Assoc Prof Shane Taylor Constante, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
Ty Constant began work at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in 2005 and is currently an Associate Professor in Professional Integration. His work mainly involves training students to facilitate collaborative music making.
He began his musical journey as an oboist, moving to percussion so he could be in a marching band, and has been drumming ever since – he was a member of the World Championship Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. In 1996 he joined the United States Peace Corps where he served as the music curriculum specialist to the Malawi Institute of Education in Africa for over two years. While serving in this newly created position, he mainly developed primary school music textbooks for nation-wide use. His experiences in Africa had a profound impact on both his personal and professional life.
Before coming to Singapore, he taught ear training at Mahidol University in Bangkok, where he also worked with the percussion department, learnt to eat spicy food, and honed his pool skills. Since settling in Singapore, he has conducted percussion, world music, and collaborative composition workshops and performances for local schools and community groups, and has been involved with teacher-training projects and programs sponsored by STAR and the NAC. He has also performed with many local ensembles ranging from the Philharmonic Winds to the NUS Thai Music Ensemble, the Singa Nglaras Javanese Gamelan Ensemble, the contemporary electro-acoustic ensemble Ang Mo Faux and the contemporary African group Shumba ye Moyo.
Dr Koo Siaw Sing, Senior Lecturer, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
At the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Siaw Sing teaches Social History of the Piano and various Keyboard Studies modules. Prior to Singapore, he resided in the United States, holding an Assistant Professor position in piano at Augustana College in Illinois and the Graduate Teaching Fellow position at the University of Oregon. At these institutions, he taught piano, piano pedagogy, keyboard skills and music theory.
Siaw Sing has lectured and performed at major cities in North America, Asia, and Australia. Since his performance of the Yellow River Piano Concerto, he has researched and presented a series of lecture-performances related to the solo repertoire of Chinese piano music, ranging from the traditional Chinese piano masterpieces to the current modern compositions. Other notable lecture-performances include The Language of Sounds: Debussy’s Piano Music, Album for the Young: The Piano Education of Robert Schumann, and A Comprehensive Study of the Performance of Chopin’s Mazurkas. His presentations have been widely recognized at international music conferences including the Australasia Piano Pedagogy Conference, Western Australia Piano Pedagogy Convention, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Conference, Music Teachers’ Association of California Convention, World Piano Pedagogy Conference, Performers’ Present Festival and Symposium, Singapore International Piano Pedagogy Symposium, University of Malaya International Music Conference, and UCSI Piano Pedagogy Conference.
A native of Penang, Malaysia, Siaw Sing received his early performer’s diploma, Licentiate (L.T.C.L.) from Trinity College of Music. In 1990, he was offered a piano scholarship to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music degree. He continued his graduate studies with full scholarships at the Northern Illinois University, where he earned his Master of Music degree and Performer’s Certificate, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oregon.
Siaw Sing studied piano with renowned pianists such as Dean Kramer, Claire Wachter, Thomas Hecht, Sandra Shapiro, Donald Walker, Vitya-Vronsky Babin, and Sergei Babayan. He studied chamber music with Greg Mason, Vivian Weilerstein, Anita Pontremoli, Anne Epperson, and members of the Vermeer Quartet and the Oregon Quartet. He has performed in piano masterclasses by eminent concert artists such as John Browning, Karl Ulrich Schnable, Stephen Hough, Claude Frank, Lorin Hollander, John Owings, and Eunice Podis. Besides piano, Siaw Sing also studied violin with David Russell at the Cleveland Institute of Music and music technology with Jeffrey Stolet at the University of Oregon where he performed several electronic music compositions.
Siaw Sing was the former president of the Singapore Music Teachers’ Association. During his presidency, he expanded the Seventh Singapore Performers’ Festival, which had over 650 young musicians who came from nineteen different nationalities, participating in the adjudicated performances in the areas of piano, strings, voice, chamber music and composition. The festival also included masterclasses and workshops conducted by twenty internationally acclaimed artists and university professors.
Siaw Sing’s other professional commitments include adjudicating local and international music competitions, acting as an external music examiner and an association advisory panel, and conducting piano masterclasses at music colleges.
Assoc Prof Zhou Xiaodong, Head of Audio Arts & Sciences, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
Assoc Prof Zhou Xiaodong is Head of Audio Arts & Sciences (AAS) and founding Recording Studio Manager at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore. His work has been crucial in the design, establishment and operation of the Conservatory Recording Studio since YST’s founding.
Over the past few years, Xiaodong has engineered more than 400 live concerts and studio sessions with musicians and ensembles including Qian Zhou, Renaud Capuçon, Ning Feng, Nobuko Imai, Qin Li-Wei, Leon Fleisher, Albert Tiu, Thomas Hecht, Phoon Yew Tien, Siow Lee Chin, Zhang Manchin, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, T’ang Quartet, Teng Ensemble and Metropolitan Festival Orchestra.
