Our Musical Director
Anna Lusty is a passionate music educator and performer. She currently lives in Hertfordshire and works as a choir leader, teacher and freelance instrumentalist. She trained at the Royal Academy of Music and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam before embarking on full time freelance work in 2016.
Having trained and performed as an instrumentalist and music education leader in a mixture of musical genres all over the UK and Europe, Anna is always keen to learn and share music with all ages and abilities, believing that everyone can enjoy music making, no matter their experience.
After Summer 2019, having finished three years as a Choir Leader of the national phenomenon ‘Rock Choir’ in East Riding of Yorkshire, she was delighted to accept the position of choir leader with Hart and Soul Community Choir.
History of Hart and Soul
Hart and Soul Community Choir was founded in Hartwell in 2011 by Alex Preston and Craig McLeish. Alex wanted somewhere to sing and Craig already had a vast experience of directing choirs, so he agreed to form one in Hartwell.
Craig directed Hart and Soul for over five years, before standing down in 2017, to concentrate on other facets of his career, including his role as Musical Director for Young Voices.
Sadness when Craig left turned to relieved joy when Katie Teage accepted the position to lead us. Like Craig, Katie brought with her a wealth of musical experience not only in leading choirs, but in arranging, composing and promoting the joy of singing. With Katie, the choir continued to grow in confidence, and our membership also grew.
Katie also sings with the London Vocal Project, and introduced us to the jazz style of singing. We met some of her singing colleagues when they stepped in to lead us, if Katie was unable to be there.
In January 2019, Hart and Soul Choir moved our practice venue to Hanslope Village Hall, in Hartwell’s neighbouring village. As a third of members were already from Hanslope we immediately felt at home, and have gained several more singers from the village.
Katie’s family also expanded in 2019 when her son was born. As a consequence, she took the regrettable decision to leave us to work nearer to home, and to spend more time with her baby. This was another sad episode for us, as, like Craig, Katie had touched our hearts and brought us so much fun and enjoyment in singing, and helped us to achieve more than we had ever expected.
After a recruitment drive we were lucky to find a very promising replacement choir leader. In October 2019, Anna Lusty, an accomplished and enthusiastic young lady with a vast amount of experience with community choirs, joined us. Anna brings with her the same energy and gentle encouragement that allows us all to feel we can achieve anything.
Through the choir many friendships have been made, and social groups have formed. We often have trips to the theatre or music events, and we hope we’ve spread more joy through our regular performances at village
concerts, the Community Choirs Festival, and not to mention the BBC’s ‘Songs of Praise’. We’re proud to be raising money for local charities and hope to continue singing together for many years to come.