Sound of Music
Playing the role of Maria
Sound of Music
At the Botanic Gardens Performance
About Iris Koh
Iris is an accomplished pianist, music director, choral conductor, vocal coach and composer. She has worked extensively with the local and international schools in Singapore with experiences in choral, classroom, piano and voice methodologies.
She was a child musical prodigy and won herself a scholarship with Yamaha Music School when she was 11 years old and performed all over Singapore. She was also one of the youngest organist at the Church of the Holy Cross where she played and led the Holy Cross Junior Choir for 7 years when she was 11 years old.
She graduated from the Elder Conservatorium (University of Adelaide) with a B.Mus majoring in Musicology while also being a pianist at the Elder Conservatorium Wind Ensemble and did extra studies in Music Composition at Flinders Music
She specialised in Choral Conducting and Aural studies during her postgraduate years at the University of Queensland. There she learnt about the philosophies of Zoltan Kodaly and the revolutionary approach to Music Education through solfege and voice. Since returning to Singapore in 1999, Iris has grown as a musician, educator and entrepreneur.
Her achievements and accolades so far include:
1. Winner of the Von Trapp Family Singers, 2005. The judges were the Sound of Music cast travelling to Singapore for the performance. Winners receive tour to Vienna.
2. Artistic Director of launch of President’s Challenge 2006.
3. Outstanding Contribution award as CCA instructor from CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel. (2006).
4. Most Promising Choir Award at the International Choral Competition Shah Alam, Cantilena Girls’ Choir (2005)
5. Musical Director for Singapore’s first television musical, School House Rockz, 2008
6. Performed and wrote an original song for TEDx Women 2009, called Shoe Stories.
7. Resident Artiste at Passion Unleashed for 2 years with Butterfly Dream from 2013-2014
From 2010-2016, Iris spent a large part of her time to learn business management, funding and consultancy working alongside her husband and partner Raymond Ng in Candle Consulting / Get Funding. She believes that this valuable time in learning about business will be very important in the next stage of her career as she builds ChorusArt Pte Ltd to be the leading edutainment company in Singapore, capable of making a mark on the world stage.
ChorusArt Pte Ltd is the concert promoter for the Vienna Boys Choir event in Singapore from 2018. www.svbc.sg
In My Life
As a child, I loved Music. I was always singing, dancing and playing the piano. If I ever wanted to learn how to play a song, nothing would stop me until I learnt and mastered it.
I was blessed and had a happy childhood. Even though I went to a neighbourhood primary school, I topped the school and went into Raffles Girls’ School, the top secondary school in Singapore. In the meantime, Music continued to be an important part of my life. I won a Scholarship with Yamaha Music school when I was about 11 years old and performed all over Singapore in NUH, Opening of Changi Airport Terminal 2, Crocodile Farm, Birdparks and a tour of some of the schools in Singapore.
My happy childhood was soon shattered by the early passing of my mom. She passed away from Cancer when she was 42 years old. I was only 17. My whole world fell apart.
Overnight, I had a new family, step-mother, a step sister and lived with her grandmother. It was a trying time for me. My young adulthood was filled with intense soul searching, looking for answers about the meaning of life, healing myself from the pain of loss and learning to cope with life without Mom.
Fortunately, I met with many guardian angels and people who guided me to move out of a very dark period of my life. I studied with many coaches, did many personal development programmes and learnt to pick up the pieces of my aching heart.
In 2005, I found the courage and clarity to start my own business Athenarts Pte Ltd. We were fortunate again to win the Nation Wide Von Trapp family awards and other opportunities opened up for me. I was invited to be the Artistic Director of President’s Challenge and started training a group of young people regularly. They came to be known as The Athenarts Performing Troupe. Many of the original members went on to enroll at SOTA and I believe they have come to love the Arts and will continue to engage in it in a very long time.
Since coming back from Australia after my graduation, I have also worked as a choral conductor in various schools in Singapore. CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel, CHIJ Bt. Timah, ACS Primary School, West Grove Primary School, ShuQun Primary School, Fajar Secondary, Woodgrove Secondary School and currently Greendale Secondary. I feel very lucky to be able to share my gift of Music with so many people.
Close to my heart, is the art of Musical Theatre. It’s a very challenging art form but when done well, it has the power to be a very effective tool for communication. Much of my work at the time of Athenarts was with Musical Theatre.
I had put a lot of my energy, my emotions and heart in building up Athenarts, so much so that I became a bit burnt out and needed to take a break in 2010. It was also at that time that my husband’s business Get Funding picked up. I decided to take a break to help him in his business and also learn vital business skills.
In 2013, I had the first ever concert for myself as a composer / song-writer. It was also a tribute to my Mom after 20 years of her passing. It was another big milestone in my career. Since then, I formed the ensemble Butterfly Dream.
This year 2016, it was time for me to return to my first and original love: Music. I have started a new company ChorusArt Pte Ltd. This time, I will be wiser, having learnt from the lessons of Athenarts and Get Funding.
I ask for your support in the next stage of my journey and I look forward to updating adventures of my Musical journey with all of you.
ChorusArt is the concert promoter for the Vienna Boys Choir and its training programmes in Singapore. We aim to organise world class workshops, programmes and concerts to bring people together in song.
I look forward to sharing more with you shortly. Please follow my blog and facebook for updates.