Mr Lawrence Siao,
Teacher and NIESB Concert Master
(Arts and Social Sciences ’97)
“I joined the NIE Symphonic Band (NIESB) in 1988 and learnt under Prof Ho when I enrolled in the Specialist Diploma in Band Directing course conducted by NIE and NTU in 2008. I continued learning from him as I played with the NIESB Alumni and when I became the NIESB Concert Master.
What inspired me most about Prof Ho is his gentle nature, which manifested in two ways. One, the way he deals with musicians: he never once raised his voice at us, not even when we didn’t manage to get the music right. Two, his style of conducting: the elegance and aura he exudes as he waves his baton, particularly in the soft or slow passages of the music we played.
Prof Ho’s disposition has motivated me to emulate him in my own teaching career — not to yell at students and musicians to get what I want from the music. However, this does not mean that Prof Ho has no standards. It is perhaps the quiet confidence he has in us that has very often propelled us to practise harder and, ultimately, deliver the music to the audience.
Prof Ho can also get very philosophical at times. This is evident in his teaching and rehearsals. I remembered once when we were discussing the topic ‘The meaning of music’ and he asked us in return, ‘What is the meaning of the meaning of music?’.”