Penang Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Ong Geok Cheng began her musical journey at the age of 8. Her first vocal teacher who had inspired her to embark on this wonderful journey was Mr. Chin Loke Chun, a renowned Tenor in Penang. During her school time, she actively participated in classical and karaoke singing competitions and performances, and won several top placing in both intraschool and interschool competitions. Besides the singing arena, she was also the student conductor of the school harmonica band who had successfully led the band to achieving remarkable results in the state competitions.
2006, graduated from the Monash University, Melbourne, Geok Cheng holds a Bachelor Degree in Music, major in Music Performance and minor in Musicology & Composition. Under the supervision of famous singers and vocalists in Australia – Roxane Hislop (Mezzo Soprano), Linda Thompson (Soprano) and Carmela Losinno (Soprano), she greatly benefited from their professional vocal trainings which led her to become the Distinction holder of Graduate Recital in Monash Conservatorium. Geok Cheng had also actively participated in opera and choir performances during her studies in Australia. Her opera performances include West Side Story, Pirates of the Penzance, The Magic Flute, Dido and Aenes and her choir performances include Mozart’s Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Burana.
At home, Penang, Malaysia, Geok Cheng embarked on her own music academy which specialises in choir and vocal coaching. She is also the conductor of several school choirs and community choirs, which include children choirs, youth choirs and adult choirs. Under her tireless guidance and effort, these choirs achieved numerous victories by winning Gold Medals in different competitions every year throughout Malaysia. Amongst the remarkable achievements by the choirs under Geok Cheng’s leadership are, the Gold Award, Category Champion and Jury Prize in the 2nd Singapore International Choral Festival 2015 by the Penang Chinese Girls Primary School choir and in 2016, Geok Cheng was also awarded ‘Best Conductor’ in the 14th Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod while her youth choir from Chung Ling Private High School won the Gold Award and Category Champion. Having acquired all the victories and accumulated vast experiences in various competitions, Geok Cheng is now frequently invited to be the judge of competitions.
Geok Cheng is also the founder and director of the ‘Penang Voice of Nature Choir’, in which she actively involved herself not only in coaching, but also in organising music concerts and competitions for singers and choirs in all age groups every year. In recognition by and with the support from the KPM (Ministry of Education Malaysia), such events have brought music to life as they received tremendous support and participation from the public.
Ong Geok Cheng
Lim Ai Hooi
Choral Artistic Advisor
Ai Hooi’s philosophy for choral music and teaching stems from her view that a fulfilling musical journey is one that is filled with sincerity, love and excellence. She uses the creation of music as a platform to share and infuse her values and beliefs in her singers, and inspires them to use the beauty of music to craft experiences that touch the hearts of the audience.
Born in Penang, Malaysia, Ai Hooi graduated from the Royal College of Music, London with Majors in Piano and Voice. After moving to Singapore, she took on the role as educator and conductor to local school choirs and has since contributed greatly to developing the local choral scene through the nurturing of younger choral conductors and choristers. Her Singapore school choirs have clinched many top awards in both local and international competitions over the past 20 years.
Internationally, Ai Hooi has been working as Festival Director of the Singapore International Choral Festival and the Co-Artistic Director of Festival Coral de Verão in Lisbon, Portugal since 2012. She was invited as an adjudicator by Interkultur at 5th Canta Al Mar in Calella, Spain in 2014, Bali International Choral Festival in 2014 and conference speaker at the International Art and Science Conference, Poland in 2016. She also regularly conducts workshops and adjudicates at choral festivals and competitions in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia.
In 2009, Ai Hooi established the ONE Chamber Choir. Consisting of young adults and with a mission to engage, entertain and explore, the choir has grown from strength to strength over the years, putting up a myriad of performances and gaining many invaluable experiences. Internationally, the choir has emerged 1st place in the Chamber Choir category of the first Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival in 2013 and second place in two categories at the Llangollen International Musical Eistedfodd 2015 in Wales. Most recently, ONE achieved Laurea Summa Cum Laude for the Mixed Choirs and Musica Sacra at the Laurea Mundi Budapest in 2016.
In 2011, she co-founded Sourcewerkz to further her calling to teach, touch and transform the larger choral community and its audience. To date, Sourcewerkz has organised the Winter Choral Festival in Hong Kong, Festival Coral de Verão in Portugal, and the Singapore International Choral Festival which attracted over 70 choirs and more than 5000 participants since 2014
Yong Chee Foon
Choral Artistic Advisor
Yong Chee Foon is an accomplished conductor from Singapore. A pianist by training, his passion for choral music developed when he first joined the Victoria Junior College Choir and then, the Victoria Chorale.
He first graduated from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) with a Bachelor Degree in Accountancy. After several years in the financial sector, he moved on to pursue his passion - Choral art. In 2016, he graduated with a Masters in Music (Choral Conducting) from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.
Currently the conductor of several school choirs in Singapore, his choirs have performed well in the Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging of Choirs, achieving several Gold and Gold with Honours awards. His choirs have also ventured overseas to participate in several international competitions where they received numerous accolades with Gold and Silver medals. In 2013, he was awarded a Distinction for Conductor Award at the 4th International Krakow Choir Festival in Poland.
He is also the Associate Artistic Director of Sourcewerkz Pte Ltd, a Singaporean choral events company that organises choral festivals around the world. His stand for good music education for the younger generation has led him to lead more than 2000 youths who have sung under his baton in the past decade.
He desires to inspire young singers, through choral music education, to live life with passion and achieve excellence in all aspects of life whilst remaining appreciative to all who have made a difference to them.