Hart and Soul Community Choir

Choir Leader, Katie Teage

Katie Teage, from Hertfordshire, is a choir leader, music educator and singer with the London Vocal Project. She trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has been working as a composer, arranger, musician and teacher for 15 years.

Katie has performed around the world as a singer and multi instrumentalist and her compositions have been performed by various ensembles across Europe. She has a vast repertoire of children’s music which is accessible and fun for all.

Katie loves working with community choirs and encourages everyone to find their voice and enjoy singing.

Some background

Hart and Soul Choir was founded in 2011 by Alex Preston and Craig McLeish. They met when their children attended the primary school. Alex wanted somewhere to sing and Craig already had a vast experience of directing choirs, so he agreed to start one in Hartwell.

Craig began his musical life as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and directed several choirs over the years including Milton Keynes Community Choir and Milton Keynes Youth Choir. He is resident musical director of Young Voices which currently organises over 14 capacity concerts per year in the UK and Ireland, in such venues as the O2 arena and the NEC.

Craig has many demands for his time and talents and, sadly for Hart and Soul Choir, had to stand down in 2017, to concentrate on composing, arranging, and other facets of his career.

We will always be immensely grateful to have had the benefit of Craig’s professionalism and inspiration for over 5 years. It is thanks to him that we have achieved so much and had so much enjoyment in singing.

We were extremely fortunate that Katie Teage applied for the position when Craig left. She brings with her a wealth of musical experience not only in leading choirs, but in arranging, composing and promoting the joy of singing. With Katie we are moving on to a new exciting chapter for Hart and Soul Choir!

Comments from some of our members

“I started the choir so that I had somewhere to go to sing within the village. Very quickly we had over 40 members and this has continued for 5 years. The choir brings much more than I ever expected. Friendships have been made through our shared passion for music and our shared roles in putting on performances”

“Being single and living in the village, the choir has given me the chance to meet many new friends, and it was not hard to go along to the first evening on my own. I have found it very inclusive and great fun. The joy of not having audition and the fact there is sometimes more laughing than singing never hurts”

“At Church I have listened to quite a few amateur choirs and enjoyed the evenings of mixed songs, but never had the confidence to join. So when the village choir was formed I went along and wow!! how I have enjoyed our choir. Very informal but a lot of fun. There are times when we all feel a little down – and perhaps think I wouldn’t go tonight- but I stop myself -and feel much better having had a sing-a-long and seeing our choir friends”

“After my husband died I was comforted by knowing that choir was still there when I was ready to go back to it, and the warmth that I was met with when I did return was very uplifting. It’s such a friendly group of people. When we start a new song it’s always challenging but very rewarding when we rehearse and harmonise together. And I love the African songs we do that don’t need much practice, but give instant pleasure and leave us all smiling.”

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