“Romantic composer Richard Strauss once said, “the human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but it is the most difficult to play” said Marcella Lynettra Ratcliff.
“Marcella Lynettra Ratcliff has an Amazing Spirit & Amazing Voice” said Cheryl Sanford.
In the spring of 2005, she would begin her matriculation at Southern University as double music performance major with emphasis in vocalization and flute. Since her first steps on the collegiate campus, she has been able to appreciate many opportunities and accomplishments. In the fall of 2005, she joined the ranks with a multitude of students from across the country, to be a proud marching jaguar of the internationally acclaimed Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band.
She performed with the band as a piccolo player for 3 years. She has performed in Carnegie Hall with the concert choir where she has held the position of Alto section leader. She was in the choir for the lifetime original movie of Life is Not a Fairytale. She has performed all over the country with various ensembles. She has played flute for a Southern University Gospel Choir recording. She has performed as a feature jazz vocalist for many New Orleans Jazz Fests and Vicksburg Jazz Fests. She was in 21st Century r&b band, konfuzion jazz band, is currently in the grammy and stellar award nominated Timothy Britten Shabbach gospel Group.
She has sung back-up and played flute for Gospel recording artist Vashawn Mitchell. She has opened for Kirk Franklin, William Murphy, Paul Porter, Kurt Carr, Frankie Beverely & Maze, Etta James, Terrence Blanchard and Roy Hargrove on separate occasions. She has sung for Nina Freelon, Ledisi, and Esperanza Spalding. Each accomplishment is a personal triumph and a testament to the power of dedication.
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About Marcella Ratcliff
Marcella was raised amidst a rich tradition of music, having a strong representation of musicians and vocalists in her family. Believing in early preparation, her parents enrolled her to take piano lessons from Elizabeth Cobbins at the practice facilities of Southern University and A&M College at age 6. Her father bought her a flute while she was in the 5th grade; she joined band shortly after while in the 6th grade.
She later went to Baker High School, marching under the leadership of Trent Johnson who studied at Southeastern University. While Marcella enjoys making music, she believes whole heartedly in the bible scripture of Luke 12:48, and has had an early enjoyment of leading others in music. During her teenage years, she led the praise team at church, played keyboard for her high school show band, was flute section leader all four years, and was band captain her senior and junior year. She graduated high school in 2004.
Marcella’s musical styling is a product of varied influence. She developed amidst the rich earthy foundation of old southern gospel. She is a formally trained musician, who learned by playing written works from the classical era of music. She remembers her father, a guitar player himself, would play gospel music often in her youth, however, once in a while, he would enjoy the jazz station. He especially liked Nat King Cole. Marcella enjoys, listening to the likes of Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Kim Burrell, Robert Glasper, Donny Hathaway and Earth Wind and Fire. However, her professed all-time favorite music is that of the Clark Sisters. The character of her voice is eloquently fashioned with jazz colorings and she has studied the recordings of the female jazz greats.
At times she utilizes the bluesy emotion and articulation of Billie Holiday, and then other times she has the phrasing and richness of Sarah Vaughan. However she loves to employ the dexterity and elocution of Ella Fitzgerald. Currently she is the Southern University Gospel Choir director and the church musician at both her father’s church and several local churches. Life is enjoyed best doing what both enthralls your soul and keeps you striving towards tomorrow’s joys and challenges. Marcella’s aim is to continue leading others while shaping and developing her own craft. She aspires to be a professional singer. When she isn’t performing, she loves eating sushi, shopping and laughing. Currently she regularly sings for gigs, is writing songs for a future album release and working towards achieving her bachelor’s degree in music.
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Contact Person: Daniel Musgrove
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City: Terrace Miramar
Country: United States