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Dr. Zechariah Goh Toh Chai

Head of Studies, Composition

Principal Lecturer

Music

Qualification

Doctor of Musical Arts
University of Kansas

Master of Music
University of Kansas

Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education,
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University

Diploma in Music,
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

Biography

As a Senior lecturer of composition at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, a composer of music ranging from choir, symphonic band, wind ensemble, chamber music to large scale orchestral works, Zechariah Goh Toh Chai has carefully fused South East Asian-Chinese with Western traditions. In 1999, he received the David and Gunda Hiebert Scholarship award to work on his Master of Piano from University of Kansas, during which he was appointed as a graduate assistant by the university to teach undergraduate music theory. Subsequently, he worked on his Doctorate degree majoring in Composition under the guidance of Dr. Charles Hoag.

He is a lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts since July 2002. As a composer, he is frequently commissioned to write music for symphonic bands and choirs. Since the 1990s, his choral works have been premiered in Singapore as well as winning many international competitions. Dr Goh has conducted numerous folksong arrangement and choral improvisation workshops for choral directors and composers across the Asia Pacific region, including cities such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.  Additionally, he was invited to lecture and give workshops at the Oklahoma State University and University of Kansas, USA in 2018.  He adjudicated the World Children and Youth Choir Competition in Hong Kong (2017), and the Bali International Choral Competition in (2018) and The Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod (2018).

Some highlights of Zechariah’s compositions in 2018 include, 纪元晨光, performed by the Diocesan Boys’ School Choir(Hong Kong), who which won the Best Male Choir award at the World Choir Games in South Africa. Reminiscences of Hainan and  In the Bamboo Forest performed by the NUS Choir, was awarded the top prize at The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Assassination performed by Diocesan Choral Society(Hong Kong) won the Grand Prix at the Tokyo International Choir Competition in the same year.

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra commissioned and premiered Blossoms for Large Orchestra in 2017 and 承 Flow to be premiered in 2020. Zechariah Goh has collaborated with Ding Yi Music Company on a multi-disciplinary production with Chinese Chamber music, Documentary film and ceramics entitled Songs of the Dragon Kiln in 2017.

For his artistic excellence in the field of music, Zechariah was conferred the Young Artist Award (Music) in September 2003 by the National Arts Council, Singapore. The award was presented by the President of the Republic of Singapore at Istana. Zechariah was awarded the Artistic Excellence Award from the Composers and authors Society of Singapore in 2013. Zechariah Goh was also presented with the distinguished Alumni medal from NAFA in 2014.