Our Music Team
Herts & Soul Co - Musical Director
Soul Sister Susie Savage not only chooses the group’s repertoire but also teaches all four sectional parts, conducts and provides keyboard accompaniment for rehearsals and concerts (whilst co-leading our bespoke Vastly Ace Band).
Susie’s ability to juggle her enormous musical talent and share it with such wholeheartedness, desire and dedication sets the heartbeat for our choir.
Susie has been working professionally with singers for 25 years. She studied Music at Bristol University, graduating in 1993 and then worked as a Musical Director and pianist in regional theatres and London’s West End for ten years. She also worked as a vocal tutor and MD at Mountview Conservatoire, Rose Bruford College, Arts Ed and East 15 drama schools.
Shows include: Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods, Oliver, Bugsy, Grease, West Side Story, Me & My Girl, 42nd Street, My Fair Lady, The Wiz, Sweeney Todd, Grand Hotel, Hairspray, Blood Brothers, Peter Pan, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Sister Act. As a theatre accompanist she has played for Maria Friedman, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Horrocks and Dame Edna!
Susie is now a peripatetic piano teacher at Herts & Essex school and professional accompanist for music exams, concerts, music festivals, theatre shows and other local choirs.
Having been accompanist and dep conductor for a number of years, Susie was thrilled to become co-conductor of Herts & Soul in 2017.
Herts & Soul Co - Musical Director
Never one to be outdone or upstaged, Soul Brother Peter Clayton’s job spec mirrors that of his Co-Musical Director, all of which he nails with zest, zeal and zero footwear (on most occasions).
Peter’s love of music was prompted by becoming a chorister at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in his home town of Bury St Edmunds. Whilst reading Music at Durham University he became a Choral Scholar at Durham University and later on he found a love of teaching through working as a Lay Clerk and SingUp choral animator in the bustling city of Newcastle.
Peter currently enjoys his job as Head of Music at Herts & Essex where, as well as spending time planning for choir concerts with Susie, he enjoys teaching, leading the students’ music-making and hosting Herts & Soul concerts! Over his teaching career Peter has been musical director for Back to the 80s, Cabaret, Hairspray, Annie, The King’s Ears (his own musical creation), Les Misérables and Rapunzel. On the keys he has also tackled West Side Story and Guys and Dolls.
Although most of the choir think that he is ever so slightly mad, Peter continues to thoroughly enjoys his Friday night rehearsals and leading the Soulsters in their choral adventures.
Herts and Soul Founder
Having spent many years as an advertising sales director and publisher, and as a frustrated ‘only in the shower’ singer, Soul Brother Chris is a personal and business performance coach, who founded Herts and Soul with a view to encouraging other frustrated singers to step out the shower and on to the stage.
Chris is one of the originators of the ‘Raise Your Game Now!’ approach to personal and business growth, development and practical positive psychology, as well as the ‘Going the Extra Mile’ operating model for engaging workforces to grow sustainable profit. He has authored three books in these fields.
Although he has an inkling that the shower might still be the best place for him to sing, he’s pretty convinced that being involved with the choir is one of the most joyous and life-affirming things he’s ever done.