Organist & Choirmaster 1995-2003
Message from Andrew: Easter Sunday 2003
Greetings to all at St Peters Nottingham from
Andrew at Bradford Cathedral, as I spend my third Sunday in my new job,
and as my family spend their last Sunday at St Peters. The first three
weeks have been a steep learning curve, richly rewarding, even though I
am still reeling from the surprise of an unexpected opportunity like
this coming my way. Thank you to everybody for their kindness and
generosity on my departure at the end of March - the wonderful print of
St Peters will take pride of place in our new home when we eventually
get there, and the cheque will also provide a major item of some kind
too, as yet to be decided. Thank you for all your support and
encouragement over seven and a half years - especially the choir for
their loyalty and musical excellence, and members of the congregation
for their encouraging and appreciative comments on Sundays. Thanks also
to those who have supported the Coffee Break concerts, either by
attending, or by working on the door or behind the scenes. The links
between St Peters and Bradford are many and strong, and I hope these
can be fostered and further developed as the months go by, and the
choir have an open invitation to come and sing an evensong just as soon
as they would like to, and I shall greatly look forward to seeing
familiar faces appearing at services from time to time. Thank you again.
Andrew Teague was born in Haslemere in 1951 and brought
up on the Isle of Wight. He studied the organ at Portsmouth Cathedral
with Peter Stevenson, read music at Worcester College, Oxford, and went
on to hold teaching and organists posts in England and Canada,
including St Bartholomew's Church, Brighton and St Matthew's Church,
Ottawa, Canada. He moved back to England in 1995 to become the Director
of Music at St Elphin's School in Darley Dale, and we were fortunate to
be able to appoint him as our Organist at the same time.
The Teague family came as a package, and we have been
delighted to welcome his wife Celia and three daughters Amelia,
Madeleine and Cordelia (“Coco”) to the “top line” of the choir (Amelia
became joint-Head chorister). His son Timothy sang in the Southwell
Minster choir but has sometimes joined us in the choir or accompanied
us on the organ.
During his time with us Andrew has continued to broaden our
repertoire beyond basic Anglican church music with pieces by composers
like Tippett, Fauré and Messiaen. He introduced the singing of a
choral mass setting on the third Sunday of the month, and masses by
Schubert and Haydn have also been sung at choir concerts as well as
Bach cantatas and Handel's Messiah.
Andrew has maintained the biennial Coffee Break concerts
started by his predecessor Kendrick Partington, which continue to
showcase the abilities of young local musicians. He has also developed
links with students at Nottingham University so we have been able to
welcome a number of student Choral Scholars in the choir and most
recently Peter Siepmann as Organ Associate.
He has of course taken us to sing Choral Evensong at a number
of cathedrals including Lincoln, Ripon and Derby, with several outings
to Southwell Minster, and most successfully of all a whole week singing
the services at Chichester cathedral in August 2000. This was a
delightful week of fun and music-making, and included a day trip to the
Isle of Wight and a concert at All Saints' Church, Ryde, where Andrew
first learned to play the organ. On the Saturday Andrew took me over to
Brighton and showed me the Byzantine cathedral-like church of St
Bartholomew's where he used to be the organist, directing Viennese
masses from the console every Sunday.
Over the past seven years Andrew
has taught and led us with enthusiasm but very few tantrums. He has
been a constant source of encouragement and teaching to the choir, and
also to me. He has certainly provided me with some challenging organ
accompaniments, such as the swinging canticles by Kelly in C, which I
take to be some sort of compliment.
In January 2003 he was appointed as Organist and Master of the
Choristers at Bradford Cathedral. I am delighted for him and wish him
every success in his new post, while the choir are looking forward to
visiting him in his new abode before too long. He leaves behind a choir
in fine form, and if you are reading this during a choral service I
would simply say: “si monumentum requiris, audite”.
Although I have only been a member of the St Peter's music
team for a relatively short time, it did not take me long to realise
that in Andrew Teague one found not only a gifted choirmaster and
organist, but also a first class teacher under whose guidance my
interest, knowledge and love of church music has developed, and for
this I am sincerely grateful. The choir and organists at St Peter's are
indeed lucky have had the benefit of his directorship as those at
Bradford Cathedral are to inherit it.
When Mr Teague leaves, it will be a great loss for the choir.
I would like someone as enthusiastic at Peter, as funny as Mike and as
experienced as Mr Teague, in fact someone exactly like Mr Teague.
T is for Teague and also for THE BEST!
We will miss you!
Over the past 7½ years Andrew Teague has imposed his
own unique mark on the choir. Coming in at a difficult time, he
introduced a new dimension to the musical life here and also (as he
mentioned at interview!) his employment package included the musical
talents of his family, all of whom have made their own particular
contribution to the music and life of St Peter’s.
If members of the choir were asked to recall the highlights of
those years, the experience of singing the services at Chichester
Cathedral for a week in 2000 would probably be at or near the top of
their list. In this magazine there are articles from two of the junior
choristers that give an impression of how they and others have
appreciated Andrew’s oversight of their musical development.
Throughout his time at St Peter’s, Andrew has challenged
everyone musically through the introduction of new items into the
choir’s already wide repertoire. These include his own composition, The
Mass of the Glebe, that was written ten years ago in Canada and
appropriately was used at the 10.45am Sung Eucharists during his last
few weeks at St Peter’s. Andrew has continued the tradition of the
biannual Coffee Break Concert series, introducing fresh individuals and
groups to those audiences, also himself giving a number of
well-received organ recitals. The choir’s contribution to the services
has remained at a high level throughout and clearly the second Sunday
Choral Evensongs have formed a major focal point in Andrew’s mind.
Andrew goes to Bradford Cathedral at the beginning of April
with all of our good wishes and we will be saying goodbye to the rest
of the family on Easter Sunday. Sometime in the not too distant future,
maybe the choir will be invited to visit Bradford and sing Evensong. If
that possibility does come about, we look forward to seeing Andrew in
his new surroundings and hopefully having some of the family - Celia,
Timothy, Amelia, Madeleine and Cordelia (Coco) - join us in singing on
Mr Teague is:
Amazing on the organ
Great at conducting
Mr Teague will be really missed by the choir at St Peter’s. It
will be a great loss when he leaves and very hard to find someone to
replace him. THANK YOU MR TEAGUE!! AND COCO, MADELEINE, AMELIA, TIMOTHY
AND CELIA. We will miss you!!
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