He has also recorded for prominent recording labels including Decca, Ablaze, Centaur and KNS. Among those recordings, La Noche-21st Century Music for Flute and Harp won CD of the Year in Singapore (2011), and Grand Russian-Tchaikovsky Grand Sonata and Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 1 won CD of the Year in Singapore (2018). Beethoven Cello Sonata was nominated for Best Classical Album by the Australia Recording Industry Association (2010), and Salvador Brotons: The Complete Works for Flute, Vol. 1 won the Universal Music Awards (2017).
Xiaodong has been the audio production director for the Singapore Violin Festival, Singapore International Violin Competition, and Singapore National Day Concert with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (2018 and 2019). He was also the recording engineer of the Singapore national anthem in 2019, and has been a sound consultant for the Singapore Dance Theatre and Metropolitan Festival Orchestra.
He is the author of the Chinese-language book, The Recording Engineer’s Handbook, a member of the AES and Singapore Acoustics Society, and also gives classes in music production technology at Eunoia Junior College (Singapore).
Xiaodong graduated from the M.A. in Audio Science and Acoustics programme at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.
Miao Kaiwen, Teaching Assistant (Career Orientation & Community Engagement), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
Singaporean clarinetist Miao Kaiwen embraces a multitude of interests that led her to a diverse musical journey in both performance and teaching. As a full-time teaching assistant at the Conservatory, she assists and co-teaches several Professional Integration modules. She is part of the Career Orientation and Community Engagement team and is involved in Continuing Education and Training.
As a versatile clarinetist, she has been actively performing in more than 20 cities covering Asia, Europe and North America. She won second prize in the World Music Contest Kerkrade Biennale Chamber Competition 2016 (the Netherlands) and highlights of her other overseas projects include the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy 2015 (Canada), Suntory Hall Chamber Project 2016 (Singapore & Japan), International Film Music Orchestra 2017 as principal clarinetist (Poland, Germany and Netherlands), Mediterranean Opera Festival 2017 (Italy) and the Roermond House Concerts 2018 (Netherlands).
At home in Singapore, she has freelanced with various professional ensembles including SETTS (Southeastern Ensemble for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Sounds), Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and re:Sound Collective. She also plays regularly with Orchestra of the Music Makers and is a member of its management team. Highlights include Zarathustra in 2019 and Die Walküre 2020.
Kaiwen is passionate in education, with teaching experience in diverse environments ranging across creative workshops, individual lessons, and school band programmes. She was a chamber coach in the Orlando Chamber Festival (Netherlands) 2017-2018 and has tutored many school bands in Singapore. She has also given workshops and tutored at the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and the Wind Band Association of Singapore (WBAS) Youth Band Festival.
Kaiwen is tremendously grateful to be able to connect with her other music-related interests including composition, outreach, collaborative music-making, and research. Her original work “Sextet” premiered at Asian Civilisation Museum Lunchtime Concert 2015 and since then also arranged encores for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra clarinet quartet and Shunde-Beijiao Symphony Orchestra wind ensemble. She led in creative collaborative projects as part of New Audiences and Innovative Practice European Master of Music introductory course in the Netherlands and with Sengkang General Hospital in Singapore.
Kaiwen holds a Master of Music (Clarinet) degree with minor in Advanced Teaching Skills from Conservatorium Maastricht (Netherlands), under the Zuyd Excellence Scholarship. Her artistic research “Freedom within Boundaries” exploring cadenzas of Copland and Tomasi concertos received a full score and she has also completed an education research project “Early beginnings on the Clarinéo for small fingers” as part of her minor. Her teachers were solo artist Roeland Hendrikx and academic mentors Rik Bastiaens and André Seerden. Prior to that, she completed her Bachelor of Music (Hon) degree at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in 2016 under the tutelage of Ma Yue and was awarded the NUSS Medal for Outstanding Achievement upon graduation.
In her younger days, she was a recipient of the prestigious Bicultural Studies Programme Scholarship which enabled her to have a deeper understanding of both the Chinese and Western cultures. Today she is still constantly searching for new connections between her art form, cultures and across disciplines.
Rachel Ho, Teaching Assistant (Career Orientation & Community Engagement), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
Singaporean musician Rachel Ho has the passion for performance art, education and using music as a tool to impact the community.
As a flute soloist, Rachel has performed with Musicians’ Initiative Orchestra and Red Dot Baroque. She is a freelance musician with Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and has performed with Orchestra of the Music Makers, Ricciotti Ensemble (The Netherlands), Baltimore Baroque Band (USA), Sichuan Symphony Orchestra (China) and Hermes Wind Orchestra (Taiwan). As a chamber musician, Rachel is part of Red Dot Baroque – Singapore’s Early Music ensemble, and Flying Flutes flute quartet. She also represented Singapore to be a Festival Artist at the 10th Asia Flutists Congress 2019 in Shanghai and was a jury member of the 3rd Asia Flute Federation Junior Competition.
