It’s a love story worthy of a song.

In 2012 Robert Hayden Tieman and Miranda Kaye Hamilton had just been cast as love interests in the play An Ideal Husband at Northern Kentucky University. They had no idea at the time that they would soon play love interests in real life. But that’s exactly what happened to the two 2014 Northern Kentucky University graduates.

The two actors became friends through the play and soon discovered—again, with an assist from the play—that they each had a love and passion for music. The director of the play was a member of an organization that was conducting an open-mic event, says Hamilton.

Tieman and Hamilton attended the event and Tieman played a song on his guitar. Then Hamilton took the stage and sang a song.

“She just has a really crystal clear voice,” Tieman says, referring to when he first heard Hamilton sing. “She doesn’t try to sound like anybody else. She’s just really straight forward about it. It’s her trying to be a natural and hit the note as well as she can.”

Following the open-mic night, Tieman, who had been playing guitar for 10 years and writing music for seven, had an idea.

“He asked, ‘Would you like to sing with me sometime?’” Hamilton says. “And I said, ‘Sure.’ And then we met up and I learned some of his songs. It just kind of took off from there.”

Tieman was impressed with the way the pair sounded together. “We started playing some of my original solo stuff and when she would sing along I was like, ‘Wow, this is really amazing,’” Tieman says.

That’s when they decided to form a band—Hayden Kaye—using each of the pair’s middle names. The acoustic-folk duo has been hard at work at their music ever since.

Hayden Kaye released its first full-length album, called Step Forth, in August. The album is available for download on iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon.com and the group’s website at haydenkaye.com, as well as at local record stores such as Everybody’s Records and Shake it Records. “We try to get it in every single record store we’ve ever heard of,” says Tieman.

In addition to the album, Hayden Kaye has opened for major acts such as country-artist John Michael Montgomery and the Grammy-nominated indie-rock band Gungor.

The group has also played at restaurants, weddings, Coney Island, Newport on the Levee and local concert venues such as the Madison Theater, the Thompson House, the Southgate House Revival and several summer festivals, says Hamilton.

The duo plays music every Sunday at the Eggleston United Methodist Church near Independence.

“At NKU we were involved with the Wesley Foundation, which now is called Vine and Branches, so we were involved with that Christian organization and we did music for them as well,” says Hamilton. “So we really enjoy doing that.”

Playing music, however, doesn’t pay all the bills—at least not yet. Since graduating from NKU in 2014—Hamilton with a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theater and Tieman with a bachelor of arts in theater arts and philosophy—both are now teaching.

Hamilton teaches musical theater, tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical classes at Premier Tumbling and Dance in Loveland and is the drama director at Loveland Middle School. Tieman teaches language arts, fine art and religion at St. Joseph Camp Springs and he also teaches a theater class and is drama director at St. Henry in Erlanger.

The best part about teaching, says Hamilton, is that it gives them the summer off to focus on their music. The group is currently working on booking shows for this summer as part of a tour to promote their album, says Hamilton.

“We eventually would like to start playing more of the festivals and maybe eventually get some sort of reputation from a label or something like that,” says Hamilton. “We’re working on sending our new album to different radio stations and trying to get it out there.”

Going on tour with a major-label band is another goal, says Tieman. “Somebody who’s represented by Warner Bros. or any of those distributing labels, and it’s like a big commercial tour,” Tieman says. “I’m dreaming big.”

Until then the pair continues to write original songs with plans for another album in the future.

“We’ve got a lot of new material that we’re working on already, so we kind of have a plan for another album eventually, but nothing is really set in stone,” says Hamilton.

Another event not yet set in stone is a wedding. “We’re engaged,” says Hamilton.

Although the pair had talked about getting married at some point, Tieman planned a wedding proposal for New Year’s Eve at Fountain Square in Cincinnati.

“Her family was in on it and we all did a really good job of keeping it a secret,” says Tieman. When the clock struck midnight and the fireworks exploded, ushering in 2015, Hamilton turned to kiss Tieman.

But Tieman was busy. “I had to get the ring,” he says. Hamilton was confused. “She’s like, ‘Why won’t you kiss me?’”

Hamilton says, “I turned to him to give him a New Year’s Eve kiss and he got on one knee. We had talked about it, but I was very surprised.”

No actual date for the wedding has been set, says Hamilton. “It will be in 2016, probably summer, but we don’t have a date set. We’re still looking at venues and things like that.”

So did Tieman know he’d someday ask Hamilton to marry him when they first met in 2012 as love interests in a play?

“Not at first,” he says. “But it didn’t take a lot of time to realize that I could fall in love with this girl. She’s just a beautiful woman and is incredible.”

And that’s a love song just waiting to happen.