Juliette Lai was awarded the prestigious Federal Scholarship by the Malaysian Government to further her studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama from where she graduated, winning prizes for Best All-Round Student and for Harmony & Counterpoint.
While Head of the Music Department at the Malaysian Teachers College in Johor Bahru (Malaysia), she also served as Chairman of Committees for Curriculum Planning for Malaysian Teachers Colelges & Schools as well as the Chief Examiner for the Malaysian O-Level (Secondary School) Music Examinations.
As a conductor, pianist, accompanist, and singer, Juliette has directed and performed locally and internationally – Malaysia, Singapore, America, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Juliette was the Conductor of the National University of Singapore Choir (1985-1993) and Assistant Conductor of the Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Singapore (1994-2001) which was awarded the 1st Prize at the Béla Bartók International Choral Competition (2000). She was also the Music Director / Arranger of Vocaluptuous (2000-2004), Singapore’s top contemporary a cappella group.
As a composer / arranger, Juliette has had her choral works commissioned, published, and performed by numerous choirs in concerts and competitions both locally and internationally. In particular, her 8-part acappella Potong Padi was used for repertoire reading at the 6th World Choral Symposium held in Minnesota in 2000, the American Choral Directors’ National Convention held in San Antonion in 2000 and a few other similar symposiums in Singapore, Australia and Germany. At the 2014 10th World Choral Symposium in Seoul Korea, Juliette was one of the five composers featured by American Professor Dr. Pearl Shangkuan in her presentation on “Women Choral Composers Around the World”. At the same symposium, her 8-part acappella arrangement of Burung Kakak was performed in two concerts by the Asia-Pacific Youth choir.
In 2015, some of her choral arrangements were selected and presented together with works by a few other composers in a series of three concerts in conjunction with Singapore’s 50th celebrations. IN early 2019, she was invited by the University of Southampton to present an inspirational TEDx talk based on the theme “Illuminating Possibilities”. Her presentation “Music Creates Possibilities” was well-received by a live audience. Later that year her music was presented at three international events – The Asia-Pacific Choral Summit held in Hong Kong, the 24th Kodaly International Symposium held in Sarawak and another event in Seoul, Korea.
Juliette Lai’s 2019 TEDx talk, “Music Creates Possibilities”, organized by University of Southampton Malaysia.