Zechariah Goh Toh Chai is Head of Composition Studies and Senior Lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and a composer of music ranging from choir, symphonic band, wind ensemble, chamber music to large scale orchestral works. He worked on his Doctorate degree majoring in Composition under the guidance of Dr. Charles Hoag at The University of Kansas. At the same time, he studied Orchestration and Arrangement for Band under Professor James Barnes. Zechariah was also awarded the prestigious Anthony Cius Prize for outstanding student composer from the University of Kansas for the academic year of 2001 and 2002.
Zechariah 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 in countries including Austria, Brazil, Germany, Greece, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and USA.
Zechariah has been commissioned by musicians and music groups such as the SYC Ensemble Singers, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore National Youth Orchestra, The Philharmonic Winds, The West Winds, University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, the National Arts Council of Singapore, Tanjong Katong Secondary School, Timothy Reynish, Professor Vince Gnojek, Shane Thio, EDQ Wind Quintet, the Amigo Saxophone Quartet, Shyen Lee, Jennifer Tham, Nelson Kwei, The Singers, The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, The Diocesan Boys’ School Choir, The Diocesan Girls’ School Choir, Chamber.Sounds, Victoria Chorale, Victoria Junior College, Tampines Junior College, CHIJ (Toa Payoh), River Valley High School, the Amadeus Choral Society, the CCA Branch of the Ministry of Education, and Ding Yi Music Company.
Zechariah is also an active speaker at international music conferences such as the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), International Society for Music Education (ISME), and Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research (APSMER). He was also invited to judge international choral and band competitions such as the Voyage of Songs and Taiwan Band Director’s Association Band Competition.
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 the Istana. Zechariah also received the Artistic Excellence Award from COMPASS in 2013, and the Distinguished Alumni Medal from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 2014.