YOU CAN THINK OLYMPICS. THIS LADY HAS RUN THE RACE FOR DECADES WITH FIERY DEVOTION IN AREAS MOST IMPORTANT TO HER – GOD, FAMILY, MUSIC.
This petite lady packs a punch. You probably knew that when you saw her small physique belt majestically on stage. The discrepant truths do not end there. A stay-home mom of two kids, who are 8 and 4, she is a testament to how looks can be youthfully deceiving. Her faith in Christianity is also no secret. Involved heavily with church and strict on values, she doesn’t allow work to compromise time related to her spirituality.
Let’s trace back to the first torch she ignited. A passion for singing.
Imelda left her marketing communications post 11 years ago, forsook her Masters degree breastplate she acquired in Australia to sing full time. Her first stint was at a hotel lounge, where she would be seen there six nights a week.
All these while, she never snubbed out the real flame that has kept her going. Her faith in Christianity is a proud badge she wears everywhere she goes and everything she does. Pun unintended, her match made in heaven with Zachary, a boy she set her eyes on at church, eases her into her values. Zak, a music and God lover himself, had the capacity to understand the erratic career that doing music in Singapore can be, and is a supporter who is ancillary to her ambitions.
“I’m so blessed that they are 100% supportive! In fact, it’s my biggest wish to have the kids and family perform together in time. “
Her dream isn’t far fetched. Zak plays the electone and piano. Her son Joshua started learning the saxophone from Boon Chye, a very experienced local musician and is already displaying hints of a child prodigy effect. Joshua is now breathing his passion into flute as well. Jordan is still a young and delicate girl, but a house furnished with musical instruments as playthings, you can expect her to continue the melodious tradition. The sweet young thing enjoys singing and can already hold a tune very well. Thanks to mummy’s genes!
At home, she is the beacon that everyone holds fast to.
“As a mom, i am the one who holds it all together. Zak, the father and husband is the spiritual leader and breadwinner. I am the spiritual partner who approves and supports how the leader would direct, and would hence translate how this gets passed to the kids most appropriately. The kids are very reliant on me for all of their physical and emotional needs since this is also a very basic and fundamental instinct. Zak also looks to me for emotional support and sensible reasoning, both spiritually and pragmatically.”
Meshing music into her other love for her family is not difficult, and neither is making music a sonorous note with her faith.
She has been part of the worship in her church, Barker Road Methodist, for 10 years, and over time, she has haboured grand ideas of spreading the love of God in the way that she understands most. Having found likeminded faith-bodies in the local music scene, Imelda has discussed going to churches and helping with the worship with Matthew Siew and Shawn Kok, amongst others.
“I want to use this gift to glorify God and bless others,” underlined Imelda.
Juggling three balls of fire, she recently found herself a breakthrough in her music career. Having been singing for awhile and with her videos strewn all over Youtube, the SSO talent-spotted Imelda there, and eventually invited her to perform with a guest singer for their annual gala dinner.
Immensely honoured, Imelda jumped at the opportunity to sing alongside musical theatre star, Juan Jackson. They sang with the orchestra, directed by SSO Associate Conductor Jason Lai. The dinner raised over a million dollars, making the theme of the evening Happily Ever After an apt one.
After a decade of singing it was a timely occurrence, as she has been seeking for a development in her career. She wanted something more rewarding than just singing for events and weddings.
“That was an awesome experience and such a privileged surprise! I did nothing to deserve that opportunity! Truly God-sent.”
After this reignition, looks like the fire in Imelda will be burning for a long time.
Imelda Teo’s vast experiences from performing in various musical groups, as well as singing competitions and commercial recordings have been instrumental in her growth as a versatile singer. She has matured from a star-struck girl with sensational dreams to the sophisticated songbird who now simply enjoys sharing her passion with an appreciative audience. Imelda’s elegant yet unassuming persona has made her a popular addition at private celebrations and public affairs, receiving no less than ovations for her sincere performances. With her clear, soothing yet powerful vocals, Imelda adds her personal touch and finesse to both English and Mandarin, pop and jazz tunes alike.