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Help safeguard the future of music in the North East

In 2020, early in the Covid crisis, we asked everyone who valued the musical life we're part of in the North East to help us.

We needed support because we lost £10 million – two-thirds of our income – overnight.

Thanks to donations to our Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance campaign we were able to:

    • Move our Young Musicians Programme online in weeks, delivering 10,341 virtual sessions.
    • Live-stream gigs and concerts, including by Royal Northern Sinfonia, which reached 264,000 people at home.
    • Distribute music packs and song bags to families in Gateshead.
    • Create award-winning digital projects such as The World How Wide, which has been viewed over 310,000 times.
    • Support nearly 200 musicians through commissions, bursaries and wellbeing sessions.

We’re now in the final year of the campaign. We expect ticket income to be £2 million less than in a pre-Covid year.

We’re committed to helping people across the North East experience the wonder of live music and music-making again.

Our progress so far

Graphic shows our progress to date, which is £2 million of £3 million target

Can you help us raise £1 million to get us back on our feet and continue improving lives through music?

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To donate by post: Please send your cheque, payable to ‘North Music Trust’ to the Fundraising Team, Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead, NE8 2JR.

Donate by Text: Text SAGE to 70460 to give £20
(Texts cost £20 plus one standard rate message)

You make Sage Gateshead happen

When we launched our Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance campaign in 2020 we were bowled over by the response. Thousands donated, raising £1 million, which safeguarded our work and our charity. In 2021 the campaign continued. Once again, our supporters made the crucial difference raising another £1 million.

Your donations made extraordinary things happen, as the following stories demonstrate. 

View the Campaign Donor Recognition Board >>

Three things that would not be possible without your giving

1. Safeguarding our building for communities

Sage Gateshead was founded on the principle that music could play a vital role in the social, cultural and economic health of the North.

Our building is home to three concert halls, each acclaimed as having amongst the best acoustics in Europe. We also house a music education centre with 26 rehearsal rooms; and a 3,000 m² public area for free performances, activities for families, festivals and more.

We are the proud custodians of this extraordinary building, and this comes at a financial cost. 60% of our income comes from concerts, classes and events. This income stopped overnight when our building closed due to Covid-19. Our income has still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

Your gift can help us safeguard our building as a home for music lovers and music makers in the North East.

2. Developing online creative learning opportunities

We had to close our doors during the Covid-19 pandemic, so we worked hard to move our creative learning activity online where possible.

One of our priorities was to support hundreds of young people to stay connected to their music-making through digital sessions. We also started running online instrument and singing classes for families and adults.

We hear from people of all ages that for many different reasons – because of health, mobility or financial reasons – they cannot come to Sage Gateshead. To make sure music and music-making is available to people all across the region, we keep working on developing our digital options.

Your gift can help support live-streamed concerts, online classes and digital tuition for people all across the North East.

3. Supporting the Royal Northern Sinfonia

Founded in 1958, Royal Northern Sinfonia was born out of a conviction that the people of this region should have an orchestra to call their own. With the opening of Sage Gateshead in 2004, RNS found a new home.

The orchestra now performs to over 95,000 people a year, at Sage Gateshead, across the North, and through international tours. RNS reaches school-age children through its close relationship with our Young Musicians Programme and In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead. The orchestra also has a programme of relaxed performances for families with young children, those with autism and people living with dementia. As the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia supports the professional development of artists at all stages of their career.

We are also home to RNS Moves – a unique, inclusive ensemble featuring disabled and non-disabled musicians.

Without our musicians, there would be no music. Without the generosity of our audiences, there would be no orchestra.

Your gift can support our orchestra as we recover our audiences to pre-Covid-19 levels.

For audiences, for artists, for the North, for the long term