Watch: Cartoon dog enlisted to support Old Royal High School music plan

A Fair Isle wearing cartoon dog has been enlisted to help support the campaign to transform the Old Royal High building into a national music school.
A Fair Isle wearing cartoon dog has been enlisted to help support the campaign to transform the Old Royal High building into a national music school.
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A CARTOON dog wearing a Fair Isle jumper and 13-year-old pianist have been enlisted to help transform one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings into a national music school.

Entitled The Minute Waltz, the film - which you can view here - follows the tale of a little dog out for a walk with his master, who hears music coming from the former Royal High School building on Calton Hill.

Rory Kemp, 13 year old pupil at St Mary's Music School.

Rory Kemp, 13 year old pupil at St Mary's Music School.

The dog rushes, together with lots of others, towards the building which, in the film, has been successfully transformed into the home of St Mary’s Music School.

At the end of the film, the public are encouraged to sign up on the St Mary’s Music School website to help back the campaign.

The proposed conservation and restoration of the iconic Thomas Hamilton building as the new home of St Mary’s Music School is being backed financially by the Dunard Fund.

However, while the project has planning permission, it is currently unable to proceed because of a rival hotel bid.

READ MORE: Edinburgh councillors unanimously reject Royal High School hotel plans

The controversial Rosewood hotel plan, which includes adding on large wings either side of the existing building, has so far failed to win universal public.

Revised proposals, scaled down from the original design, were last year knocked back by the council.

Developers Urbanist Hotels and Duddingston House Properties have expressed their concern at allowing the dilapidated building to lie empty for another 50 years should their hotel bid fail.

READ MORE: Developers are ‘playing games’ with Edinburgh’s Royal High School

Domenica More Gordon, the artist behind the animations for the film said:

“I jumped at the chance to be part of this hugely exciting project. We must all support the arts and nurture the talent of the coming generations and to be able to use my drawings to do this is an extra joy.

“Music is universal and brings us all together, something we need now more than ever.

“I chose a dog for the mascot because I love dogs and I love music. Both have the capacity to touch our hearts.”

The music used in the animation is Valse du petit chien or the Minute Waltz composed by Frederic Chopin in 1847.

Rory Kemp, a 13 year-old piano pupil at St Mary’s Music School, was invited to perform the piece.

Young Rory has won both medals and awards for his performances and also appeared at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Commenting, Dr Kenneth Taylor, Headteacher, St Mary’s Music School, said:

“St Mary’s Music School is fortunate to have such a staunch supporter in an artist the calibre of Domenica More Gordon. Her extraordinary generosity in creating our cartoon dog mascot and the animated film - in support of our aim to make the Old Royal High building the new home for Scotland’s national music school – is greatly appreciated.

“Our animated film should help illustrate that music is for everyone. Our pupils enjoy playing all kinds of music including jazz and traditional.

“The thing that is exceptional about our pupils is that they show huge musical promise. Entry to St Mary’s Music School is by audition, and is based on musical ability and potential, Thanks to the Scottish Government’s Aided Place Scheme it is not dependant on financial circumstances.

Dr Taylor added:

“We raise funds annually to support the next generation of exceptional young pianists. Our bursary scheme enables financial support to be given to talented children throughout Scotland, hoping for the opportunity to learn in our supportive and inclusive teaching environment.”

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