RNCM postgraduate conductor Daniel Parkinson and students from the School of Strings have teamed up with British pianist and Junior RNCM alumnus David Schofield to release a charity single in aid of Your RNCM.
A new version of the famous Londonderry Air, or ‘Danny Boy’ as it’s more commonly known, will be released through all major online stores on Monday 19 May with proceeds going towards Your RNCM, the College’s £3 million campaign to transform its 40-year-old Concert Hall into a state-of-the-art venue.
Recorded at the Manchester-based college earlier this month, the single was arranged for piano and strings by RNCM alumnus and world-famous pianist Stephen Hough with original orchestration by Ross Clarke.
Daniel, who is currently studying for an MMus in Solo Performance (Conducting), said: ‘The refurbished Concert Hall will provide a platform for artistic excellence at the RNCM. This campaign single came about thanks to the RNCM’s policy of encouraging and supporting students’ creativity as well as its ability to think out of the box. It has been a pleasure bringing together such a talented group of people to produce the track and I hope that it is successful in creating awareness and raising money for such a vital campaign.’
David, who studied at Junior RNCM before joining Chetham’s School of Music and the Chicago College of Performing Arts, added: ‘The RNCM played a major role in my early musical education and it is so nice to play a part in this single and give something back to both the College and Manchester. Stephen Hough and my good friend Ross Clarke have done an exceptional job on both the piano part and orchestration – it captures so well the meaning of the piece of music and is great to perform.
‘I was in the Concert Hall a few weeks ago and seeing the progress is amazing; it’s not only a great addition to the College but to musicians across the world. I have been so lucky to work with an amazing team of people on this project and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a classical number one on Sunday 25 May.’
Your RNCM officially launched in October 2013 and has so far received support from scientist and TV presenterProfessor Brian Cox, BBC 6 Music presenter Stuart Maconie, Classic FM’s John Suchet and, among others, international pianist Lang Lang.
Here’s a teaser of the single (#rncmsingle)
To date, the College has raised almost half of its £3 million target and work on the transformation, completed by Styles & Wood, is well underway. Incorporated in the plans is a complete redevelopment of the Concert Hall to include a new air-conditioning and heating system, new flooring and seating, advanced technical facilities and lighting, in addition to a balcony and raised floor area to considerably increase capacity. The backstage production areas of both the Concert Hall and RNCM Theatre will also be reconfigured to support increased student numbers and provide a professional learning environment at industry standard.
Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, said: ‘The RNCM prides itself on offering the very best facilities, not only to aspiring young musicians from all over the world, but also to audiences who recognise the significant position the college holds as one of the UK’s busiest and most diverse public performance venues. I am delighted and proud that our students are embracing our campaign and that so many are generating innovative ideas to help raise money for this exciting transformation. This single will appeal to music lovers from across the country and beyond, and is an excellent example of the talent and entrepreneurship of our young musicians.’
The RNCM Concert Hall opened in 1973 and closed to the public on Monday 27 January 2014. It will officially reopen as a state-of-the-art performance venue later this year.
For more information and to listen to interviews from performers and RNCM staff visit www.rncm.ac.uk/rncmsingle.