Music - Ratcliffe College


The Music Department is proud to offer such an extensive range of musical activities to the Sixth Form students.  In addition to these activities, our students can choose to have individual music lessons with specialist teachers.

Senior Orchestra

The Senior Orchestra explores a variety of repertoire, including music for film and screen, classical music and popular numbers. Recent repertoire includes ‘The Incredibles’, ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, ‘Adagio for Wind and Strings’, ‘Bolero’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’.

The Senior Orchestra also supports the wider school community by performing in Masses and assemblies during the year, in addition to accompanying the School Choir. Students are not expected to audition but are required to be of Grade 3+ standard on their instrument. Although they perform at many events, the annual Picnic Concert is one of the most fun!

Senior Choir

The Senior Choir consists of students from Year 10-13 who all have a real passion for singing in an ensemble. Repertoire includes popular music, musical theatre, and jazz. Recent renditions have included Sam Smith’s ‘Writing’s on the Wall’, Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the Rain’, ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and a performance of one of our own A-Level music student’s composition.

Guitar Ensemble

Open to all abilities, the Guitar Ensemble allows budding guitarists to play with a group of other like-minded musicians. The ensemble meets once per week and play popular numbers, frequently performing at the school concerts and events. This group has grown in number and in terms of the quality of performances in recent years.

Woodwind Ensemble

The woodwind ensemble is a group designed for those students wishing to play in a more intimate group of other woodwind players, not always as part of a larger orchestra. All abilities are welcome!

Flute Choir

The Flute Choir offers the opportunity for our talented flautists to perform with one another every Wednesday lunchtime. Run by our experienced woodwind teacher, the group performs at many of the school concerts and events, including the Easter and Christmas services and school assemblies.


Swing Band

The Swing Band plays a variety of jazz, swing and popular numbers. They frequently perform in open-air settings, such as at Exhibition Day and at our Lockhart Garden lunchtime recitals. 

We also create opportunities for some of our vocalists to sing with the Swing Band. Recent vocal numbers have included ‘Skyfall’, ‘Superstition’, ‘Don’t Know Why’ and ‘Feeling Good’.

Percussion Club

Our Percussion Club is open to anyone who would like to make some noise at lunchtime! The ensemble focuses on improvisation and creating exciting polyrhythmic pieces. Our 2 drum kits, hand held percussion and our Samba drums are used heavily to create some interesting and fun rhythms.

Senior Strings

The Senior Strings ensemble plays some beautiful and challenging repertoire with the benefits of working closely to produce a refined sound.  Students have written music for the ensemble and they frequently request particular pieces to perform.

Piano Duet Club

With so many talented pianists who are not always able to play in a school band or orchestra, this is the perfect opportunity for them to get involved with an ensemble. Students are able to play duets, or even pieces for six hands, with other pianists of similar abilities.

Brass Ensemble

The brass ensemble welcomes all brass players of all abilities! Run by our excellent brass teacher, students tend to really thrive and enjoy performing in a smaller group of brass players. The intricacies and nuances needed when playing a brass instrument are really exploited and flourished here.

Chamber Ensemble

The Chamber Ensemble is a group of musicians from Year 10+ who have all reached Grade 7 and above on their instruments. The ensemble tend to play a classical based repertoire and enjoy performing at the school concerts, in addition to giving performances at the Easter and Christmas services. 

Music Theory Club

The Music Theory Club runs on a Thursday lunchtime and is open for all students who would like to improve their music theory knowledge or who have a music theory grade exam to work towards. Many students who need to take their Grade 5 music theory exam before they can progress to Grade 6+ on their instrument(s) will attend the club to practise sitting some mock papers and exam style questions.