Who: Toronto’s Regent Park School of Music, BBDO, music producer Frank Dukes. Oh, and Taylor Swift.
What: A new Taylor Swift song that uses a composition from “Parkscapes,” a music library of original compositions created by students at RPSM and Dukes as a fundraiser for the school.
When & Where: Parkscapes has been available at Kingsway Music Library since the end of June, but the Swift song, “It’s nice to have a friend,” was just released on Friday as part of her new album, Lover. (Hear the song below.)
How: BBDO proposed the idea of creating a library of music as fundraising initiative. Dukes agreed to help out with “Sample School,” spending three days working with RPSM students to record the album. Dukes, who is a producer on Lover, then introduced Parkscapes to Swift who decided to incorporate one of the compositions, “Summer in the South,” into her song.
Why: Any time an artist uses one of the compositions, the school gets a licensing fee and royalties and residuals for the life of the song. “It felt like a great fit for RPSM, because the kids who benefit from the program are now playing a starring role in sustaining it,” said Rana Chatterjee, associate creative director, BBDO Toronto, in a release. On top of using the composition from the students, Swift also made a donation to the school.
Quote: “Words can’t describe how thrilled we are to hear our students on Taylor Swift’s new album,” said Richard Marsella, executive director, Regent Park School of Music, in a release. “This exposure is raising awareness and much needed funds for the Regent Park School of Music. The royalties we receive from the use of our composition in the song will help fund musical education, and for that we are truly grateful.”