Academy Directors

Susanna Saw

Susanna Saw - Music DirectorSusanna Saw is a graduate of the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music, Australia. She was the choir teacher for The Australian Boys Choir Institute 1996-1998, obtaining her Australian Kodaly Certificate in Primary Level Music Education in 2001 and Secondary Level Music Education in January 2015. Since her return to Malaysia, she has founded The Young Kuala Lumpur Singers and The Kuala Lumpur Children’s Choir. Currently, she is a lecturer and choir director at the Faculty of Music at the University of Malaya, University Teknologi MARA, and Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA). She also conducts the MIA Ladies Chorus, which has won many Gold Medals from various international competitions. These achievements include the Ladies Chorus becoming Champion of the Female Chamber Category at the 6th World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China 2010, and at the 2nd Vietnam International Choir Competition, 2012. Susanna is the founder of the Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod in 2003 (formerly known as the Young Singers Choral Festival), an annual young musicians’ event in Malaysia dedicated to the increase of choral knowledge through various invited choir tutors from overseas.

In 2007, Susanna established the Young Choral Academy in Kuala Lumpur, a venue for choral lovers to learn more about choral music, and a platform for young Malaysian composers and arrangers to compose more choral works. She was instrumental in bringing the Kodaly Training Course to Malaysia to improve local standards of classroom music teaching.

From 2007 on, Susanna has been regularly invited by the Interkultur Foundation, Germany, to be a member of the Jury for the Asian Choir Games and World Choir Games (Indonesia 2007 & 2013, Austria 2008, Korea 2009, China 2010, Vietnam 2011, United States 2012, Latvia 2014, and Sochi, Russia 2016). She has been appointed Choir Olympic Council Member of the Foundation, and has presented workshops on Malaysian Choral Music and Choral Education in Vietnam 2008 and 2010; Austria 2009; Croatia 2010; Australia 2011 and 2014; Brunei, Macau and China 2015. She has also received invitations to adjudicate at various international choir competitions (Bandung, Indonesia 2010 & 2016; Japan 2012; Singapore 2013 & 2014; Bali, Indonesia 2015 & 2016; Hong Kong 2014 & 2015; and Macau 2015). Susanna has been appointed a Working Committee for the Asia-Pacific Choral Council, under the auspices of the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM). She is the Organising Chairperson for the 24th International Kodaly Symposium 2019, in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, and through this, hopes to bring more awareness on the Kodaly teaching philosophy to the Asia Region.

 


 

Ian Chow

Ian ChowIan is currently attached with The Actors Studio Malaysia (TAS), The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) and Performing Arts Centre of Penang (penangpac) as the Group General Manager and Production Director with the Young Choral Academy. To date (since his foray into the arts in 2002), he has been involved in more than 60 local productions in various management and creative roles.

In his early days, Ian actively produced for Young KL Singers (2003 – 2005) and the Young Singers Choral Festival (2007 – 2008). He currently helms the position of Festival Producer for the Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival (2014 – present) and produces numerous acoustic gigs in support of local independent music scene since 2005.

Among the notable productions he has written (music) and/or perform for include Life Sdn Bhd series, Malaysian Girls the musical, Short + Sweet Malaysia, Food, Sex & Death, Shakespeare’s Sonnets and One Thousand Million Smiles (Tribute to Sudirman) by klpac and The Actors Studio. In October 2013, Ian make his directorial debut in Period by the Young KL Singers and once again returned to the director’s chair in their following productions, Incantations and Shakespeare Does the Bard in 2014 and 2016 respectively. He helmed the post of Musical Director for Lelaki 2.5 Out of the Closet (2015) and Shakespeare’s Sonnets (2016) by The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat.

To date, he has produced two independent albums of his own, He Says / She Says (2008) and Issues#01 (2010) as well as with other music collaboration ventures including The Two Chinese Who Barely Made It’s Memo EP (2012) and Lelaki 2.5’s Your Best-est Friend (2015). At the same time, his desire to help budding singer-songwriters and develop a new platform has prompted him to produce a series of CD compilation namely Layan Fest (2013), My Rhythm, My Tune, My Song Volume 1 (2014) and the double-disc Live @ The Actors Studio (2016).

On the private sector side, Ian is the co-owner of GameOn.com Sdn Bhd since 2010, one of the leading video game e-retail in Malaysia and strongly believes in gaming in non-piracy environment.

 


 

Jimmy Lim (USJ)

Jimmy Lim Choon LeongJimmy holds the Bachelor Degree of Staffordshire University. He has participated Dr Michela Bertagnolli, Baritone Ralph McDonald’s Masterclasses. In 2013, Jimmy was singing in an opera program in Brisbane Australia organized by Cuskelly College of Music. Meanwhile, he was having personal traning with International Opera Singers-Joseph Ward, Rosario La Spina, Milijana Nicolic, Magaret Schindler, Shaun Brown and Conductors-Richard Lewis, Raymond Lawrence.

