The Young Choral Academy (YCA), is Malaysia’s first and premier Academy for choral music. Founded in 2007 by Susanna Saw and Chow Wei Heng, this non-profit organization aims to create and produce more exchange programmes with other international choirs and provide a training platform to those interested to work with children and school choirs, as well as to encourage the formation and management of choral ensembles and other performing groups. The Academy prepares choirs for international festivals, competitions, workshops and is a training centre for music teachers based on the Kodaly Method. Another aspect of our work is the commission and publication of choral works and arrangements from Malaysian composers, giving a platform for Malaysian choral music to be heard on a wider scale.
The Young Choral Academy offers individual vocal and piano lessons, and houses three fun-loving and dynamic choirs – The KL Children’s Choir which has now over 150 members, The Young KL Singers, And the Gaudeamus Youth Choir. To date, these choirs have performed in such prestigious venues as The Actors Studio @ Bangsar, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Performing Arts Centre of Penang and the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.
The Academic Courses include KL Children’s Choir, Subang Jaya Children’s Choir, Young KL Singers, Gaudeamus Youth Choir, individual vocal lessons (Classical and Pop), Musicianship, and Piano. The Young Choral Academy is also now part of various school choirs, where choral singing is taught to both primary and secondary school students as part of that program – becoming the first school in Malaysia with a proper syllabus for choir training.
Aside of musical education, the Academy is proud to be the organizer of the Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod. This annual event, one of Malaysia’s leading independent choral festivals, serves as a platform for singers, choirs, conductors and teachers to work with a distinguished team of international choral clinicians through our series of symposiums, competitions and festival concerts. Our work has been supported and endorsed by the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MoE), ABRSM International Sponsorship Fund (UK) and links with INTERKULTUR (Germany) and the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM). Then, we even have Kodaly Hangout on Tuesday night for the last week of the month which gathers various teachers in different kinds of teaching field to share knowledge and solve problems together.
One of the things the Young Choral Academy believes in very strongly is giving back to society. Voices of Hopes (VoH) was formed in 2004 by two members of the Young KL Singers, Ian Chow and Annette Soo, as a way for the choir to be more effective in their community outreach work. In 2006, it officially became the charity arm of the Young Choral Academy. Besides, continuous fundraising efforts by dedicating tickets to charity homes during choir productions, VoH also ran a weekly program to teach songs and musicianship to unprivileged children between the ages of 9 to 15 years old from 2004 to 2014. Periodically, VoH also holds recitals to raise funds for good causes; beneficiaries have include the Nanyang Press Foundation for underprivileged and single mothers, and the Cyclone Nargis Disaster Relief Fund.
Being a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on corporate sponsorship, donation, fund raised via regular courses and productions to sustain our mission in improving and nurturing the local choral scene. The surplus income made via these methods will not be distributed to the organization’s shareholders or Directors as profit or dividends but solely routing back to the mission that we stand and believe in.
Above all we are a fun loving organization, dedicated to Enriching Life Through Singing!