A FREELANCE video producer in Menston has used his production skills during lockdown to create something that would raise a smile and lift spirits during these difficult and worrying times.

Inspired by all the rainbow pictures that had been popping up in people’s windows, Michael Wood created ‘The Big Menston Sing-along’ - a community music project where Menston residents were invited to come together virtually to perform a heart-warming rendition of the song ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’.

Michael received 47 videos and photos over a two week period, and edited them all into the final video which has been released on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/michaelwoodtv/videos/287674149066686/

In a blog about the project Michael says: “Menston near Ilkley is normally bustling with families and commuters going about their daily business. It’s a friendly Yorkshire village which I’m proud to call home.

“Sadly, the virus has halted many of the events that would normally take place here. Regular community groups can’t come together as usual, some businesses have had to temporarily cease trading and people aren’t able to see their family and friends.

“With many people understandably feeling worried and anxious, I decided to use my video production skills to help raise a smile and lift spirits.

“I wanted to produce something that would bring the local community together, get people talking and ultimately help raise a smile during these difficult and worrying times.”

He adds: “For the performance to work successfully, it was important that everybody sang at the same time and in the right key. So, with the help of a local pianist, I posted a master audio track on the local Facebook group for people to download and sing along to.

“Some people sang and some played instruments including violins, trombones, saxophones and clarinets.

“Local children submitted photos of the colourful rainbow drawings and paintings that had initially inspired the project.”

Find out more about the project online at: www.michaelwoodtv.co.uk/blog-the-big-menston-singalong.html