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Benjamin Boo Chong Wei

Singapore Chinese Orchestra
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Benjamin Boo joined Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) in March 2018 as a percussionist. He graduated from the Royal College of Music (London) (RCM) with a Masters of Performance (Distinction) in 2016, under the support of the Neville Wathen Award and the tutelage of renowned percussionists including David Hockings, She-e Wu, Matt Perry, and Ralph Salmins. His unique experiences in traditional Chinese Percussion also resulted in an opportunity to teach and perform traditional Chinese Percussion with RCM’s Percussion Department. While in London, he also performed with The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musical “Motown”, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with exclusive training under the BBCSO Pathway Scheme 2014 – 2015.

Benjamin started learning music and Piano under the tutelage of his father and mother at the age of 3. He was first exposed to Chinese Percussion at the age of 9 when he joined his primary school’s Chinese Orchestra under the baton of his father. A year later, Benjamin began studying Chinese Percussion with Mr. Quek Ling Kiong, the current Associate Conductor of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO), for over a decade. Through Mr. Quek’s recommendation, Benjamin also picked up Western Percussion with Mr. Ngoh Kheng Seng (SCO) from 2004. In 2007, he enrolled in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) for Western Percussion on the National Arts Council (NAC) Georgette-Chen Bursaries Award. Under the tutelage of Mark Suter (Associate Principal, Percussion, SSO), Benjamin attained his Diploma in Music Performance in 2010. He then furthered his studies in Music Theory with Cultural Medallion Recipient, Mr Phoon Yew Tien. In 2014, Benjamin graduated with First-Class Honours for his Bachelor of Music (Hons)
through the NAFA-RCM joint degree programme.

In his pursuit of musical excellence, Benjamin has achieved many accolades in local music competitions. In 2008, he led his percussion ensemble “Symphonic Percussion” to Championship in the first ever NAC Chinese Music Competition for Percussion. He also participated in the International Chinese Arts Festival Percussion Competition 2014 and was awarded the Third Prize for Chinese Percussion Solo Category, and First Prize for Western Percussion Marimba Solo Category. Most recently, Benjamin was also awarded Third Prize in the National Indian Music Competition 2017, Mridangam Open Category.

Throughout his years of education, Benjamin participated in a wealth of performances and events, including the Millennium Concert in Year 2000, National Youth Percussion Festival in 2003, Chinese Orchestra Music Camp organized by Ministry of Education (MOE) in 2003 and 2004, and the SCO National Day Concert ‘Our People, Our Music’ 2004. He was the first batch of Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra (SYCO) musicians in 2003, and was Principal of their Percussion Section from 2009 to 2012. He also pioneered the Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) and performed with them in numerous concerts, including the Cheltenham and Lichfield Music Festival in 2012. As an active and highly sought-after performer in Singapore, Benjamin had begun freelancing with the SCO as early as 2007, and with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) in 2012. He was invited by the Arts Fission dance company to perform with them in Melbourne for the Mapping Melbourne Festival in 2016. In 2017, Benjamin was invited to tour Italy and Germany with his duet partner (The Untouchables) as a highlight feature of Zappanale #28, a Frank Zappa Music Festival. In 2019, Benjamin was invited with his colleagues from SCO, as well as local Chinese Instrumental Band “MUSA” to come together as a new ensemble “New Moon MUSA” to represent Singapore in China’s major Chinese Instrumental talent show “Guó Yuè Dà Dian”.

Benjamin is also co-founder and ensemble principal of local Chinese Wind and Percussion group Reverberance. Reverberance specializes in Traditional Chinese Wind and Percussion music and strives to bring about a new era of Chinese Wind and Percussion music through the combination of Traditional and Modern elements of the art form.

Benjamin proudly endorses Innovative Percussion, as well as Pantheon Percussion.