Academy Directors

Susanna Saw

Susanna Saw - Music DirectorSusanna Saw is an active music educator promoting music and choral education in Malaysia. She is currently a lecturer and choir director at the Faculty of Music at University of Malaya (UM), University Technology MARA (UiTM), and the Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA), where she conducts the MIA Ladies Chorus, which has won many Gold Medals from various international competitions.
In 2007, Susanna established the Young Choral Academy in Kuala Lumpur, a venue for choral lovers to learn more about choral education. She was instrumental in bringing the Kodály 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 Asia Pacific and World Choir Games. 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 Organizing Chairperson for the 24th International Kodály Symposium 2019, in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, and through this, hopes to bring more awareness on the Kodály 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.

 


 

Chi Hoe Mak

Mak Chi HoeChi Hoe enjoys a busy career as an award-winning singer and choral conductor. A graduate from the Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK, he received double Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting, both with Distinctions as well as the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Performance. He was named one of Birmingham’s ‘New Generation Artists’ in 2008 and later went on to win all the major conducting prizes including the 2009 and 2010 Michael Beech Conducting Awards and the prestigious Principal’s Prize for ‘outstanding contribution to the musical life at the institution’. He also holds a Fellowship in Voice from Trinity College of Music, London.

Chi Hoe was the first Asian conductor to win a prestigious choral conducting scholarship with the award-winning London Symphony Chorus, working with the London Symphony Orchestra for the 2010/11 season under Sir Colin Davies, Martyn Brabbins, Valery Gergiev, Eric Whitacre and Andris Nelsons which launched his conducting career in the UK. He was appointed Resident Chorus Master at Birmingham Conservatoire from 2009 – 2012 and made his festival debut in 2011 as Chorus Master for the Lichfield Festival Chorus where his work received much praise. He was also Chorus Master of the Birmingham Cathedral Festival Chorus, Birmingham City University Chorus and Chorus Mentor for the internationally acclaimed Birmingham Opera Company where he worked with the celebrated director Graham Vick, and was a staff conductor with Canzonetta Children’s Choirs in Manchester.

As a singer, Chi Hoe began his career singing roles with Penang Arts Council Opera and Lyric Opera Malaysia and won First Prizes at the Malaysian National Art Song Competitions. He is the first Malaysian singer to sing in both the prestigious World Youth Choir and Asian Youth Choir, touring worldwide with them from 1998-2004, where he sang under eminent conductors. Concert and opera engagements have taken him to China, France, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain and throughout the UK, working with ensembles and companies as the Arton Ensemble, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Ex Cathedra, London Voices, Singapore Lyric Opera, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra to name but a few.

Chi Hoe is co-founder of the Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod, a leading independent choral festival for young singers in Malaysia and a member of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) and the Malaysian Choral Federation. He is currently Artistic Director and Vocal Coach at Young Choral Academy and a visiting lecturer in Voice and Choral Director at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).