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Who else wants to see the future stars of Manchester’s music scene?

Discover the next generation of musical talent at RNCM's Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition, featuring groundbreaking performances and a chance to see stars in the making

Manchester is about to experience a fusion of innovative sounds and creative expression as the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) gears up to host the highly anticipated Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition.

Known for delivering an electrifying live music experience (including at November’s I Love MCR Awards), the RNCM Session Orchestra returns to the stage with the next generation of artists front and centre.

The night is set to be an incredible evening as these emerging artists perform their original music against the backdrop of a sensational live orchestra.

Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition

It’s a huge night in their calendar, with RNCM’s Popular Music department students can show the world what they can do.

The evening concludes with the award of the College’s highest performance achievement honour, the Gold Medal, as one artist is selected by a panel of judges to be promoted by the RNCM to agents, concert bookers, producers, managers, and music critics.

Each artist will perform a 20-minute set of original music with fully orchestrated versions created by themselves or in collaboration with student arrangers.

As the public audience watches the show, the Gold Medal adjudicating panel comprising the RNCM Principal, Deputy Principal (Performance and Programmes), and two music industry professionals will decide who will be named Gold Medal winner and take home an additional £5,000 prize to develop their artistic project further.

Trailblazing artists like Porij, The Larkins, and Lucy Deakin all got their start on this night, so strap yourselves in for something special.

Who will be performing at Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition?

Ahead of the showcase, I Love MCR had the privilege of catching up with two of the event’s performers: She’s Mine and Grete Eitmantyte.

Both artists bring their unique flair and passion to the stage, offering audiences a glimpse into their creative journey and musical vision.

She’s Mine

RNCM Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition
Keara Koterwas – She’s Mine

Described as the sonic marriage of FKA Twigs, Billie Eilish, Lorde, and Grimes, She’s Mine is a display of gothic-grandeur and porcelain-tenderness in Alt-Pop form.

Her performance will also feature a duet with rapper planet.w.e.s.m.o for a thrilling collaboration as part of her set.

Reflecting on her journey, She’s Mine shared, “Growing up surrounded by an eclectic mix of musical influences, music became my identity. It’s a dream come true to share my music with a wider audience and connect with fellow artists and music lovers.”

For She’s Mine, music has always been a part of life. “My parent’s music taste was always a big part of home life growing up.

“There was always either Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, Belly, or Peter Gabriel on.”

This eclectic mix, combined with influences from jazz legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, set the foundation for her musical journey.

After moving from California to Scotland, she began classical violin training at six and later discovered her love for singing in high school.

“I became the lead singer of my school jazz band and played small local festivals. Music became my identity,” she recalls.

It was at the City of Edinburgh Music School that she began writing her own music, using her violin to craft melodies before expanding to guitar and piano.

Her stage name, She’s Mine, was serendipitously chosen by pointing to a random phrase in a book.

“I realised that She’s Mine could be a statement about the objectification of women and the weird para-social relationships we have with our favourite artists and performers,” she explained

Describing her sound as “Alt Pop, EDM, and a gothic take on R&B,” She’s Mine cites artists like FKA Twigs, Lorde, Billie Eilish, and Grimes as major influences.

For her performance at RNCM’s Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition, she promises a dramatic and emotional journey, “full of drama”.

“You can expect a journey from dark to light. From despair to hope. From courage to fragility.”

Winning the performance prize would be transformative.

“The prize money would literally make my future as She’s Mine possible. It takes ages to save up enough to record music in a studio or pay a producer,” she explains.

Performing in front of judges is a challenge she embraces, seeing it as a culmination of her artistic journey and a chance to showcase her work with a talented team of collaborators.

You can check out She’s Mine’s latest single, Closed Doors (feat. planet w.e.s.m.o) from July 3rd on her website by clicking here

You can also see her Instagram here

Grete Eitmantyte

RNCM Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition
Grete Eitmantyte

Grete’s passion for music began in Lithuania, nurtured by early singing lessons and performances on national TV. “Singing has always been my biggest passion, and I wanted to do it professionally,” she shares. After extensive research, she chose RNCM for its excellent reputation and vibrant music scene.

Influenced by artists like MARO, Yebba, and Hiatus Kaiyote, Grete’s music blends untraditional jazz harmonies with experimental sounds.

“The music I will be performing in the Session Orchestra is from my very first original project, which is very dramatic, emotional, jazzy, and quite different from what’s playing on the radio,” she notes.

Collaborating with RNCM composition students Ted Ford and Max Boone, Grete has arranged her music for an orchestra. “I am super proud of what we have accomplished and can’t wait to hear the full performance myself,” she says.

Like She’s Mine, Grete sees the performance prize as a crucial stepping stone.

“It would help to invest in my music so much. It is so expensive to be an independent artist and the prize would be a massive help,” she explains.

Her upcoming EP, set for release on June 7th, marks a significant milestone, and she is excited about the potential to promote, perform, and create new projects.

Grete’s time at RNCM has been filled with memorable experiences, from performing at the Royal Albert Hall to collaborating with the Halle Orchestra.

“There’s so many amazing memories and experiences that probably wouldn’t have happened if I never came to RNCM,” she reflects.

You can check out Grete’s Instagram here

Manchester: A City of Musical Inspiration

Both artists chose Manchester for its vibrant and diverse music scene.

“Manchester inspires you to be whatever you want, to make your music whatever you want it to be, because there’s always going to be a place and an audience for it,” Grete says.

She’s Mine adds that the city’s large student population made it an appealing choice, providing a supportive environment for her to develop her sound.

Who else will be performing?

Freddy Gilmore

Combining his piano ballads with the rockier edge of his band, Freddy creates a distinctly 70’s brand of alternative music. His sound, much like his visual identity, exists in a dark and cinematic world; perhaps this is why he hails the likes of Jeff Buckley and Amy Winehouse as key influences.

You can check out his Instagram by clicking here

May Payne

Singer-songwriter May Payne is known for feeding raw emotion into her RnB infused ballads. Grounded within the warmth and power of her top-tier band, her intricate production embellishments are reminiscent of the likes of Lizzy Mcalpine and Phoebe Bridgers

You can check out her Instagram by clicking here

The Road Ahead

As they prepare for their performances at RNCM’s Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition, both She’s Mine and Grete are focused on the future.

She’s Mine looks forward to recording and releasing more music with the potential prize money, while Grete is excited to start her next project, moving towards a more R&B style.

When and where is RNCM Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition?

RNCM Session Orchestra: Original Artists Edition will take place on  Saturday 15 June 2024, from 7 pm-9.30 pm

Where? Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD

You can get tickets by clicking here

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