Truro performing arts principal Eily Tatlow has brought together more than 1,000 students and West End names to perform a charity single to help elephants in Kenya.

Eily, who works for Stagecoach drama school, wrote and produced the song, called Under African Skies, and all proceeds from sales and streams will go to the charity Save the Elephants in Nairobi. 

She was helped by a network of 21 performing arts schools across the UK, including students from Truro. 

The song was originally written by Eily and producer Jo Partridge in 1992.

Eily has spent the past several years teaching it to students for various performances, including Stagecoach Global showcase events and a Stagecoach Truro performance in Trafalgar Square for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 2002. 

The young performers have also been involved in other shows across the country, including Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, The Snow Queen, and Thank Abba for the Music.

For her charity project, Eily drew on the network of Stagecoach students, as well as several West End names, including Producer Michael Colbourne, Natalie Green (Hair, Aladdin, Les Miserables), John Addison (Jekyl and Hyde, School of Rock, Sweeny Todd, Ghost), Emma Kingston (Heathers, Evita, Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof), and Nicole Carslise (Mama Mia, Wicked, Starlight Express, No No Nanette, 42nd Street).

She worked throughout the pandemic to organise musical training and recording sessions to prepare for the song’s release this month. Under African Skies now has its own official recording – made at Abbey Road Studios – and was released globally on streaming platforms to honour World Wildlife Conservation Day, on December 4. All profits from the downloads and streams will be donated to Save the Elephants to help fit African elephants with GPS tracking systems to record their movement and preserve their habitats.

Eily said: “We would like this song to become an anthem for elephants across the world – a rallying call where all conservation charities work together towards this important goal.”