Kenneth Tay


Kenneth Tay is a choral music practitioner, and divides his time between composing, conducting, singing, teaching, research, music production and recording. He received his MMus with Distinction at the University of Aberdeen, specialising in composition and choral music under the tutelage of Phillip Cooke and Paul Mealor. He also studied harmony and counterpoint with Nirmali Fenn at the National University of Singapore. A recipient of the prestigious Carlaw-Ogston Master of Music Scholarship, his music has been described by reviewers as “exciting and refreshing” (Alan Cooper), and “original and harmonically engaging” (The Flying Inkpot). His compositions are performed internationally, and published through Muziksea.

Kenneth is currently based in Glasgow, under the supervision of Oliver Searle and Stuart MacRae at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is also Cantoris Bass in the University of Glasgow Chapel Choir, and conductor in the University of Glasgow Medics Music Society.

Research interests

  • Contemporary Choral Composition
  • Sacred Music
  • Conducting
  • Collective Flow Experiences in Ensemble Musicians
  • Music in Social Movements and Collective Action

Professional highlights

Recent commissions and performances:

  • Victoria Chorale (Nelson Kwei) – 偶雨 (2022), Flowers of the Forest (2017)
  • The NUS Choir (Nelson Kwei) – Ave Regina Caelorum (2022)
  • EVOKX (Terrence Toh) – Cherryblossom Elegy (2022), Isle of Mist (2019)
  • Voices of Singapore (Darius Lim) – My Spirit Sang All Day (2022)
  • One Chamber Choir (Lim Ai Hooi) – To See a World (2022)
  • Anglican Chamber Ensemble (Margaret Chen) – Bright Stars (2021), Rorate Coeli (2018)
  • Renaissance Singers (Toh Ban Sheng) – Love Came Down at Christmas (2021)
  • Basement Bunch – The Angels Came From Heaven High (2021)
  • SYC Ensemble Singers (Jennifer Tham) – Uwu (2019)
  • Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen (John Frederick Hudson) – Jubilate Deo (2018)
  • University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir (Paul Mealor) – Flame (2018)

Teaching and Choral Conducting:

  • Adjunct Lecturer in Composition, Singapore Bible College (2021-present)
  • Artistic Director, Basement Bunch (2020-present)
  • Assistant Conductor, Victoria Chorale (2017-22)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Yale-NUS College (2018-19)

Research Projects:

  • Awarded grant by National Arts Council for Composing Monumentality, focusing on a cantata by pioneer Singapore composer Phoon Yew Tien (2021-22)
  • Researcher to Ministry of Education to support policy review of Singapore Youth Festival Music Performances (2020)
  • Research Assistant to Assoc. Prof Leonard Tan, studying collective flow in music contexts (2018-19)

Publications, Conferences and Presentations:

Professional Affiliations:

  • Asian Choral Association
  • Choral Directors' Association (Singapore)
  • Composers' Society of Singapore


  • MMus, University of Aberdeen

    Composition and Choral Music

    2017 - 2018
  • BSc, National University of Singapore

    Political Science

    2013 - 2017