From online family concert to record deal: meet Cormac, the choirboy who found fame after an act of kindness

21 October 2020, 10:26 | Updated: 3 December 2020, 14:47

Cormac ‘Hear My Voice’
Cormac ‘Hear My Voice’. Picture: Decca / Classic FM

How recording a song for ‘Nannie’ in lockdown led to a major record deal for 11-year-old Cormac.

When 11-year-old Cormac Thompson took to online video chat to ‘sing a song for Nannie’ while they were separated during coronavirus lockdown, he couldn’t have predicted what happened next.

He didn’t only lift her spirits with his act of kindness, but also those of the nation when his mum shared his heartfelt performance of ‘Danny Boy’ in a video on social media.

Cormac’s act of kindness was shared. And shared, and shared and shared and shared. So widely shared, in fact, that it reached the eyes and ears of those at the helm of the nation’s classical music recording studios.

And only a matter of months later, Cormac has announced his debut recording.

Read more: Self-isolating choirs and orchestras are performing powerful at-home concerts during coronavirus outbreak >

Cormac: Hear My Voice
Cormac: Hear My Voice. Picture: Classic FM

Who is Cormac Thompson?

Cormac is from Lancashire, and his maternal grandparents live in Northern Ireland.

Self-isolation and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic meant they could not see each other, and Cormac had the idea that he could perform a song for his grandparents virtually. His video was shared widely and was seen by many people on social media.

A matter of weeks later having come across Cormac’s video, iconic record label Decca Records invited the young singer to start work on his debut album at the Metropolis Studios, where everyone from Queen to U2 to Adele, has recorded. He got the chance to warm up on a piano that belonged to Freddie Mercury – Cormac wore gloves so he could keep a souvenir! – and joins Decca’s incredible roster that includes the likes of Pavarotti, Renée Fleming and Sheku and Isatah Kanneh-Mason.

Cormac’s grandmother, Colleen, says: “I could never have imagined that his little pieces, sung for me, would have led to this amazing opportunity.

“My husband and I are so very proud of Cormac, and we hope that his singing will give much pleasure. We also hope that it will help to shed a little light during these dark times we are all having to endure.”

Cormac performs his version of Snow Patrol's 'Run'

What songs are on his new album, Hear My Voice?

Hear My Voice features fifteen brand new recordings from Cormac, including his take on Snow Patrol’s ‘Run’ (watch above), ‘Walking in the Air’ – made famous by Classic FM’s own Aled Jones – and choral classics like ‘Pie Jesu’ and ‘Wexford Carol’.

The album also features Cormac’s grandmother’s favourite, and the song that made him famous, ‘Danny Boy’ as well as ‘You Raise Me Up’, ‘Be Thou My Vision’, ‘Gaelic Blessing’, and ‘How Can I Keep’, famously recorded by Enya.

See full track listing below.

How can I hear Cormac’s album Hear My Voice?

When Cormac’s heartfelt performance of ‘Danny Boy’ came to the attention of Decca by chance on social media, the label immediately signed him up, and his album ‘Hear My Voice’ will be released on 4 December 2020.

You can listen to singles from the album and pre-order it here.

Cormac: Hear My Voice – full track listing:

1. Pie Jesu (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
2. Run (Snow Patrol)
3. How Can I Keep from Singing?
4. Fields of Gold
5. Walking in the Air
6. You Raise Me Up feat. Secret Garden
7. Shenandoah
8. Tomorrow (from Annie)
9. Be Thou My Vision
10. Danny Boy
11. I Have a Dream (Abba)
12. Wexford Carol
13. A Gaelic Blessing (Rutter)
14. O Waly Waly
15. O Holy Night

Cormac’s Hear My Voice will be out on 4 December. Click here to pre-order it now.