The Rodolfus Foundation

Nicholas Yates

The Rodolfus Foundation | Summer Newsletter 2019
Nicholas Yates:
Chair of the Friends of the Rodolfus Foundation


As you will see from this newsletter, The Rodolfus Foundation is going from strength to strength and, through its various branches, is now a formidable force for good within the choral music arena. But there is still so much more that it can and should do, and I hope that you will help it achieve that.

Therefore, I am asking you, and others who are yet to become part of this endeavour, to engage with, and support, us. This can be done in various ways: by coming to concerts, by giving of your time, or money (and perhaps all three).

I am a relatively new to The Foundation, having only become involved in the last few months, but I did go on two Eton Choral Courses in the late 1980s and it was while I was on these that my love of choral music was cemented. I had not been through the cathedral system, I had only been a treble (and then a young tenor) at a parish church. But on my first choral course I sang The Twelve (by Walton) conducted by Ralph jumping up and down in the chapel and making such a hard piece so wonderful and approachable. It was an extraordinary experience which I still treasure. I then became a choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge (under the late Richard Marlow) and co-founded the all-male vocal ensemble, Henry’s Eight. After that I became a family law barrister and took silk last year, but still sing very regularly and to a decent standard and have recently started up my own group that provides choral services for churches who no longer have a choir. Little, if any, of that would have been likely without Ralph’s inspiration.

And, since those early days, what Ralph has done has grown and diversified considerably and now finds its home in The Foundation. One of the greatest triumphs is that much younger singers are now catered for, including those who live in areas where access to this type of musical horizon is very restricted. In short, the choral family is now much wider and more diverse.

But, as you would expect, Ralph does not stand still and his and The Foundation’s plans are rightly ambitious and expansive. We live in times where choral music is endangered and without performance it dies. 

Therefore, please join us on this journey to make choral music live, to promote it and the benefits it provides and to make it as accessible as we can.

In our next newsletter we will be setting out our plans for The Friends in more detail but, for now, please consider what you might be able to do to help us and tell everyone about it. 

I look forward to reporting back to you in our next communication that (adopting Arden’s words from The Twelve) “the word spread” and we are not merely going to “play around the ancestral graves”.