Nile Rodgers and Johnny Marr are amongst the musicians, broadcasters and stellar alumni pledging their support to the Royal Northern College of Music’s appeal to keep music playing.

The Chic superstar, who was recently made an RNCM Honorary Professor, and The Smiths guitarist emphasised the importance of the Manchester conservatoire to both music education and the arts as it strives to secure its financial future following the damaging effects of Covid-19.

Poster: Keep the music playing in pink

Nile Rodgers said: ‘Music feels more important than ever to help us and our community through the pandemic. But musicians face an increasingly uncertain future and needs your help as never before. We’re reaching out to everyone in the RNCM family [and to] everyone who loves music and wants to support the next generation of talent, so please give whatever you can to help keep the music playing. The RNCM’s role in my life is massive, they have given me so much support and so much love, I can’t ever thank them enough.’

Founded in 1973, the RNCM trains talented musicians from all over the world to forge successful and sustainable careers in the industry. It also presents regular public concerts and events throughout the year and is dedicated to making music accessible to people of all ages and from all backgrounds.

Since closing its doors to the public in March, however, the College’s finances have been stretched to the limit. With a loss of £2.1million, its future sustainability, student training, community work and performance programmes are now in jeopardy.

Johnny Marr added: ‘It’s a unique place and a unique space that provides music and culture and education and entertainment. It’s been established a long time and it’s very, very special. I’m proud of it because it’s in my hometown of course and growing up I was

very aware that Royal Northern College of Music had a legacy and heritage that at the time I felt always needed to be protected and I knew was precious.’

Over the past few months, the RNCM has done everything it can to keep music playing. It’s invested heavily in the high specification tools and infrastructure to enable exceptional and innovating teaching online and in person and developed a weekly performance programme broadcast live from the RNCM to homes around the world.

To ensure this can continue, the College – through this special appeal – is reaching out to everyone who loves music and who wants to support the next generation of musical talent during this crisis.

Alongside Nile and Johnny, radio broadcasters Stuart Maconie and Mark Radcliffe have already expressed their support, as has RNCM President and opera legend Sir John Tomlinson and numerous alumni from across the decades.

Donations to the appeal – large and small – will:

Provide Covid safe in-College tuition for students, ensuring they can continue to learn, practice and perform.

Offer student hardship funds and fully support any RNCM students who are unwell or isolating while at the College.

Ensure that the College can continue to broadcast Live from the RNCM concerts – sharing music, supporting brilliant students and offering much needed work to professional freelance musicians.

Enable the College to continue its vital community engagement work with young musicians – more important than ever during these times of isolation and financial hardship.

And thanks to the generosity of the Oglesby Charitable Trust, every single donation up to £50,000 will be matched, ensuring that all gifts make twice the impact.

For more information on ways to get involved, click here.