a small group of musicians in 1996, has grown over the years and now has 37 members.

It has performed at a variety of events in the town such as Bicester Healthy Town launch, Bicester Festival, Shelswell History Festival, local fetes and its own concerts which it holds twice a year.

However, all this was put to an end during the Covid-19 crisis.

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Band chairman Rosalind Mason commented: "I really enjoyed taking part in our fun lockdown video.

"It has been really rewarding to see our individual recordings come together into a video that we are proud of.

"Wendy, our conductor, chose a great piece which was fun to learn and to record, and gave us advice and feedback when we needed it."

Both Ms Marks and Ms Mason praised their oboe player for his enthusiasm when volunteering to make the video, however, Mr Nunn pointed out 'it was very much a team effort'.

Find out more about the band at bicesterconcertband.org.uk