A MUSIC video aimed at keeping a Wyre Forest band in tune during the pandemic has raised more than £1,700 for two hospital charities.

Wyre Forest Big Band’s busy programme of gigs came to a shuddering halt when Covid-19 struck, so members produced a unique recording of 'Love is Here to Stay’ to keep them occupied.

Band leader Derek McCluskey, who founded the group three years ago, said: “In order to give the band something to focus on during the summer, I had the idea of putting together a virtual video with all 20 members recording themselves playing the tune at home.

“Our bass guitarist Chris Cobon then brought all the 20 parts together to produce a virtual performance by the whole band.”

The result was so impressive that Mr McCluskey decided to put it to good use by making it a JustGiving fundraiser for the League of Friends groups at Kidderminster and Worcester hospitals.

Donations from well-wishers visiting the page to view the video totalled £1,200 for the Friends of Worcester Hospital and its coronavirus ward, plus £515 for Kidderminster's League of Friends.

Mr McCluskey said: “I chose these two charities because they do an incredible job buying items for our hospitals that the NHS don’t provide.

“We gave a larger share to Worcester as they have a Covid ward and I was over the moon with the total amount raised.”

The band focuses on jazz, swing and big band classics and the virtual video can be seen on its website at wyreforestbigband.co.uk.