Choy Siew Woon
Member - Choral Directors' Association (Singapore)
Choy Siew Woon is a Singaporean choral director, music educator and vocalist. In 2010, she received the Kodály Certificate in Music Education from the Kodály Institute of the Lizst Ferenc Academy of Music (Kecskemét, Hungary; in conjunction with the Young Musicians’ Society, Singapore). She attended all editions of Kodály Seminar Asia from 2009 to 2016, where she trained in choral pedagogy, musicianship and conducting. In 2017, Siew Woon was selected to conduct in the International Masterclass for Choral Conductors at the 15th International Chamber Choir Competition (Marktoberdorf), as well as at the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music (Barcelona). In 2019, Siew Woon received a Conducting Fellowship with the Yale School of Music’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (USA), where she conducted the Norfolk Festival Orchestra and Choir. Thus far, she has studied conducting under Jennifer Tham, László Nemes, Simon Carrington, María Guinand, Volker Hempfling and Simon Halsey. Siew Woon is currently enrolled in the Master of Music Education (Choral Emphasis) programme at the Westminster Choir College, Rider University (USA).
In 2016, she was the choral clinician at the Singapore East Zone Arts Festival, where she held singing workshops for a total of 15 participating secondary schools in Singapore. Siew Woon was also a clinician at Voices – a Festival of Song 2018, a 3-day singing festival organized by The Esplanade, where she gave a series of choral workshops and conducted sing-along sessions for the public.
Siew Woon is the conductor of several school choirs in Singapore, and has led her choirs to accolades at international choral competitions in Czech Republic, Hong Kong and Singapore. Most recently, she led the Temasek Junior College Choir to the Grand Prix Finals at the 2018 Belt & Road World Choir Festival (Hong Kong). Locally, she has a has led her choirs to several Distinction awards at the biennial Singapore Youth Festival. She currently directs the choirs at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary), River Valley High School, St. Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School, Temasek Junior College, and is a vocal instructor at Dulwich College Singapore. She also conducts the Cor Novum Choir, a non-profit, project-based community choir formed in 2016, bringing together music lovers to raise funds for charitable organisations in Singapore.
As a chorister, Siew Woon was selected to represent Singapore at the inaugural season of the Asia Pacific Youth Choir (Macau, 2011), and subsequently in 2014, at the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music (Seoul), where she learnt under the guidance of Chifuru Matsubara (Japan), Jonathan Velasco (The Philippines) and Saeko Hasegawa (Japan). In both seasons, she was selected to be the soprano soloist. In the latter session, she was appointed the Soprano Section Leader for the region. She also sang with the SYC Ensemble Singers (formerly known as the Singapore Youth Choir), where she served as Assistant Conductor to Jennifer Tham from 2009 – 2018, working largely on new music and chamber choral works, and was featured prominently on a number of solo parts.
As a classical soprano, Siew Woon has collaborated with local arts organisations like The Esplanade, the Young Musicians’ Society, as well as the Magnetic Band (an ensemble of musicians dedicated to new chamber works). She has also collaborated with local composers Diana Soh and Hoh Chung Shih, as well as pianist Wong Yun Qi, in a number of improvised performances, including Georges Aperghis’ 14 Récitations (2010), as well as Edward Greig and Johan Halvorsen’s transcriptions of Norwegian folksongs and dances for voice, fiddle and piano (2015).
Having grown up in school choirs, Siew Woon enjoys watching her students grow with the same curiosity, love, and enthusiasm for choral music that inspired her through school life. She hopes that they, too, will find their time in choir joyous and fulfilling.