Jimmy had been actively competing in singing competitions since childhood winning numerous awards. He was awarded 1st runner up in the 2003 central Malaysia Region Classical Singing Competition.

Jimmy was a guest solo singers as a supporting role of “Parpignol” in the G.Piuccini’s well-known opera in Publika@Solaris Black Box Malaysia 2012. He has been invited by Malaysia Goverment to perform in the Open Ceremony of “Women Award Perak 2012″presided by the honorable spouse of Prime Minister Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Bin Mansor.He has participated in the musical “Green Tea” staged by the UCSI University in the year of 2003. He was a Tenor Solo of the Beethoven symphony No.9 “Ode to Joy” in a concert 2010, plays a role of “Alfredo” from Verdi‘s La Traviata singing the scene of Brindisi. Jimmy was also sung as “La Remendado” in Carmen, “Don Ottavio” in Don Giovanni.

As a representive of Malaysia in the Asian Youth Choir, Jimmy has traveled to Indonesia and Philippine for performance in 2009 and 2010. He was also a chorus member of Lyrics Opera Malaysia of the performed opera, “The Merry Widow” and “Tosca” in 2003.

Jimmy was a member of Dithyrambic Singers in the year 2005 to 2011, Jimmy has traveled to Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brunei and Indonesia for competitions and performances.

Asides from his vocal ability, he is also organizing many musical events for children and vocal music enthusiasts, such as Voices in Bloom Singing Competition and workshop, The Opera Bridesmaids Concert, Vocal Masterclasses and etc.

Currently, Jimmy is a vocal tutor and Academy Director of the Young Choral Academy Taipan USJ, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 


 

Gynger Soh (USJ)

Gynger Soh Bee TengGynger’s love of singing stems from her involvement in folk song singing competitions during her early childhood. This led her in the direction of classical music, performing for a number of years with a choir. She began formal vocal lessons at 15, which gave her the impetus to explore classical singing and unlock the full potential of her vocal ability. She holds a Licentiate of Trinity College London Certificate (LTCL) & Associate of Trinity College of London (ATCL) in Voice Recital and Performance, and obtained “The Best Student Award” in her music studies at the Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA). In the year 2013, Gynger was singing in an opera program in Brisbane, Australia organized by Cuskelly College of Music. She obtained a brilliant opportunity to work with International opera singers–Joseph Ward, Rosario La Spina, Milijana Nicolic, Magaret Schindler, Shaun Brown and Conductors– Richard Lewis, Raymond Lawrence.

Gynger has been competing in singing since she was 16 years old. She won First Runner Up in the Cai Duan Ming Chinese Art Song Solo Singing Competition for 3 years running, from 1999 to 2002. She was also a winner of the “National Solo Singing Competition”” and obtained a full scholarship to study at the Malaysian Institute of Art. In the 30th and 31th Central Malaysia Regional Singing Competition in 2004 and 2005, she was named overall champion; she also emerged as winner in the Philharmonic of Selangor Song Fest 2005.

Gynger played the role as Musetta (La Boheme), Susanna (Marriage of Figaro), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte), Juliette (Romeo and Juliette). Aside of Opera performances, She is frequently invited as a solo performer for concerts such as “Bach’s Magnificat” performed in the Lutheran Church, Kuala Lumpur in 2013, and the “Sing Unto Lord 2012” touring concert organized by Yin Qi Ministry.

In 2010, she was selected to represent Malaysia in the Asian Youth Choir, touring in the Philippines. She was also a member of the Dithyrambic Singers from 2005 to 2011, travelling to Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia, and Singapore for festivals and competitions. She was invited to sing as a choir member in New York City for the premiere performance of Eric Whitacre’s composition -” The City & The Sea” in Carnegie Hall, 2010. Currently, she is contributing a Hymns Choral recording led by Malaysia well-known Soprano-Cecilia Yap for a fund raising project for The Reformed Evangelical Church, Kuala Lumpur.

Gynger has been very active in the field of education since 2003. In the year 2014, she formed a ladies chamber group—The Opera Bridesmaids who has successfully made their debut concert in December. She has also set up master classes for vocal enthusiasts with well-known singers and musicians. In 2013, she started organising a nationwide children’s solo singing competition, Voices in Bloom. She is currently in the process of developing a vocal workshop for children, complete with excerpts for performance.

Currently, Gynger is a vocal tutor and Academy Director of the Young Choral Academy Taipan USJ, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.