News from 2021


February 2021

For 6 weeks since the start of the Spring term we have enjoyed rehearsing with Georgie on Zoom, working towards singing in St Michael and All Angels Church in Thurmaston where we would have helped them to celebrate the church's 800 year anniversary.  Sadly, once again, this event has now been postponed due to Covid until 2022; a big disappointment for all concerned but entirely understandable. 

Already this term we have tackled a new piece and are also revising some old but slightly rusty songs from our extensive repertoire.  All members, existing and new (yes, we have gained 3 new men despite lockdown!) have had hard copies of the relevant music delivered to them - a task that was a real pleasure for some of the committee members as it gave them a chance to have some 'doorstep chats' with singers.

Hopefully, Chorale members can still look forward to singing together in the summer as we plan to entertain the visitors to Barkby Hall's Open Gardens on 20th June.  Fingers are firmly crossed that Covid restrictions allow this - and that the sun shines!


April 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the 'retirement' of our current MD, who is moving away from the world of professional music to pursue a new career.  We wish her all the very best for her future and send her on her way with grateful thanks for holding the Chorale together throughout the last year in hugely challenging circumstances, and even helping us to recruit new members! 

We are currently advertising for a NEW MUSICAL  DIRECTOR to start in September 2021. Further details can be found posted on the Making Music website, ABCD and British Choirs on the Net. For more information please use the contact link on this site.


Due to Covid complications, the date of our planned performance at Barky Hall Open Gardens has changed to Sunday 25th July.  We intend to begin outdoor rehearsals in June and many members are really looking forward to getting together in the real world, rather than the virtual one!


July 2021

Members of the Chorale were delighted to perform in the wonderful setting of Barkby Hall as part of the Open Gardens event held there on Sunday 25th July. Our first concert since December 2019 was enjoyed by all present on a perfect summer's day but, most especially, by the singers themselves. After only six 'live' rehearsals (all other practices during the year were held on Zoom), we all felt a great sense of achievement and really appreciated the fun and camaraderie created by singing together once again.



August 2021

We are pleased to announce that Simon Lubkowski will be joining the Chorale as Musical Director.


Simon is an accomplished choral director, having formed The Lancaster Community Choir (now called The Knighton Community Choir) when he took over as Head of Music at Lancaster Boys School, just after the Gareth Malone TV show ‘The Choir – Boys Don’t Sing’ had been filmed and aired.  He has also formed an award winning School Choir at Lutterworth College, who went on to become the Leicestershire Schools Choir of the Year in 2019.

Simon also formed the auditioned A Cappella ensemble Lux A Cappella, and is also the 2018 UK National Champion Barbershop singer with his Quartet ‘The Locksmiths’.  Simon arranges and composes a wide variety of vocal music, from modern choral pieces to A Cappella pop arrangements, Musical Theatre arrangements through to revisions of more traditional Choral repertoire, and is a well-known creator of song learning materials for Choirs in the UK, America and Canada.  He is training to be a Judge for the British Association of Barbershop Singers, and coaches Choirs, Quartets, Groups and Choruses around the UK.

Simon is proud and excited to have been made the MD of The Ratcliffe Chorale and looks forward to our future performances! 


September 2021

At our AGM in September 2021 we said a formal 'goodbye'  to our accompanist of approx 15 years, Mike Busby.   Throughout that time he played during nearly all of our rehearsals and had the useful knack of thumping out the relevant notes when voices were struggling. 

He was also our concert accompanist until very recently.  He always adapted to playing a variety of keyboards and pianos in many different venues, some more comfortable than others.  Sometimes squashed in corners or surrounded by cables, he always did a marvellous job.

We were delighted to be able to present him with a variety of gifts as thanks for all his

loyal service over so many years. We will miss him!  


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