The Royal College of Music Head of Strings, Mark Messenger, is running a marathon to raise money for the RCM Covid-19 Hardship Fund. The fund has been set up by the RCM to provide a critical safety net for students facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes on Giving Tuesday, a day of global action for giving in response to Covid-19.
Mark will be running for one hour every day (in accordance with government lockdown rules), aiming to complete the marathon in four days. The challenge will begin on Thursday 7 May, Mark’s birthday, which he shares with composers Tchaikovsky and Brahms. He will be listening to music by the two composers as he prepares for the challenge, which will be his first marathon in two years.
Mark will be raising funds for the RCM’s Covid-19 Hardship Fund Appeal. Many RCM musicians rely on gigs, teaching, performances and other work to cover their living costs and student fees. As a result of Covid-19, most of this work has been cancelled and some students are now facing significant financial hardship. If you would like to donate and support young musicians, please visit Mark’s donation page here.
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Mark Messenger is an internationally recognised violinist, conductor, teacher and educationalist. Musicians travel from all over the world to study with him at the RCM and his students have an enviable track record of competition success and international acclaim. Mark is also a seasoned endurance runner; to date he has run 13 marathons, including 10 London Marathons. Since his first race in 2005 he has raised over £20,000 for the Royal College of Music, the Anthony Nolan Trust, Music in Hospitals and the European String Teachers Association.
Mark comments: ‘I am looking forward to getting back to marathon running again, and for such a great cause. The amazing RCM students are in a perilous financial position, and yet music and the arts will be crucial to how we rebuild our society and our connection with others. Ensuring their continued education and development is so important to our collective well-being in the future.’
Find out more about the RCM Covid-19 Hardship Fund here.