By Anya Wassenberg on September 19, 2022

As a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Conservatory of Music has released a special recording of “The Lord is My Shepherd”, her favourite hymn. The traditional hymn is sung by soprano Jonelle Sills, a 2022-23 Rebanks Fellow at The Glenn Gould School, accompanied by pianist Geoffrey Conquer, a 2016-17 Rebanks Fellow and alumnus of The Taylor Academy. The performance was captured at the RCM’s Mazzoleni Hall.

The hymn was sung in November 1947 as then Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten, and at the Queen’s funeral on September 19, 2022.

Dr. Peter Simon, President and CEO of the Royal Conservatory, recalled his meeting with the Queen in Toronto in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the RCM’s Charter in a media release. “She had an extraordinarily warm and glowing smile that made you feel relaxed, welcomed and honoured. She was immensely gracious and open and therefore having a conversation with her was very easy and a true pleasure,” he said. “What an extraordinary person she was, and it is truly sad that such a special person is no longer with us.”

The gesture continues a tradition of affiliation with the royal family. King George VI, the late Queen’s father, incorporated The Royal Conservatory of Music in 1947. The former Toronto Conservatory of Music became The Royal Conservatory of Music. In 2012, the RCM was granted a Royal Patronage from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (now King Charles III). The RCM was also chosen to work with the Prince’s Charities Canada on an arts education project.

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