Asia Pacific Youth Choir


Beverly Shangkuan-Cheng, Philippines - 2018
Beverly Shangkuan President of the Philippine Choral Directors Association, Faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Music. She received a Bachelor of Music (summa cum laude) from the University of the Philippines, a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan, USA.
She is the Principal Conductor of the Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club, Resident Conductor of the Philippines’ International Bamboo Organ Festival, and Founding Conductor of the Dawani Women’s Choir. Previously, she conducted the University of Michigan Residential College Singers, the University of Michigan Opera Chorus, the Yale University Church Choir, and the Yale Marquand Chapel Choir.
She is a First Prize Winner at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Graduate Conducting Competition, the most prestigious national conducting competition in the United States. Her other conducting and academic awards include the Levi Barbour Fellowship from the University of Michigan, the Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Award from the Yale School of Music, the Ani ng Dangal award from the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, the Margot Fassler Award and the Hugh Giles Prize from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.



Stephen Leek, Australia - 2015

Stephen LeekFreelance Australian Composer/Conductor Stephen Leek has long associations with some of the finest and most innovative choirs around the world including Gondwana Voices (Australia), the Tapiola Children’s Choir (Finland), Kamer…Choir (Latvia), The Formosa Singers (Taiwan), and his own choirs, vOiCeArT and The Australian Voices, that he co-founded and conducted for 17 years until the end of 2009.
As a conductor, Leek is in demand to work as guest conductor around the globe. As a composer he writes in his own distinctive contemporary style that is often imitated by others, and his works, which have broad appeal, are performed by a wide selection of choirs throughout the world. He has been commissioned by some of the leading choral groups world-wide. Having written 13 operas, numerous orchestral and chamber works, music for education and dance, yet, Leek is often credited as the “founder of Australian choral music” through his composition of over 700 innovative choral works which explore a uniquely “Australian” colour and texture. A Churchill Fellow, Leek has received many national and international awards including the prestigious “Robert Edler International Choral Prize” for his contribution to the development of global choral music. He is currently Vice President of the International Federation for Choral Music, and in 2012/13, the Artistic Director of the Shanghai Youth Choir.



Chifuru MatsubaraChifuru Matsubara, Japan - 2014
Permanent conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus. Studied at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He also completed several masterclases for choral conducting under Eric Ericson, Dan-Olof Stenlund, Peter Erdei.
He was invited as a conductor to Helsinki University Male Choir, Finish Radio Chamber Choir, Suomen Laulu, Cetus Noster, Estonian Philharmonic Choir, Latvian Radio Choir, Polish Chamber Choir, Ellerhein Girls' Choir, and an assistant to Erkki Pohjola - Tapiola Choir.
Publication: "Tapiola Sound" by E. Pohjola (Japanese edition), "Jean Sibelius - His Life as Seen Through His Symphonies"
Recordings: Japanese choral music with the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus etc.



Jennifer ThamJennifer Tham, Singapore - 2014
A professional choir director, Jennifer is best known for her work with the Singapore Youth Choir (now the SYC Ensemble Singers), which she has directed since 1986. Her training as a composer at the Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada) has led her to explore and re-define the choral idiom through her work with the SYC and in the Singapore school choir scene. She is also Artistic Director of the Young Musicians’ Society (YMS), which runs the First Aid for Choirs and Conductors workshop series as well as the Kodaly Seminar Asia for music pedagogues and choir conductors in collaboration with the Kodaly Institute of the Liszt Academy of Music (Budapest, Hungary).
Jennifer was Artistic Director of the Asia South Pacific Symposium on Choral Music (Singapore, 2001) and on the Artistic Committee for the 7th World Symposium on Choral Music (Kyoto, 2005). An elected Board member of the International Federation for Choral Music, Jennifer helps coordinate the Asia Pacific Choral Council as well as the Asia Pacific Youth Choir.
Jennifer has chaired and spoken on panels at conferences in Singapore, Sweden, Estonia and Denmark, and was principal lecturer at the 2008 Lithuanian Conductors Summer Academy, hosted by the Lithuanian Choral Union and the Ministry of Culture. She has taught choral conducting and pedagogy at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and is on faculty at the Kodaly Seminar Asia where she teaches conducting and leads the Morning Sing.
In 2011, Jennifer was awarded for “Artistic Excellence” by the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore. In 2012, she was conferred the Cultural Medallion, the nation’s highest arts accolade, by the President, Republic of Singapore, for her contribution in shaping Singapore’s cultural landscape.



Hakwon Yoon, Korea - 2012, 2013
Prof. Hak-won Yoon, who has made chorus as the national art and made the world know of the greatness of Korean choral, has graduated composition department of Yonsei University, completed graduate school of University of Lowell, and received honorary doctoral degree from Midwest University. Through his forty years of leading World Vision Choir, Dae-woo chorale, Seoul Ladies' Singers and Incheon City Chorale, he raised the standard of Korean choral and made it popular to the public. Now, he is discovering young Korean composers to make new and epochal Korean chorus and showing it to the world thus leading the Korean wave in choral society.

There exists endless romance and warmness within his perfected and exquisite music. His natural musical sense and passion, his deep insight and marvelous achievements brought him the world's respect and praise to call him as Eric Ericson of Korea.

He successfully held positions of chief director of Korea Federation of Choral Music, advisor of IFCM, dean of Chungang University School of Music, music director of World Vision Choir. Currently he is the music director of Far-East Broadcast Yoon Hak-won Choral, director of Korea Choral Conductor Academy, judge of World Choral Olympics and senior conductor and art director of Incheon City Chorale.


Saeko Hasegawa, JapanSaeko Hasegawa - 2011, 2013
Saeko Hasegawa is Artistic Director of the Little Singers of Tokyo (LSOT) , Board member of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), National President of Pueri Cantores, Executive Board member of the Japan Choral Association (JCA), and Guest Professor at Tokyo Junshin Women’s College.
She studied music at the Music High School attached to the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and Clark College in USA.

She has been Music Director and Conductor of LSOT since its 20th anniversary in 1971, succeeding her father and co-founder of the choir, Shinichi Hasegawa, as the 2nd conductor of the Choir. Then LSOT won the Gold prize 3 consecutive years in the Japan Choral Association’s national choral competition, and also the first prize in European Broadcasting Union's international chorus competition. She was the chairperson of the artistic committee at the 7th World Symposium on Choral Music in Kyoto in 2005, and was a lecturer and a juror in many domestic and international festivals or competitions - the World Choir Games in Bremen in 2004, the Symposium on Church Choral Music in Bandung, Indonesia in 2007, the Singapore Youth Festival in 2009, and the JCA National Choral Competition in 2009.


Jonathan Velasco, PhilippinesJonathan Velasco - 2011, 2013
Jonathan Velasco is a most sought-after choral conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in the world today. He joined the University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers under Prof. Andrea Veneracion in 1981, and became its assistant choirmaster a year later. In 1989, he studied Choral Conducting at the Berliner Kirchenmusikschule under Martin Behrmann and finished with distinction.
He is the first Asian to conduct the World Youth Choir (1996) and was jury for the 2002, 2004, and 2006 Choir Olympics in Busan, Bremen and Xiamen. He has also judged international choral competitions in Maasmechelen (Belgium), Budapest (Hungary), Tolosa (Spain), Wernigerode and Marktoberdorf (Germany), Riva del Garda (Italy), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Hong Kong.
Velasco regularly holds choral clinics and workshops in Manila as well as in the USA, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. He is the President of the Philippine Choral Directors' Association (PCDA) and currently conducts the Ateneo Chamber Singers and the Chamber Choir of Asia.