Amazing Asians in the Arts: Joanne Ho
Joanne Ho is a pianist and Music Director based in Singapore! A former actor and publicist turned Music Director, she has broken barriers by being the first Singaporean to graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Music Director program, and is currently working on developing a new musical digital project in Singapore! Keep reading to find out more about what makes Joanne an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Name: Joanne Ho
Heritage: Peranakan Chinese
Current City: Singapore
Current Project: The Box: A Concept Musical (Digitally presented, of course!)
What are some of your favorite credits/projects?
Urinetown, Wicked, Legally Blonde, Fun Home, The LKY Musical
What are some interesting facts about yourself?
I started off as an actor, actually, and stumbled into being an MD by accident. Someone needed a pianist for a show and I said I could do it. That actually was the start of my entire career.
Any advice for young people getting into the arts?
Be brave and tell people what you want. You have to put yourself out there before you stand a chance. People need to know where you want to be and what you want to do.
How did you get your start?
I excitedly agreed to play for a musical without knowing what it was. It turned out to be “Company.” Steinway sponsored the show and I ended up on stage behind a large grand piano. It was very exciting and scary all at the same time.
Did you have any mentors?
Yes! Nick Finlow. He taught me almost everything I know.
Did you always want to be in the arts or did you have another path before you got here?
I actually worked in public relations for about 5 years before switching careers. I have done PR for companies like Microsoft and HP.
When did you know you wanted to have a career as a performer or artist?
Since I was a child. But living in Asia, that didn’t look like a viable career path growing up.
What have you found is the biggest challenge in your career?
Being a younger girl MD. It’s a very male dominated industry.
Where did you study at?
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I was actually the first Singaporean to graduate from the Music Director track.
What are some goals you hope to achieve?
I would love to MD some more shows overseas!
What do you love most about what you do?
Telling stories through music and finding out dramatic intent by looking at what the composer has presented.
If you could name one point in time when everything changed for you, what was it?
When I decided that I wanted to do music instead of being an actor. I was in drama school and I wrote, arranged, and choreographed a 25 minute musical. I even got a band together… and an ensemble. I never looked back.
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
I am a roller coaster and Disney fan. I also like rock climbing! I like to think that keeps me balanced.
To find out more about Joanne, please visit her at: