Musical Director

Craig McLeish

Craig began his musical life as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral and was the first treble to be chosen to sing solo at the prestigious annual Messiah. He began composing at the age of 10 and his preces and responses for 4 trebles are sung to this day.

After a degree at York University he returned to London to study at the Guildhall and sang again at St Paul’s as a tenor. At the time he was also arranging and copying music for West End shows such as Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, (he transcribed the entire musical from the original tapes) and played bass guitar for various groups. This led to a spell in the cult pop band ‘Fat & Frantic’, who shaved the top 100 twice with the whimsical anthem “Last night my wife hoovered my head”. He also worked as musical assistant for David Heneker (Half a Sixpence) and David Fanshawe (African Sanctus).

In 1992 he became director of the MAYC Orchestra and Singers, performing concerts throughout the UK and being involved in a number of recordings and BBC broadcasts. Alongside this he began arranging and writing songs for children’s books (Big Blue Planet, Love Shone Down) and producing recordings and string arrangements for various artists (Sheila Walsh, Kim Hill, Matt Redman).

For 8 years he worked for a production company called Crazeltown/Lightsong Media Group specialising in promoting new artists, songwriting and production. His latest collaboration has been with composer Tolga Kashif writing orchestrations for the RPO’s Seo Taiji Symphony, and the new chart topping CD by saxaphonist Tyler Rix. He is now freelance but still works with Lightsong, recently on the Genesis Suite, which was premiered at the Barbican on 11th October.

Craig joined Milton Keynes Youth Choir as its Musical Director in September 2010. We thoroughly enjoy working with him and the wide range of music and experience he has brought to us.

Accompanist - Penny Miller

Penny accompanies all rehearsals and concerts on the piano, occasionally she conducts the choir. She attended both Ousedale and Stantonbury and joined MK Chorale, aged 14, when it was founded. She also sang in the Bucks Youth Choir.  She studied Music at UEA and has taught both piano and class music in schools for many years. She was Head of Music at The Webber Independent School until recently.  Her first association with MKYC was as a parent when her daughter, Carys, became a member. Penny volunteered to help out when the choir was without an accompanist in 2010 - and has never left!

Guest conductors

The choir is conducted by guest musicians when Craig is working as MD for Young Voices. This is usually for a 5 week period in January/February but includes the occasional meeting in terms 1 and 3 as well.

Registered Charity Number: 1075236

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