School Years in Singapore

   Before I came to University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music for my arts administration course, I did my undergrad at Oberlin College, Conservatory of Music. Before that, I spent one year at Temasek Junior College (which I don't miss.) And before THAT, I spent 10 YEARS!!! at Singapore Chinese Girls' School"Glad that I live am I...". Those were the days...

   There were plenty of activities to keep my out of trouble in Singapore. In secondary school, I organized a choir every year to perform on Teachers' Day. I was also a member of the Hokkien Huay Kuan Children's Troupe. I took part in drama productions and was their choir accompanist as well. I also played the oboe in the Singapore Youth Orchestra and served as the principal oboist in the 1993 Japan Tour. That was my second time in Japan as I had gone to the Kirishima International Music Festival the year before. What really got me really got me really into music was my experiences at the National Music Camp in Australia in 1991 and 1992. I played the English Horn at the music camp for the first time and I liked it very much.

   After that period of travelling and performing, I packed my bags and headed for Oberlin, Ohio in USA for college. Oberlin is a quiet rural town when drained of its boisterous students. I had a fabulous time at Oberlin; I got what I considered to be a true education there. I personally consider the Oberlin Conservatory's library holdings to be one of the best of its kind in the country. The main library also had plenty of periodicals and books that were useful for research.

   Life at Oberlin wasn't bad at all. Well, I suppose one could complain about the weather which could be terribly cold in the winter or terribly dreary at other times. And then there's the usual complaints about the dining hall food. Oberlin could certainly be a very stressful place before and during exam periods but there were certainly plenty of de-stressing activities one could engage in. Oberlin is a very unique place. It will always have a special place in my heart.

   I was first introduced to the field of arts administration/management at the Australian Music Camp and I decided to gain some practical experience while in the States by way of internships (or work attachments.) I also got myself a job in school working in the Ensemble Library and being put in charge of the Oberlin Orchestra. The job was challenging; there was fun as well as frightening moments (you really do not want to know about that,) but never boring. My heart will still jump whenever I hear anyone say "Where's Siu?". I decided to gain more practical experience in the arts management field spending my summers doing some internships. In the summer 1995, I lived in Boulder, Colorado while working as an intern with the Colorado Music Festival. The next year, I spent time at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. I had a very good time at the symphony and living with Christie who also works in the PR dept. at the symphony.

To be continued...