Andrew Teague
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 TeagueAndrew 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.

The Teague familyAndrew 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.

Choir rehearsal before a serviceOver 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”.

Mike Leuty, Assistant Organist

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.

Peter Siepmann, Music Associate

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!

Will (Wilfred Baker)

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 that occasion.

Keith Charter, Choir Secretary

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!!

Isobel Baker xx
© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 19th April 2003