Rachel has delved into several developmental approaches in music education like Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Kodály Method. She is currently pursuing a Dalcroze Certificate at Intermediate Level (Dalcroze Eurhythmics International Examinations Board) and has also completed a teacher’s training course, ‘Muziek als Vak’, specializing in the Kodály concept conducted by the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (KC). Rachel also teaches individual and group music lessons privately and in schools, as well as abroad in The Netherlands and in Myanmar as a Festival Artist of the Music Society of Myanmar.
Rachel was exposed to the field of community work when she was selected to participate in the New Audiences and Innovative Programme (NAIP) courses in Vienna and Iceland. Since then, she has curated several performances and creative music workshops in Asia, Europe and United States at hospitals, dementia homes, refugee camps and centers for children such as Alexandra Hospital, WoonZorgcentra Haaglanden (Residential Care Home for Dementia Patients), Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, kidsphilharmonic@sg, Singapore Girls’ Home. Rachel also participated in the “Training Music Leaders with refugees” course by Musician Without Borders in Germany. In October 2019, she was invited to present at the YST Performers(’) Present International Artistic Research Symposium “Telling Stories” on her inter-generational creative music-making project community project titled “A Golden Tale”. Most recently, together with Saw Win Maw, Rachel also presented at the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music International Symposium 2020 “Is the Virtual Real” on their community project titled “Sounds of Myanmar - Expanding Boundaries and Connecting Communities”, where they conducted an online creative music making workshop with orphanages in Myanmar.
Rachel completed her undergraduate studies at YST with a full scholarship, majoring in Flute Performance under Jin Ta, Evgueni Brokmiller. She was also selected to participate in a semester exchange programme at Peabody Conservatory. Rachel has just completed her Masters in Music Education degree at Royal Conservatory of the Hague, The Netherlands. She has also been selected to be part of the 2021 Cohort of the Global Leaders Programme, an Ivy League-curated executive education for impact-focused Arts Entrepreneurs and the Southeast Asian Music Leaders 30 Under 30 Project. She is currently appointed as a Teaching Assistant in the Career Orientation and Community Engagement team at YST.
Gabriel Lee, Artist Fellow, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
Singaporean violinist Gabriel Lee enjoys a multi-faceted career: he performs in diverse sound worlds with his baroque and modern violins, and builds new frontiers in the Southeast Asian musical landscape as a music educator and entrepreneur. His violin playing has been described as having a “breathtaking intensity, grabbing listeners by the lapels without letting go”, and “a passion and concentration that was hard to surpass” (The Straits Times).
An active soloist in the classical scene, Gabriel has performed solo recitals in the United States, Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar, and has been featured as a soloist with the Baltimore Baroque Band, Red Dot Baroque, Resound Collective, Asian Cultural Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Music Makers, Malaysian Bach Festival, Jakarta Festival Orchestra, PSPA International Ensemble, Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra and the Peabody Conductor’s Orchestra. Gabriel won a first violin position with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and freelanced professionally with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.
As a baroque violinist, Gabriel has performed solo with Enrico Onofri and the Resound Collective, Baltimore Baroque Band, Red Dot Baroque, Malaysia Bach Festival and the Jakarta Festival Orchestra. He has also performed in the Wilmington Bach Festival, Amherst Early Music Festival, Music at St. Bartholomew’s series, and collaborated with UMBC’s Camerata Chamber Choir.
As a music educator, Gabriel constantly seeks to innovate and incorporate technology in his teaching, and has published and presented research in the Australian and New Zealand Viola Society Journal, ABRSM Music Teacher’s Conference and the Performer’s Present International Artistic Research Symposium. He is currently Artist Faculty at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Adjunct Faculty at the School of the Arts, Founder and Director of the Music Society of Myanmar and has conducted masterclasses and coached various ensembles in Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia. As a competition adjudicator, Gabriel has served on the jury of the Alessandro Giuliani Violin Competition and Asia Arts Festival. He also serves as a Leader-Mentor for the Orchestra of the Music Makers, and has served as violin mentor for the Singapore National Youth Orchestra.
Gabriel has received various awards and scholarships, including the JC Van Hulsteyn Award in Violin and the Paul Abisheganaden Grant for Artistic Excellence. He graduated with two Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance and Baroque Violin Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, supported by a full scholarship from YSTCM and the Trailblazer Foundation. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree from YSTCM as Valedictorian of his cohort.
Gabriel plays on a 1902 Degani on loan from the Rin Collection.