Juilliard: A Singapore’s First

Singaporean-born Lau Wen Rong is the first brass player in the country to be accepted into Juilliard School of Music this year for the Masters of Music program.

“I have always wanted to attend the Juilliard School of Music since the age of 12. I have heard so many great things about Juilliard and knew that I needed an inspiring and competitive environment to push me further. Juilliard’s trumpet studio is extremely strong as many of its students have won major international competitions and are now occupying principal positions in top orchestras around the world. I am extremely excited and delighted to be offered a place. It has certainly been a dream come true for me,” exclaimed Lau, who was excited by the piece of news received on 31 March.

When asked about his enrollment to Juilliard, Lau believed that it is the compelling schooling environment that motivated him to make the key decision.

“Some of the world’s best trumpet players in my generation are currently studying there and I believe this will push me to work even harder as the playing standards are extremely high. Besides, I have always wanted to study with Mr. Raymond Mase, who is one of the most respectable and sought-after trumpet teachers in the world. With his tremendous teaching experiences, I believe I will learn the necessary skills needed to improve my trumpet playing and hopefully get an orchestra job in the future.”

“The location of Juilliard makes it attractive too. The school is located in Lincoln Center, just next to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera. Hence, I will be able to watch these two groups on a consistent basis and continue to be inspired by them. I believe that this will have an incredible impact on my education,” Lau added.

To secure a place in the school, Lau had to prepare a set of pieces for the audition. His repertoire included the Tomasi Trumpet Concerto, Charlier Etude no. 2, Arban Characteristic studies no. 6 and several orchestra excerpts. With the guidance and direction of his teacher Mr. Jon Dante, it reduced his fear of the audition and gave him more confidence.

“Coming this far, I would like to thank Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and all the teachers there for providing a great learning experience for me over the past 4 years. I am extremely grateful and I would like to specially thank Mr. Jon Dante for his invaluable guidance and knowledge throughout my preparation for the audition.”

We wish Lau the very best in his studies.

(Cover photo: Darren Sim / Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra)

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