The COVID-19 pandemic has been catastrophic for the arts, and the Northern Chamber Orchestra is no exception. While they have been able to stage some incredible, socially distanced concerts, for every seat they sell we must take four seats off sale. This is financially unviable, and the can’t continue this way for much longer.

They are therefore asking our supporters to consider donating to our ‘Seat Out’ campaign, to help the NCO – the North West’s oldest professional chamber orchestra – remain afloat into 2021 and beyond.

Charlie Rowley, NCO’s General Manager, said: “Your support is invaluable to us. For anyone making their living in professional music, the events of the last year have proved devastating. Your contribution will help to enable the orchestra to weather these challenging times and ensure that we are still here to continue to make music long into the future.”


A donation of any size will help keep the NCO viable, and all monies raised will go towards producing concerts and outreach work, while ensuring the incredible musicians are able to earn a living. For example:

£25 could go towards the cost of hiring Macclesfield’s Heritage Centre for a concert.
£50 could go towards the cost of hiring music for a concert.£100 could pay one of their musicians to perform a concert for care home residents,£150 could pay a musician to perform in a professional concert

If 30 people contributed £10 each they could buy a set of new lights for  music stands, while if 100 people contributed £20 each they could stream one of our concerts to those who cannot attend.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the NCO was forced to cancel the remainder of its 2019-20 season, along with the cancellation of the Buxton International Festival in July, for which the NCO are the house orchestra. The Macclesfield concerts restarted in October with socially distanced seating, and continue next year with guest soloists including Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano) and Lara Melda (piano). Tickets are on sale now via 

Donations to the ‘Seat Out’ fund can be made by visiting 


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