Friday, July 18, 2008

Choral Conductors in Singapore

When talking to an aspiring DSA applicant, she asked about our practice schedules, and when I told her, she commented that she checked with the other JCs, and they're virtually daily practices. I retorted by saying that I don't quite believe that, and I made the offhand remark that certain conductors probably aren't that sort. She specifically mentioned Meridian, and I thought it was Zechariah Goh in charge, because I vaguely remembered somebody telling me that. And he certainly doesn't seem the harsh taskmaster kind.

But still, I wasn't quite sure, so I decided to refresh my memory, and checked online. Actually, Chee Foon was still in charge of MJC Choir. Then I thought about the other conductors who're around the same age as I am, and then it hit me: they were ALL guys.

Just a quick list of those I know: Albert Tay(SAJC, of course!), Terence Toh, Low Shi Howe(TPJC, now studying overseas), Yong Chee Foon(MJC), Leslie Tay(IJC, now studying overseas). Just about the only young female conductor I can think of conducting at the JC level is Ms Ong from NYJC, but I've never met her, while I've had either worked or sung with most of the guys mentioned. I've worked with Albert at SAJC, sang under Terence at NUS, and Leslie was my bass section leader back in NJC. Chee Foon kinda knows me because I make trips down to his shop to collect/purchase scores, and Shi Howe is the only one I've not really talked with.

Why is it that most of the young conductors are male? Something in the water, or the style of music now promoted by the experienced conductors like Nelson Kwei, Ms Lim et al? Heck, I don't remember Nelson ever taking in a female protege!


Blogger xlbrl said...

Conductors are male for the same reason short order cooks are male. Something to do with juggling.

Females are on even footing in the field of individual performance, except at the exremely rare level of artist-composer, of which there are very few now.

Females are never great composers, or great mathmeticians. Of course, being that one in ten-million leaves the rest of us out as well except as an audience.

11:31 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home